Dolls vs. your Culture/ethnicity

Mar 1, 2017

    1. This is just a random thought I had, but it occurred to me that many western cultures (comments among family members and friends) consider dolls be be "creepy like Chucky" or "barbies" whereas, in Asia and Europe where dolls were integrated as part of their culture (kokeshi dolls, matryoshka, chinese terracotta soldiers..etc) so dolls are more widely accepted as a hobby or a past time. Just a thought :P
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    2. I'm English and Italian, and many of my family find the dolls creepy. But that said, I wouldn't say collecting dolls as an adult is part of the culture in the UK. It's still quite unusual and a bit quirky. No one seems to mind much, though, and I don't feel harshly judged. I'm sure it's harder for those who really role play or are viewing their dolls as more than mere objects though. I tend to collect them for the craft/aesthetic aspect, I don't really characterise them or anything so I think people are more accepting of them. A lot of people don't understand the BJD culture, but since I'm autistic and I've always collected toys people just accept me as a bit odd!
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    3. I told my boss at work that I collect dolls and showed a few pictures and now she tells EVERYONE about how amazing it is and how creative I am x'D
      I would say that over the years (soon 8) in the hobby it has been more accepted o3o I am from Denmark ~
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    4. I'm Chinese, people in my country collect different kind of dolls e.g. figures, action figures, stuffed dolls etc. Most of my friends think my BJDs are pretty or cute. Male friends prefer my action figures and female friends prefer my BJDs. Yes some people think dolls are creepy, but they are not majority.
      #4 NikiMarple, Mar 1, 2017
      Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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    5. Orginally, I'm South African. No one I've met in South Africa had ever been bothered by my dolls, they either think they are beautiful, or childish. Those who thought they were childish were the minority. Even when they thought the dolls were childish, no one was nasty or rude about it and as soon as you say they're like collector's items, they're opinion flips to the "Oh, they're beautiful!" or "How fascinating!" side of things.
      Most people that I've met in all my life living in South Africa are very curious about 'strange' hobbies, rather than outright judgemental. They've never heard of BJDs but they do know about doll collecting, and since most folks aren't bothered by doll collecting, they don't mind BJDs. It's just the immature male-identified people that give anyone a REAL problem.

      Or maybe I just meet the right people, or choose the right folks to show off my dolls to.
      Then again, I've always been one of the town's eccentrics.
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    6. In Asia I think it is quite normal to have doll collection hobby. However, there always gonna be that one negative person who thinks it's childish to play with dolls but generally people are pretty cool with it.
      Actually my mom and my mom's friend are really into Blythe doll too haha. Few years ago there was Blythe boom in my country. There was hobby doll shop pops up everywhere, it's feature on TV and celebrities carried them around all the time. After that trend, doll collection hobby became kind of more mainsteam and seen as normal hobby I guess?
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    7. I'm in the US and I don't tell my friends about my dolls because they'd find it creepy. I'm a thirtyish woman who has dolls and kids. It's viewed as weird and that I need to grow up since I've a family now.
      I just keep it to myself and only those friends in the hobby know
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    8. I am from Sweden, and i think that dolls are often considered creepy per say. But if i where to collect either porcelain dolls, old barbies or the Tonner dolls it would be more okey. As it turns out most people just laugh because when i tell them i collect dolls, they think cheap barbies etc, but then i show photos of what I do with bjds; faceups, clothes, wigs etc, then they get pretty impressed. So even if my close proximity of friends might not understand or share my doll hobby, they pretty much just accept it. I have other creative hobbies and have always been considered an artfreak and nerd so im used to been made "fun off". Also i find that since my dolls all go in a special theme people not familiar with the hobby find it pretty cool (nordic mythology).
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    9. I live in the US, but come from a deeply religious European Jewish family. My mom thinks that BJDs look like elegant art pieces, but she's not really interested in them beyond that. My brother thinks they're unique, but is otherwise neutral towards them.

