Dolls Portraying a Message

Feb 22, 2010

    1. This might have been brought up before. If this is the case please delete topic. <3

      Every day in the real world people have different ways of getting their points across about different things. People get together and form riots and protests, others get support and create holidays or events, some make ads or campaigns to get the word out. Either way, no matter how they do it, people want their message to be heard and known some how. I guess that's just the way human beings are. We want to be heard, not ignored.

      But I suppose my question is, does any one happen to do this with their dolls? Not like the ideas mentioned above, but in little ways. If you support gay marriage do you have your dollie get engaged to another of the same sex? If you support or disprove of something do you make clothes for your doll saying so? Do you give them a tattoo? Maybe something else. If so, what is that thing? It's not exactly huge, but it's little and it does show your support one way or another and it gets your feelings across. As long as it's not cramming your beliefs in someones face there's nothing wrong with it.

      When I'm done paying off my new girl, a DOC Bee-A, I plan on writing 'TWLOHA' on her lower back. It stands for 'To Write Love On Her Arms'. It is a movement aimed to find hope and help for people dealing with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. It's something small, but to me it means more then most people can possibly imagine. I've been a supporter of it since I started high school and found out about it three years ago but I didn't realize how big it was until I lost one of my best friends to a possible suicide just four months ago. The doll itself is actually in memory of this same friend. , in a way,Desiree, and it's who I'm basing and naming the doll after. So yeah, the six words may not seem all that important but they show something I support and believe in. But the doll itself isn't for just that set purpose or cause. She's still for me to enjoy after all, just with a little something extra.

      Does any one else do this same thing? Maybe not quite like that, but in a different way or a different cause.

       
    2. I think all dolls have a bit of our personalities injected into what they wear or what they represent to us and the reasons. My dolls dress the way they do because I like the styles, though the character created for them does dictate a bit of how it is executed and the colors chosen, etc. I wouldn't say any of my dolls represent a specific cause or movement, but you can usually tell how an owner feels about certain subjects by the way they develop the characters of their dolls, whether they are gay or straight, equal numbers of both, whether they have major problems or not. You can generally tell what a person values that way, even if the doll itself does not have a demonstration sign in their arms. Granted, just because the doll may have something, like a tattoo, doesn't mean the owner does or ever would get one, but allowances for time periods and characters having different value systems can be made.

      My dolls are character dolls, so much of their outward appearance is dictated on what's in character for them, but part of me comes out in that too. I like making cool clothing that is mostly modest (sleeves, dresses down to the knee, no belly showing, not overmuch cleavage). Now, one of my dolls has a Greek peplos dress and it's sleeveless and sheer, but my preference of style is still there in the other clothing. My doll dresses in what is appropriate for the time period and style she is in at the given time (I mess around with different time periods in roleplaying, so she jumps around a lot).

      Mostly what I'm getting at is that the answer to this is yes and no. The dolls do have a lot of what I value in them, but what I value does not completely dictate what they have, if that makes sense. I do not know if I would make a doll in someone's memory or not, or if I'd have a doll that'd specifically be to represent a cause. I've been touched by many causes and many people that are gone, but I prefer to honor both in my own way.
       
    3. I think one would have to walk a fine line between "This is important to me" and "preachy." In the case of a tattoo associated with a specific cause, does the doll simply have a tattoo with significance to the owner? Or does the owner take every chance they get to talk about what the tattoo means, including linking to associated web pages?

      Or, imagine you had a doll whose character was 'vegan.' (Quotes because it's a doll character, not because I don't believe in vegans! Ha ha.) Do you simply never pose that doll with meat related products or wearing leather clothing? Or does every gallery post for that doll involve a long spiel about why meat is murder and contain links to PeTA? I'd say it would be especially difficult if you were involving it in photo stories. To keep up with my example, where would you draw the line between a doll that 'lectures' other dolls about the horrors of eating meat, and letting your personal feelings about the subject turn your doll into a resin soap box?
       
    4. What DeadLegato said. *A*; I don't want to do that.
      Like you said, Zettai, it's hard to see the reason for a message until you experience its origin. I think this is why it doesn't really help to "preach" about messages.
      But it's nice to incorporate a sweet and sincere message like yours.:aheartbea
      If I incorporate a message.. it will be sneaky and subconscious. >__>.... but not in the brainwash way. <__<...;;;;; Just in the "see this subject in a positive light" kind of way. (This is a good way to portray lots of things in art though, not just messages. Subtle lighting and stuff too. Subtle design. etc. Subtlety is good. It's not about being manipulatively sneaky, is what I'm trying to say here. lol.)
       
    5. Kind of ... I think even subconciously dolls portray a message. For example, yes my dollies are, I guess you could say gay. And yes, I support gay marriage, etc. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I made them have a certain sexual preference for the purpose of portraying a message. It just sort of happens ;)
       
    6. I suppose they portray a message about what I like, but as far as having them go around promoting specific causes or groups, I'm not really interested in that, either as an aspect of character development for the doll, or in my own life. If I feel strongly about some cause I'm more likely to join an organization myself or send an organization a check, but I'm not going to make up my doll like a promotional device (especially when I don't really show my dolls to others, what is the point?) and I don't tend to go around promoting the group to other people either. I've worked for years in a very ideologically diverse environment and the cause I think is super important might be anathema to the person down the hall, yet we're both nice people and have to get along at work so...I just do my thing and she does hers.
       
