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Dolls making you materialistic?

Aug 1, 2010

    1. Like all threads - please remove if a thread like this already exists or if it's not appropriate.

      I'll start this thread with a personal story since that's what triggered my interest in this topic.

      I recently (around 3~4 months ago) got into BJD's and ordered my first doll who will arrive to me in not too much time. I already love it - the anticipation, the planning and creativity this hobby arouses in me. But this also has a flipside - I've been feeling like I'm becoming increasingly materialistic. I suddenly have a lot of materialistic needs. For the doll, who needs clothes, shoes, a wig. But especially things that are not directly related to the doll itself but to the crafty part it involves: I want to make clothes for her which requires new fabrics, buttons from etsy, tiny knitting needles. I want to learn how to work wood which requires tools that I don't have, and the wood itself. I am considering to learn how to do face-ups and that also requires materials like paintbrushes, pastels, paint, etcetera. Modding was another thing I had in mind and I decided a dremel is a good start. I saw a cute headdress that inspired so I want to order tiny chains, beads and charms so I can create those things that I have in my mind.

      It's not like I've given in to all of those things stated above - but I want them and they make me greedy. Materialistic. The strangest thing is that it seems to be connected to my happiness - like I will be happier if I have those things. Which of course I won't be, I probably will think of something new that will make me happier. Though the doll itself does bring me a lot of happiness.

      It feels very strange to notice this within myself, and I'm glad that I did so that I can think about it more and make better decisions about if I really need things or not, because it doesn't feel right that my happiness revolves around materialistic wishes.

      But I've been especially wondering if other people have experienced something similar like me. So please discuss here:

      - Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?
      - If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?
      - Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?
    2. Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?

      I've always been rather materialistic so wanting more doll stuff doesn't surprise me.

      If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?

      Well, I only have a certain amount of money to blow on random passions of mine, so some of my less interesting hobbies have fallen out of favor. One does need supplies if one is creating something.

      Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?

      I always seem to want more, but my bank balance keeps me firmly in check. I don't think it's bad to want to have fun. I also contribute to charities and causes that interest me, so I don't feel at all guilty for spending money on myself.
    3. Since when is being "materialistic" a bad thing? Everybody wants something, everybody enjoys things. I'm assuming your alarm is going off because you're finding yourself suddenly interested in things to a much greater degree than before. That's what having outside interests does, particularly hobbies that you can really get into with multiple options and opportunities for creativity. And new hobbies -- everybody enjoys that *rush* of excitement with a new interest.

      But really, even if you have no active hobbies and work a full-time job (or two) only to keep a roof over your head and good food in the house, that's being materialistic too, isn't it? Just another kind (probably viewed as being more responsible as well) of direction of interest.

      To those of us who have had several expensive hobbies over the years, this one is quite benign. Bonsai plants require pots, stands, daily watering/regular feeding and trimming which require tools, and you have to travel to find bonsai conventions. And then there's buying pre-shaped trees, dirt mixes, books (oy, expensive--) and magazines. Animation cels and sketches need climate control, storage books and bags, and your cravings must contend with the demands of sellers and popularity of various shows. Collectible figurines or statues require storage units or cases, any collectible requires storage space, magainzes to keep in touch with "the field". Videogames require upgrades in players and buying the latest games, or good enough computers to play online.

      As long as you're not jeopardizing the survival aspects of your life, IMO, there's no negativity in having material hobbies!
    4. Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?

      Actually I did, I noticed that before I bought my boy I was pretty much uninterested about my money, I got it but never use it. Not for clothing or to buy me expensives things like cell phones, ipods, laptops or all the other things I bought after I bought Antheas... I did really became very materialistic after that ^^U... But I keep saving almost all of my money on the bank and that makes me feel good about that new side of mine ^^.

      If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?

      Neither, it's just that we are ready to expend more money on ourselves.

      Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?

      I'm just happy with what I got, I guess. I recently order another boy because I wanted another in other size so I could sew it more clothes, but that's all ^^.
    5. Being interested in dolls definitely promotes a new type of materialism. Like you stated in the OP, it's not just the doll- you eventually need at least one wig, one pair of eyes, and one outfit. But it's fun to change things around, and before you know it... there's a long list of accumulated "Dollie WTB" things that a person desires to purchase when they can.