      Funnily enough, my future father-in-law comes from an extremely Western, American background and the minute he saw my dolls, he was totally impressed. I thought that was funny because he's sort of a dudebro. I know he's very much in to painting and building things, though, so I think he was able to appreciate their construction. It was still hilarious seeing him fawn over a bunch of cutesy dolls. :XD:
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    10. I'm from Spain and here opinions are so diferent, if we talk about people who likes anime and this kind of things, or for example on the music school I go, everybody loves dolls and that kind of things, and then we have the opposite, people who just thinks that dolls are something stupid and a waist of time and money. But, lucky me, most people around me love dolls, figures and everything (except my father and one of my grandmothers, but they just hate everything XD)
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    11. American. Showing my dolls to family/friends generates nasty comments and references to sex toys and immaturity.
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    12. I'm russian. Well, matryoshkas are part of international stereotype about russian culture (together with balalaika, bears in the street and other funny stuff), not a part of our everyday life really, people don't use to have them at home now. Situations are different in different parts of the country and among different age groups. So I'll try to draw a very averaged picture. Dolls collecting in general can't be considered intagrated into nawadays russian culture either. Being a doll collector is not very commom here, especially BJDs, who are considered creepy indeed. Having a number of static art dolls or china dolls or ah well matryoshkas is indulgently accepted as a hobby. If you collect BJDs in Russia and you are over 20 you're very likely to hear things like: dolls are for little girls, what's wrong with you? why don't you get yourself a baby? and so on :( Many collectors actually keep quiet about their hobby among collegues and sometimes even among older relatives and some friends.
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    13. My family has Mexican roots where decorative puppets, Catrina figurines, artisanal dolls made out of corn husk, etc. abound. I won't generalize and say that everyone loves dolls, because not everyone does. As for my family, they are ok with dolls, ambivalent at times maybe, and that includes bjds. What they probably would hate about them would be their price tag IF I were to tell them the cost of each doll - which is probably why I don't.
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    14. In Western/European cultures, dolls were originally vessels to house spirits and ghosts, so...
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    15. I'm French. I don't know if it's true for ALL the country but usually, this hobby is judged very childish more than creepy. What's creep them out it's the fact that adults "play" with toys more than our doll's old culture, or maybe it's oblivious. Most of people I know don't see the difference between a BJD and a Barbie.
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    16. I live in a very non-diverse town in the US, so any hobby that isn't VERY mainstream here seems odd. People collecting anything (hotwheels, coca cola, etc.) is kind of ... odd. lol.

      Dolls in general tend to be viewed as a children's toy and no other purpose, however there is a market for Barbie collectors. (I think the dolls were originally an adult hobby?) No one thinks that is too strange, other than some people that would wonder, "why spend THAT much money on dolls?" lol

      I honestly can't think of any cultural history to dolls here in the US, since we are like a "new country" that has a mixed culture that just kind of got I dunno... watered down (in my experience.) But again, I live basically in the countryside, pretty boring here.

      I wonder if dolls used for various reasons in a culture's history even has much affect on how they are accepted now? It is a very interesting thought though. After all, there will always be people that think they are cool, or weird. I kind of think it is more about the culture's general attitude, like Asian "polite culture" is different than in other countries. That would have a huge effect on how dolls are accepted.
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    17. i'm middle eastern (so essentially the opposite side of asia than where ball jointed dolls tend to originate) and i find dolls to be a little bit rarer! in that part of asia, it's probably considered uncommon for anyone to collect dolls that's not a little girl.

      there isn't even much in history about dolls in the middle east (apart from the creation of 'fulla'). none of my relatives give me a hard time for it, though, most of them think it's cute. some of the boys don't but whatever haha idc it's not their business! i tend to avoid people who are rude about it so i don't have to put up with that annoyingness.

      i have met a few fellow middle easterners with bjd collections which is always exciting ;D
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    18. I don't know if this means anything, but 90% of the "creepy dolls" (dolls that are intended to look creepy) in Japanese dramas are Western-style. Usually porcelain or vinyl playline dolls. This surprised me, because I would have expected the creepy factor to be within the culture.
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    19. Hey, and I'm from Russia.
      In our country, children are always playing with dolls. Mom always sewed and knitted dolls for children, so many in my heart there is a place for dolls.
      We make beautiful dolls, they are more likely to babies. Nor any "Chacky dolls" are not afraid)
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    20. I'm in a small town in the US, which tends to be a pretty even mix between the sweet friendly people and the loudmouth ignorant rednecks. Most people here think of dolls either as children's toys, something lonely old ladies collect to the point of hoarding, or objects in horror films. I work at Spencer's and sell Chucky dolls, and I have had that "Ewwww, those creepy dolls look like Chucky!" comment, which I found pretty offensive. Honestly, though, I feel like being scared of a hunk of plastic is a lot weirder and more immature than owning said hunk of plastic. >.>

      I don't keep my hobby secret, as I've always been "the girl with the dolls", and my closest family members and friends accept that it makes me happy. That's really all that matters to me, though I do wish the general public were more open minded and interested in the artistic and creative aspects of owning dolls.
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