    7. Like what has already been said, there is a fine line between sliding it in and cramming it into others' faces.

      I personally see nothing wrong with associating your beliefs with your dolls. There is no difference in having a rainbow flag hanging on your wall and having a doll wearing a rainbow tee..

      When I finally get my boy I do plan on giving him a tattoo..but I doubt it will be anything to do with what I believe in..it'll be more of something to represent his personality. If I wanted to preach about what I believe is wrong or right (for instance I am a HUGE anti-abuse preacher) I'll do it when I'm not in my happy doll zone. Dolls are my hobby..a way to get away from everything else. I deal with this enough in real life..my poor dollies don't need to be subjected to it.

      HOWEVER if someone does choose to use their dolls in that way..to preach their beliefs..then more power to them. I don't have to read their posts..there is a reason there is that happy little "<--" button on the top left of my screen. ;)
       
    8. I recall that a few months ago there was a small trend of taking pictures of your dolls (tinies mostly) with pink as a part of a breast cancer awareness movement here on DoA. I thought it was awesome and very touching, seeing that many members of my family are cancer survivors.

      I think that what you are doing in remembrance is a great thing.

      Personally, my approach is more akin to what others have said. I have strong beleifs that a reflected in my doll's personality and appearance, quite simply. And Beaumonde is right. The back button is there for a reason!
       
    9. For the most part, I let my doll's characters develop themselves. I write a lot of little short character-building pieces for my dolls, and that's where their quirks and backstories and beliefs come from. I am a supporter of GLBT rights, and Anya is currently engaged to a girl-type, but I don't think these two really follow one another. Her fiancee's owner and I didn't decided to throw the characters into that level of commitment for our own beliefs, but because it was the right time for the relationship, if that makes sense. I also have a doll whose character suffers from gender identity issues, and while I myself have struggled with gender identity, Thalatta's issues are very much of a different kind, and stem from the character's backstory and hir crazy, crazy mother.

      On the flip side of the coin, my roommate has a doll who's character is pretty extremely homophobic. It doesn't reflect on my roommate's beliefs; he's a very big supporter of GLBT rights. But in the world the character comes from, it's very frowned upon for humans to engage in non-heterosexual relationships because human lifespans are very short there (most people are lucky to live to see 30), and both birth rate and infant survival rate are very, very low. So for that character, his being homophobic is a product of his environment and not knowing any better. (He is also so far in the closet he has tea with Aslan, but that's not the point.)

      Basically, nk-chan had it kinda right for my situation -- if I'm portraying a message with my characters and the dolls that represent them, it's a purely subconcious thing. But if someone wants to use their doll as a platform for expressing their beliefs and positions, go for it! If that's how you enjoy dolls, then far be it from me to tell you you're doing it wrong.
       
    10. Well, as for Yumiko and Zetto, they will likely forego getting married in favor of a "Commitment Ceremony" like what is left for gays and lesbians now that California passed Proposition 8. (Or Prop H8 as a lot of us call it.) This reflects my own feelings...even if I meet Mr. Right tomorrow I will not marry until everyone can marry. I am not going to claim a "special right" that 10% of the California population is closed off from. DOMA and Prop H8 has to go. Period.
       
    11. I am finishing up my green BBB Bei, who is a tree nymph doll with a leaf wig. I want to give her an initials scar, cause I am a major tree hugger and I think it is awful how ppl carve into living trees for entertainment, when their 'I heart so and so' usually does not last. Their destruction lasts a lot longer than that.

      However, I think that in dolls, a good message is not in your face as well. Just like in really great literature, the message is there, but you can still read and enjoy the book without realizing or ignoring it. I usually cannot stand books that are wayyy to obvious in message. Give me a fantasy author any day who shows details of human nature and our world without even using our world! Of course some - like Narnia - try WAY too hard to do this and fail as it is way too obvious and obnoxious.
       
    12. Uh, hm, well. I agree with raising awareness, but I don't agree with preaching. To mention your cause in every little post about your dolls is a bit too much- it kind of hinders you, anyway, because if people see something too much they get bored of it and switch off from it. The only way I've found to properly raise awareness in art is either to create one really sharp, shocking image that doesn't cater to cliche or stereotyping, or turn it into satire to draw people to your cause by comedy, while still presenting the facts of the matter.
       
    13. I'm ok with any of it as long as someone isn't jamming something into my face and preaching it to me, as others have said.

      Well ppl go around wearing red clothes on "Wear Red for Heart Awarness Day" and ppl go "Pink" for breast cancer. Not many ppl find those offensive on a person so I guess I wouldn't on a doll. I posted a picture in my Flickr of my doll bald with a pink ribbon and quoted it as "Breast Cancer Awareness". Sure i'm posting it to spread a message. I'm even a little hesitant about putting up a picture of a doll bald because i don't want ppl to think I am "making fun" of ppl with breast cancer because i am not. In fact it is even titled "Bald is Beautiful"!