      I used to be into doll shopping a lot more, but now that I have all the dolls I wanted as well as enough (imo) clothing for them... I am actually content. I don't feel like I need to buy more to be happy. In fact, I now often go at least 6+ months without buying something for my dolls, and when I do it's just a wig here, a pair of shoes there... nothing too big.

      Also, I have come to find I actually like *planning* for dolls and clothing a lot more than actually buying them. Even if the plans never pan out, it's still fun for me. :] I used to feel like I always needed more, but now accomplishing my wishes makes me more than satisfied with what I have.
    6. Nah, I was already materialistic! I like shiny things :D
    7. Short answer: Ugh, yes.

      - Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?
      Almost everything on my wishlist is doll related, so it has to be yes. I've been able to cut my discretionary spending down to near nothing in all categories save this one.

      - If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?
      Negative. Pretty negative. I have a set list of dolls I want, and each of them needs the requisite clothes/eyes/wigs/shoes/etc...which would be fine if I currently had the money in hand and could get it over with. Instead, I have to think about how much money I need to spend on the various things...I hate having things up in the air!

      - Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?
      My happiness in this would be having all of my dolls in hand and complete. Once this is done, I'll be happier just buying extra outfits or accessories when I feel like it instead of feeling like it's a pressing matter.
    8. Oh yes! >.< It's terrible. Before, I knew I couldn't have stuff because I don't have the money or it's a "waste" so I didn't even think about buying some things. But now I just want things regardless of their cost. D8 And buying something new creates a happy feeling which then wants to be fed further with more new stuff... :horror:
    9. - Sure, acquisition, collecting & hobbies all cost money. You could collect coins and depending on the type of coin, it could be very inexpensive or super crazy expensive! Dolls in particular are fun because it's a way of shopping- not just for ourselves and yet only for ourselves.

      - It's a creative process so personally I prefer to think of creativity as being a positive thing. My bias aside, it is neither positive nor negative- it's how it affects you life and you perceive these changes. I think if you were really concerned with the changes then it would be time to take inventory and make a list of the good and bad and weigh them against each other. It might help provide some balance and insight into your particular relationship with the hobby (especially if you're not quite satisfied with what you are doing). I know I have a hard time spending money on dolls. I am still incredibly new to ABJDs and have a hard time spend big $$$ on dolls. Yet, I am still drawn in.....

      -Happiness is really super, majorly complex. I've found in my life that happiness is a kind of ephemeral thing instead of an absolute? I'm not sure if that makes any sense. I've hit a couple milestones in my life where I was like "AND NOW I CAN BE PERFECTLY HAPPY. THE END." Yet, I wasn't. I think it's human to yearn, grow and to be... frankly "unsettled" in our happiness. Those feelings will undoubtedly lead you towards the next interesting, wonderful, creative step.

      But back to dolls....
      I certainly think dolls bring me joy. I love the planning, the research and more than anything I LOVE seeing other people express their creativity through dolls. It's odd trying to explain it to people who "don't get dolls" and the best thing I have come to is this: It's a creative process not unlike people who play music. With dolls as instruments, the complex being we are as humans express ourselves through our dolls. I think that expression, love and work is a happy thing to experience as well as behold.

      One last bit- it also feels very good to free yourself of your collections. I sold off a ton of Sailor Moon gear to start my doll hobby. I kind of traded one for another but it was great to give up older plastic toys for something that had a greater degree of creativity and personality involved. ^^
    10. - Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?

      I'm no different than I was before. I have other hobbies besides bjds -- one of which also involves collecting. Dolls are the most expensive hobby I'm in, but they've also been one of the more rewarding for me as they are a wonderful creative outlet. Abjds bring together a lot of different things I'm interested in.

      - If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?

      Spending money on doll stuff makes me happy, so you could chalk that up to a positive. I don't automatically see spending money on things/owning stuff as either inherently positive or negative -- it's what we make out of it.

      - Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?

      It depends on what you're talking about, I guess. Some things I do don't involve acquiring things to the extent of something like abjds or model horses (my other collection). Music matters a lot to me, and although it requires some initial outlay in terms of costs, it's about increasing skill and having fun with other people rather than obtaining things.

      Here's the thing -- people like to accumulate stuff. That's not necessarily bad and doesn't automatically make someone greedy. Spending money on dolls, doll stuff, craft items etc does not mean that a person is uncaring or that they don't make positive contributions to society. It just means they have some extra cash to spend, and want to put into this hobby that they enjoy.

