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If there was another word for BJDs, would they be easier to talk about?

Jul 6, 2011

    1. I looked for simliarities and I didn't find any, so sorry if there's something like this!

      When the word "doll" is used, people generally have a certain picture in their mind of what a doll looks like. Many might picture a Barbie doll or Cabbage Patch Kid etc. If one talks about collecting dolls or asian-ball-jointed dolls, either way its said, "doll" is used, and people might think of that as a weird interest, especially for guys. So what if there was another word for them? As if there was another word that meant only these kinds of BJDs but didn't use "doll" in it at all. Say the word was like... Blah or something (silly I know, work with me here!!)

      Do you think it would be less awkward for you to talk about them to non-doll people if you used that word? Would saying you collect and customize Blahs be less awkward than saying dolls?
    2. It probably wouldn't help at all, really. Because no matter what word you use, without being specific in that these are dolls, people would just get confused. If it's someone you WANT to talk about them with, that you want to share your interest with, what good does it do to confuse them by trying to avoid the word 'doll'? I suppose you COULD say that they're like customizable action figures...but a lot of people will still take that, and turn it back to 'doll'.

      Do our dolls confuse people, for many reasons? Yes. Are they hard for non-collectors to understand? Yes. That's not going to change. And trying to call them something other than 'dolls' will only make it worse. Really, the best way to get over the 'awkward' side of things is to just be a proud owner, and not let others drag you down for having 'dolls'. I'm a doll collector, and proud of it. Yes, I'm a woman who is a doll collector...but I've also started my husband into the hobby. And if they want to start into it when they're older, I'll help my boys start into the hobby, too. If you treat it as something you SHOULD be awkward and embarrassed about, people WILL harass you for it. If you treat it as something you love, and are proud of, and don't let the negativity of people get to you, those people will get bored and stop. For the ones that DON'T stop, just don't talk about your hobby around them. And possibly re-think your friendship (this is harder with family...because you're kinda stuck with them) because if they can't stop being a jerk and making you feel like you need a 'code' word to draw attention away from the 'doll' part of collecting dolls, they probably aren't worth being friends with in the first place.
    3. I meant that this word was understood to be a real word. Not a "codename" that other people don't know the meaning of.
    4. Even if it were considered a "real word" as you call it, it would still technically be a doll, and that would be what it was understood to be. It's like Ayas-Shadow said, it's hard for people outside the hobby to understand what we on "the inside" know: BJDs aren't like Barbie, or the traditional image of a "doll". However, they are still dolls, and it doesn't matter what they're called.
    5. I generally find that when I say 'Asian ball-joint doll' people have a different view on it than when I just say 'doll.'
      I think it has a totally different connotation for non-bjd people; most people I've talked to about it ask 'what's that?' and actually seem interested, rather than seeming condescending or anything.

      But more on the point, since BJDs are dolls, there isn't really any other word that can be substituted. Even thesauri have synonyms for the word doll like these:
      baby, dolly, effigy, figure, figurine, manikin, marionette, model, moppet, puppet
      which aren't much better.

      'Figurines' though, reminds me of my grandmother's Hummel collection... :P
      Maybe you could just use the word collectibles?

      Since I am comfortable with collecting dolls, I don't really think of using other words.
    6. I think what she was trying to say is along the line of like saying " I have a bratz(or barbie or which ever brand)" While people who know what a bratz is understand it is a doll the world doll is not included in it. We call our doll bjd but it still include the world doll in it.

      Then again even if the replacement word for bjd were blah then people would be like: what is it? and then you would say it is a doll from japan/china/korea. Which mean that in the end they would still asociate it with doll.

      I think that in the long run people will know about bjd worth. I mean porcelaine doll for one, are not as cheap as buying a barbie and people know that they are fragile and not meant for the same use as a barbie.
    7. I sort of get what you mean, sometimes I do wonder if BJD were never originally called ball-jointed "dolls" but instead called like, ball-jointed sculptures (?) or ball-jointed figures or some other Japanese coined words like they do with nendoroids, etc, perhaps there would be less negative connotations from the "outside world" about BJDs and the hobby (well at least for my case).

      And in some situations, it might be less awkward too especially when talking to people with zero knowledge in the BJD hobby (e.g. for male collectors "what? why are you playing with girl stuff?" or for older people "what? you're still playing with dolls at your age?!"). But of course, not everyone mind I guess.