      Like others have also said i have already seen my doll create her own independent personality from what I though she would be. If a doll wants to support a cause sure. I just won't be preachy about it and I would expect others to be just as polite.

      Then that being said i find more or less the owners to be preachy than the dolls.
       
    14. I've never done this with my dolls, I guess... though if someone else did I'd evaluate it like I would any photoshoot/story. Even if it was a cause I didn't start out being fabulously interested in, I could see how a compelling and thoughtful portrayal of the character's situation might change my mind. If it was sincere and not too heavy-handed it could be really cool.

      Raven
       
    15. I have done some things that show my dolls portraying a message, however I try to keep it simple and free of preaching. I normally do things like have them wear buttons that reflect a particular belief. For example I have a doll whose character is vegan and politically aware and she often wears a button that says "vegan" or "no war"
       
    16. My girlie kind of reflects my views- not in any way to preach or anything, just in subtle ways that I'll probably never bring up. She's loosely based off of a combination of me and my ideal best friend, so she's a lot like me. She's straightedge and a socialist, pro-gay rights, and a vegetarian, all like me. She's also, like your doll, an activist for suicide prevention- that's her pet cause. It's mine as well, although it shares the spotlight with gay rights, something she's bit more casual about. She's pansexual, and while she cares about the cause, she's just a bit more chill about the whole thing.
       
    17. I think it all depends on what 'message' is being portrayed on a doll. A sweet message such as yours, I don't think anyone would get offended by it.
      As others have said, Portraying a message with a doll would probably be most successful done in a subtle way. If you aggravate or annoy people with a message, they won't be listening to what you have to say.
      I'm a vegetarian, and so is my doll Ren's character. Sure if I could find/make a Peta hoodie for her I would, but (if i had a camera) I wouldn't start spamming pictures of her in it.
      I think the like should be drawn (at least here) at Political messages, or any other messages that can get people angry.
       
    18. I have a severe disability and part of it is that I'm visually impaired and use mobility aids to get around. I decided I wanted a punk rocker girl who used a wheelchair because a lot of times I notice people tend to expect people who use chairs to be kind of "square"

      So there was Nuri...but she became her own doll...and she actually is a totally different mold and quite a different character now as she's evolved.

      I have a friend w/the same disability I have and she is actuallly missing one of her eyes...I was going to have her be a regular Pukisha (she's a cat fanatic) but I found a Basilah Amir sleeping plate and that was my little Ioma.

      I don't see dolls with disabilites much besides the occasional missing appendage...and I see few people with disabilities on TV and in magazine ads.

      Maybe my doll will make someone think a little bit about the ways people are different...and the ways that make people the same.
       
    19. I'm a great believer in show, don't tell, when it comes to storytelling.
      Political issues come out in a picture, or in stories, just as a natural product of what you believe. Folks here post stories with dolls which bring up gender identity questions vs. crossdressing, and they're perfectly willing to educate people on their opinion if questions come up.
      DOA has lots of photoshoots which describe loving relationships of all kinds, both brand new and longer-term. There's enough good storytellers round here that you also see the flip side, where somebody's a jerk and others where people are mistaking things and behaving badly (and maybe what might improve the situation) but that's not the typical assumption.
      I'm afraid some of my pictures may come across as "radical and in your face" because the truth is so obvious in the way the characters interact. All I have to do is show that the three characters are touching comfortably, as people do who are intimate with one another, and you know I may spout off on poly political issues as well as gay ones. (And no, I don't consider myself an expert at all.)
      ReineDeLaSein14's pictures of a doll in a wheelchair would be another great example. It would show this is just who they are, you don't have to say much--but she could be the kind of character who does things like going to handicapped events and political rallies and chaining herself together with other wheelchairs at protests. (Yes, people do that, too.)
      Showing political activism can be shown as a human thing which regular people do with their limited time and energy, too, because it's that important to them. It might be something which a particular character does--they're never home very long, they're always running about organizing meetings and doing phone banking and trying to get people to show up for events.
      Other causes you're eager to talk about (such as vegetarianism) aren't as easily put forth in a photostory, but it can still be done if it's a conversation that suits the characters and makes other points about their interactions. Roommates might have that typically furious argument over the sushi about overfishing of tuna (the food fight messing up the walls is a little harder to show, but hey...)
      Another good one for that would be one character teaching another how to cook, and including why they use some things and not what so-and-so's mum down the street always gets them. It could be very light, and more about laying out a recipe that's easy to use, for instance.
      Aside from photostories or discussions like this, you can start a BJD Games thread with a recipe swap showing the doll making the food, for instance. (I'm sure somebody's doll will end up head-down in the brownie bowl, but we assume that'll happen...)
       
    20. I am visually impaired also and actually do function quite well without much extra aid but I agree with u I am a character that I am trying t ofind the perfect on for because she's my little visually impaired girl that i love much. But I loved u how u put your words together in this ...its fantastic.