      Hobbies are good -- they can relieve stress, be good places to meet people, encourage creativity and so on. So to me, this is money well spent. It's not necessary to deny oneself in order to be a good person. As long as the money is yours to spend, and you're taking care of your priorities (bills, food, rent etc) first, then I see nothing wrong putting money into an activity that you're genuinely getting something positive out of.
    11. I was always materialistic to beging with, my money always went to something.. now it's all going to dolls. Be it art supplies, clothing, wigs, eyes, dolls.. xP

      Before dolls it was animals, but since I had to find new homes for my animals I decided to get something I didn't need to find new homes for when I move.
    12. Whenever you start a new hobby you're going to be spending money on getting everything you need for it. Once you have everything the cost goes down significantly.
    13. I allowed myself to get into BJDs, because it lines up with my other hobbies. I already was into painting, sculpting, and sewing and I could use the materials I already had. Of course I had to buy things specifically for this hobby like MSC, but I've also noticed that my dolls are a good excuse to buy things I did not plan to get. "Oh, this is in perfect scale with my dolls. I must buy it." or "I could use this X to make this Y for my dolls."

      I don't think my materialistic wishes have increased by BJDs. BJDs have enabled me to give into those wishes. :sweat
    14. That's pretty much where I was. I had plenty of sewing stuff and art supplies already, I just had to get some things specific to BJDs. Of course, I didn't already have a box of scale furniture for picture props-that's where I've spent a lot of new money. That and wigs and eyes! And my fabric closet changed in some ways-I no longer costume theatrically, so the big lengths of fabric are gone, replaced by lots of bins of smaller pieces.
    15. Nope, I've always been this way. I'm very crafty and have always made things, fixed things, and modded things. I have several other hobbies outside of BJDs, including Steampunk and Bonsai (another expensive one) that require their own special tools and materials. BJDs actually focused a lot of the random artistic things I like to do so, if anything, it makes me feel better about my materialism.

      I'm also not sure that "materialistic" is really the right word. Isn't that more about judging people and being judged and valued by the things you own? Artistic and hobby stuff is more tools and materials that you need for the hobby. You don't need the expensive sports car.... but you can't make doll clothes without buying fabric.
    16. - Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?

      Nope. I've always been pretty realistic about what I can afford to buy or do. I did go out and buy a sewing machine when I got my first doll, but I'd been meaning to get one anyway since I've always wanted to get into cosplaying but suck at sewing (gotta learn/start somewhere!). Other than that though, I've also bought a cool temp hotglue gun, face up supplies and other miscellaneous crafts materials; all of which I bought only because I knew in advance I would use the items and I'd get the desired results when using them (always been into arts and crafts XD). If ever I saw something and wanted it for my doll, but I know I'm waaay out of my depths when it comes to doing it myself - for example, a complicated modification or gorgeous face up - I'm more likely to commission someone else than go out and waste money on buying a dremel or several cans of MSC and face up supplies.

      - If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?

      Doesn't apply to me ~_~

      - Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?

      Oh yes, it definitely does for me. Like I said above, I'm pretty realistic about the things I want, the things I can and cannot do and, of course, the things that make me happy. I don't have to have a super limited, beautifully face-up'd doll to be happy. I'm pretty much happy as can be once I've finished customising my dolls to be the characters they're meant to be. Once that's done, I don't really feel too inclined to add anything extra.
    17. interesting observation! I think "materialism" is as good a word as any here. I think it generally means being fixated on actual real physical things instead of biding ones time in contemplative, spiritual or intellectual pursuits. So BJDs are definitely a materialistic hobby. The only way it would not be is if we "imagined" the dolls rather than owning them!

      Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?

      Most definitely, I've always been arty/crafty and been surrounded by lots of things to do with my hobbies but since finding BJDs I do spend a lot more time on the internet "wish" shopping! Usually, I manage to convince myself I don't need this or that, but, not always!

      If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?

      It is something I find a bit worrying, I have been hugely in debt once in my life and NEVER want to go there again, so at the moment it is something I am monitoring.

      Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?