      Though personally I have nothing against the use of the word "doll", I find that a few of my friends who know nuts about the hobby tend to see the word "doll" and then have this perception of BJDs as mere kiddy "dolls" (like barbie) that are "just a waste of money". They don't see BJDs as works of art or collector items no matter how I explain to them. The word "doll" didnt stop me from getting into the hobby however but putting up with generalizations from non-BJD collectors, especially friends, is one aspect of the hobby that I'd rather not deal with (but of course, I'd do it all for the love of my little ones!) :)
    8. I think that even if you called it something elaborate, like an "Artistic Model Figure", if someone saw them in person, they'd probably still call them dolls. Unless they looked less doll-like and more figure-like (such as not moving) they'd probably still be referred to as a doll.

      In fact, I think walking around the subject of doll might make things worse. If I didn't know what BJDs were, but I saw someone with one, I would probably think it was a doll, especially if you had a lot of them, no matter what you described them to be. They look like dolls - not like those strange artist figures with a relatively no definition that are made out of wood. I think it would be hard to try to convince someone otherwise.
    9. I see what you mean, but ultimately once the non bjd person saw the bjd or blah the would call it a doll. A great example are Action Figures, many people still see them as dolls even though doll is not how Action Figure collectors describe them.
    10. Changing what you call something doesn’t change what it is and therefore doesn’t change people’s perception of it.
      Like you can call Japanese cartoons anime but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a cartoon.
      It’s the same thing with manga/manhwa they’re still comics.
      Even if it you find a word that makes you more comfortable talking about your dolls, people outside the hobby are still going to see it the same way.
    11. I find that adding the word "art" in front of doll makes people who are outside of the hobby understand it's value. It isn't calling it something different but rather explaining what it is in the simplest way possible.
    12. "Collectables" or "action figures" are often used by adults who have toys. ;)
      I often talk about "hand made artist dolls" when explaining my hobby to people who don't collect dolls, but there is no way to escape from the fact that ABJDs are dolls. I collect dolls and I play with dolls, regardless of how "super special" and expensive they are. Things become less complicated once you accept things for what they are.
    13. I think we cannot really detach "doll" from BJDs since they are technically still under the category of dolls...
      I think that even if we came out with a different name/term for BJDs it won't change a thing since the only way for them to understand and learn the difference of BJD from Barbie dolls or whatever is for them to be educated by explaining to them the whole concept of the hobby...
    14. To be honest I prefer to just refer to them as "dolls" rather than over complicating the matter... I don't think anyone's going to judge an adult (or a 22 year old female, at least) if they say they buy/collect dolls since they'd probably immediately think of fashion dolls, barbies etc and they're pretty acceptable. If people are interested I might go on to explain that they're from Korea, started out in Japan etc, how customisable they are and the like. My friends who've seen them in real life tend to appreciate that there's a lot of workmanship involved without me really having to go into detail. Generally though I don't ever feel defensive... I even refer to them as 'plastic' because I feel like it's a better layman's term than 'resin' for everyday conversation.

      Then again, the fact that I own pretty sparkly dolls is probably no surprise to people who know me haha
    15. well, I thaught of this beafore, as to why don`t these dolls have a more specific name reaather than just stating that they are some asian dolls with ball joints, but when talking about them I allways call them "BJDs" as if this is that word.and since I feel this is their "word" I wouldn`t whant them to be called differently because "BJDs" is short6 and simple.
    16. This. If someone asks me about them, I call them art dolls. If they are actually interested and not just making polite conversation, I explain in more detail. Unless someone asks me, I don't mention them at all.
    17. No, because either people would associate that word with dolls, since bjds are doll, or they wouldn't completely understand it and you'd have to go into an explanation. Personally, I don't find it difficult to say I collect dolls. Usually someone will want to know what an Asian Ball Jointed Doll actually is, and if I tell them about the artistic side of the hobby, they usually get that.
    18. People might think you were being pretentious. I would, to be honest, if someone said to me "I collect hand-made poseable art sculptures". I'd be like "So you collect dolls?"
      Also, using a euphemism might make you look defensive and insecure. The people who want to call you out on owning a doll aren't the people you should be trying to impress anyway. Join the doll-owning pride!
    19. I've always said 'Asian Ball Jointed Doll' which typically leads into wonderful conversation on what they are and how and who makes them. It normally ends up with people joking 'So s/he's not a Barbie/Ken! I like them!' I have no problem say I collect dolls, though, as my Mom and I were both into doll collecting in a different vein. It's a broad band word that encompasses so many different creatures of dolly variety!
    20. I simply say BJD (bee-jay-dee) and no one arrounds have a clue what it may be :-D
      (I only talk about my dolls to the persons I am really close too so I don't mind telling THEM those are dolls but I don't want random people arround to know <.< )