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Doll Emotions

Oct 5, 2017

    1. Have you ever have that moment when you looked to a doll you feel like you can empathize with what they are feeling?

      I just realized this when I saw a doll for sale and the doll looks so sad :(
      • x 4
    2. No... I don't want to be "that" person, but BJDs are objects, they don't feel anything.
      • x 11
    3. Tbh I do have empathy for them too. Especially if the sculpt has a very realistic expression, I tend to get an emotional response as well.
      • x 2
    4. As humans, we are hard wired to empathize with other humans and this extends to images of humans as well. It's perfectly natural and I'd say it's a good sign, showing that you do indeed have it easy to feel empathy. The more you handle and are exposed to dolls, the better your brain will get at recognizing them as dolls, not people and that is perfectly normal and healthy too.

      This is the reason many people find dolls like Ringdoll Moona or Dollits Miso to be unsettling at first, because it's not natural for a person to hold such an extreme expression for long at a time. You will often come across comments about people appreciating the skill of the sculptor, but that they do not want to own one.

      This ties in with our tendency to create characters for our dolls. Humans are skilled when it comes to empathies with fictional characters as well. This makes us able to ask ourselves "what would my dolls character feel about this" and say things like "this doll likes another style better".
      When we react to a doll for sale looking sad it's just our brain that over reacts a little bit and applies the expression of the doll on a human and ideas on abandonment and being unwanted.

      As long as it doesn't go too far and become a delusion and a genuine belief that the doll do in fact feel things and have wants and needs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with applying human feelings to a doll for fun. That is part of what makes them feel so alive and interesting to many of us. :)
      • x 20
    5. Yeah certain sculpts and face ups definitely give the doll character :) I love the diversity on doll face ups in how one sculpt can look so different with the portrayal of emotions in the doll's face up ! :D
      • x 1
    6. Hahaha that's alright we all have differebt opinions on dolls, maybe I'm just really an emotional person haha i get emotionally touched by any things.

      ohh I agree with that, some face ups or sculpts look really human to me.. Amazing works by artist kudos!

      Ohh I agree with that, It's okay to empathize with things but not take it too far like to the point that it's not accepted by society anymore :0

      I adore many dolls sculpts and face up artists they really give justice to the characters of the doll they want to portray
      #6 Maiah4D, Oct 5, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2017
      • x 1
    7. I don’t usually feel that much, but I do connect with the dolls’ characters at times. If I’m role playing and one of the characters is sad, I might feel like I want to hug her and make it better, or if I’m feeling a certain way, I might choose whichever of my dolls’ characters would understand and hold them for awhile. I think if it similarly to how you might feel reading a book or watching a movie when you connect with a character. If I don’t ‘know’ the doll and there’s no written/photostory to convey a feeling, I don’t really feel any particular way about them (except maybe WANT!!! In some cases).
    8. Sure, art, poetry, and prose are all designed to move people. Dolls and photography are the same way. It's perfectly possible to get a sense of sadness or any other emotion from the sculpt or the composition of the photos.
      • x 1
    9. Seeing a smiling doll can bring a smile to my own face - partially social response, partially because the doll makes me happy or amuses me. As said above, dolls are art, and art evokes emotions; also most dolls have very human expressions, and humans tend to react to facial expressions.
    10. Humans are kinda hardwired to see faces, and likely emotion, in non-face things all the time (tree bark, electrical outlets, faucets...). It would make sense that a doll, which is created to look human or humanoid, would prompt an emotional response. That's partly why I tend to go for more "smiley" sculpts, as I figure seeing and hopefully triggering a positive response can be helpful to my depression.

      In addition to this, Japanese culture has a tradition of animism, mostly because of shinto beliefs. There are "retirement" ceremonies for worn-out equipment, especially those that are used in a hands-on way (like needles, pins, even computers) and for personal items like dolls. If you've ever read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" you'll notice that Marie Kondo talks about items having "feelings" - which I would suspect comes partly from her work as a shrine maiden when she was younger.

      So, TL; DR I'd say it's not unusual for dolls to provoke an emotional response (although obviously, that's not the only way to interact with them!).
    11. That's very interesting about the retirement ceremony ^

      Dolls with good face ups do make me feel a certain way. Even my 9 year old niece told me once my doll looks sad. The cheeky face ups make me smile :)

      But I do know it's just dolls, I don't take them too seriously when it comes to feelings..
    12. I know they aren't real...but I really can't help but empathize with their expressions. When a doll looks sad for example, I can't help but wonder what's making him sad. "Do they not like being sold like an object? Does he or she long for a home? Are they being separated from a loved one at the factory? I cry inside every time. I have to firmly remind myself dolls don't have souls....but do they? I can't help but imagine realistic dolls like BJDs are dead human souls cursed, trapped in a doll. Or maybe I just have an overactive imagination haha.