      What makes me happy is being creative, it's my job but also how I relax, it's a huge part of me. So in part BJDs are bridging both worlds. I feel better about them as they are ongoing, works in progress unlike the Tonners and other dolls I used to collect. Then you had the thrill of buying them but it was just a quick fix and you had to go back for more. Sometimes I am quite happy for hours painting set backdrops to photograph the BJDs in front of on old bits of card board, costs nothing (I already have a lot of paint, cardboard is free from all those d*mn BJD shippers!!!) and keeps me out of trouble ;)
    18. - Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes?
      Sort of, but only in the sense that I want my first BJD as soon as possible. ;) Though, I have been a collector for many years, so really it's nothing new. If anything, it is making me want to sell off other things and get rid of the clutter and make money at the same time!

      - If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way?
      Positive I think. As I said I now want to sell other items to make money (and room) for my doll.

      - Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy?
      Usually I do feel happy to accomplish any goal. I used to just want more and more, but as I have gotten older, I realize more isn't better and does not bring more happiness. Being happy with what you have is a great thing. And I still strive for this. :)
    19. I don't find BJDs to be any more materialistic than any other hobbies. Any hobby that is centered on collecting and/or creating things, involves materials. If it weren't dolls, it'd be comics, or music, or something else that centers around the redistribution of Objects. Focal objects, as well as their peripherals.
      For instance, have you ever been in a band? You'd think music would be a materialism-free thing, but don't kid yourself. Even if your equipment is cheapshit and your van is shared by 11 people and you rehearse rent-free in someone's house, the cost of making & recording & touring & selling music adds up. Really adds UP.
      Or, do you know someone who's into model railroads? You don't just buy the trains; you create whole worlds, which requires tools and scenery and materials and you know you'd be happier if only you had that perfect little Amish-family figure set to finish things off.
      As for art as a hobby, I'm sure I don't need to testify here about the cost & proliferation of art supplies, space, and accessories.
      As far as books go, when you are a passionate reader, I don't think the craving for more books is ever satisfied-- always more material goods to acquire & devour.

      If anything, I think BJDs (like any other hobby) only make me want more TIME! I just want to sit home and play with my toys all day-- but instead, I have to go to work all day. Work, where I get money to buy goods. Goods that are needed or wanted or both. Perhaps when you earn your own money, you're less prone to guilt about what you do with it. A firm understanding of one's own materialism is actually fairly essential to supporting oneself sensibly, & keeping necessaries balanced with hobbies.

      If one is fundamentally crippled by guilt about the material world, one might wish to consider the contemplative life (if one has a monastery/convent conveniently nearby) or join one of those off-the-grid communes. Or get a hobby like yoga, where all you need is 30 minutes of free time & a towel to sit on.

      - Have you noticed that BJD's increased your materialistic wishes? - no
      - If yes, do you experience this in a positive or negative way? - N/A
      - Does accomplishing one of your wishes (besides dolls) increase your happiness or do you feel like you need 'more' to really be happy? - This question isn't related to dolls at all, per se.
    20. Quoted for truth. I want an enormous house some day. It actually has nothing to do with wanting a big fancy house to impress the neighbors or entertain. It has everything to do with wishing I had room for all the art supplies and room to work with 'em. ;)

      I think there are different reasons to want things, and the reasons are relevant. If someone wants a thing simply because they are preoccupied with things to the exclusion of any emotional or spiritual or community endeavors they want to include in their lives, yes, it could be problematic. Beyond that, there sometimes simply are things we need -- and sometimes we need those things just because some other thing depends on them to function properly. (It's a great demonstration of that principle that 'what you own owns you in return', isn't it?)

      Personally, I give art supplies a big pass, often more than I perhaps should, if the state of my living room is any indication. I don't see them as an end unto themselves, but as a tool or raw materials -- a stepping stone to the end I'm reaching for in the form of a finished product. I suppose someone could collect art supplies for their own sake, or have a particular fancy supply item or tool that is collectible itself, just like some people get some kind of fancy power tool to impress their neighbors more than they get it to use it, but I think this is fairly rare. From the OP's post, it sounds like a lot of the things that are required now are in the art supply category.

      For me, it's not 'needing/wanting stuff' that is the issue, so much as why we need or want the stuff. It bears mentioning that I don't think it's wrong to want something simply because you like it and want to have it for its own sake. I do make a distinction, though, between wanting something to possess it and wanting something because it is fuel or a tool used to create something else. In a sense, I think of it like food for the productive creative body -- it's something that is consumed along the way in the process of creation in the same way your breakfast feeds your body to keep you going through the day. It's a raw material.