Is it Creepy?

Jan 9, 2018

    1. Is anyone else tired of people telling you that your doll hobby is creepy? Seems like noone in my life is really able to appreciate the artistry and character of the dolls, and it makes me sad because I love them so much and think they're amazing.
      Is it the blank eye holes?
      Is it that you can completely unstring and organize the individual pieces?
      Have horror movies done us wrong for giving dolls a bad name? :0 thoughts?
       
      • x 8
    2. I think it might have something to do with the uncanny valley. The basic idea is that things that superficially appear quite human but are visibly 'off' trigger an unconscious fear/disgust reaction in many people automatically. Your peers might not be able to help their feelings entirely.

      That said, it is completely their choice whether or not they're respectful about it! I personally cannot stand looking at spiders but I wouldn't go telling a tarantula enthusiast that they're creepy or weird for enjoying their fuzzy friends.
       
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    3. Yeah, I had to tell my brother off about it. Every time he sees my doll he tells me they’re disturbing or horrendous. I explained that I get he doesn’t like them, but I’d appreciate him not making those comments because I put a lot of time and effort into customising them and they matter to me. I think he gets it now though. He’s not nasty, and a good brother, but he didn’t get how much the work I put in meant to me.

      I don’t like cats, whereas my brother loves them, but I never make nasty comments! I tend to just shrug and recognise that I can be nice about things even if they’re not my cup of tea!
       
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    4. My brothers' call my dolls creepy but I just point out that I like them and don't find them to be so.

      One thing that pissed me off, though, was that my husband kept saying my doll looked like Garth from Wayne's World (which I don't see) and kept insisting on it and making jokes about it until I finally got upset enough to yell at him about it. It was frustrating because I put a lot of time and effort into making him look cool and he kept being compared to do this dweeby character from a stupid movie. He's been a lot more understanding of the time and effort I put into them since then and doesn't make as many negative comments.
       
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    5. No one calls my dolls creepy. >.> Not a single person has said anything negative about them. I guess its just the company I keep? I'm not certain. I don't take them out grocery shopping, just to doll meets but they are in the background in most of the photos I manage to take so people see them.

      I think at the end of the day some people just don't like dolls. I don't like clowns, never have never will. Even the cutest little clown figurine (or doll for that matter) gives me the creeps. They make me uncomfortable and I think that if I had to sit at a meet with one I might politely voice my distaste for clowns. (Not being rude mind you, perhaps something like "The doll is cute, but I'm not a fan of clowns" especially since we usually all gush over each other's dolls each meet up. I wouldn't want the person who brought the clown doll to think I was ignoring/being mean to their doll.)
       
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    6. Yeah I think people don't realize that how they feel about our dolls and what they say can affect us. We are passionate about our hobby and it's de-motivating to have someone express their distaste or to not take things seriously xox
       
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    7. Once my collegue told me that my dolls are creepy. I asked "why?" and she said it's because they look like alive XD So I was even proud of my dolls looking so realistic, especially cause one of them is minimee.
       
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    8. In all honesty I have been told I was weird and odd many times before, so it doesn't phase me. At first when I got into the whole idea of BJD's I was like "I'm quite older then I used to be when I had dolls", so it just seemed odd to me at first. But then I recall when me and my mom [who is my best friend] playing with dolls and it made me realize she didn't care, so why should I?
       
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    9. Well said. I have 2 daughters, and we all play dolls together, as well as craft things for them, so we all get to feed our creativity. :)
       
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    10. I don't think collecting dolls or playing with them is 'creepy' in and of itself. I have seen, and more often in the bjd side of collecting than in say 'fashion dolls' or 'vintage dolls', a type of collector who modifies their doll to give the appearance of being physically abused or violently damaged in some way. I do find that 'creepy' as it says to me that the person is having emotional or psychological issues that possibly are not being addressed as they should. That issue aside, I think the hobby offers many creative outlets for people. You can sew for the dolls, even make shoes and wigs for them thus learning or expanding artistic skills. Many people enjoy painting faces for their dolls. Obviously doll photography is very popular and is another rewarding experiece for the amature photographer. Why worry about what others think? If you enjoy your dolls that is all that should matter. You don't need anyone's approval to like what you like.
       
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    11. My fiance is fully supportive but a lot of others consider it creepy. I think its a combination or uncanny valley and creepy doll horror films. Making me hate Annabelle even more, and I didnt know that was possible. Our reactions to things are a culmination of our own ideas and standards so pop culture and movies do play a roll in shaping what and how we perceive things.
       
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    12. Thank you for this....now it makes sense and when people tell me my dolls are creepy, I can tell them that this is what they are suffering from.

      its understandable since I think robots are creepy. Some people think its weird and some don't. In my experience my artistic friends think its more cool than my more "conventional" friends. Horror movies don't help haha. My boyfriend hates Chucky. He only is ok with my dolls because they don't look like him
       
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    13. I think part of the problem is that it's a popular thing for people to freely shout about how they hate clowns and dolls and have the people around them agree, not challenge it or think it's cool. So people just automatically blurt it out because it's a ingrained/ pre-programed sentence which has been reinforced by 'positive' social feedback. Unfortunately this is a common issue due to the brain being lazy and it's easier to parrot stuff than to think about something first. It also doesn't help that social media encourages people so say every little thing they think the skill of knowing what's okay to say and what shouldn't be said is getting eroded (or not learnt at all!).

      But yes, I think the things that bothers a lot of people is the 'staring eyes' which I think is understandable discomfort from a biological and social standpoint. I know due to extreme self consciousness issues; I got so bad I couldn't cope even with having the eyes of soft toys or posters 'watching me'. So it's a bit of a testament to how much better i'm doing with inanimate objects having eyes that I have serval shelfs of plushies, figures and bjd dolls which don't bother me. But I would totally get someone else finding the eyes a bit too much ^^
       
      #13 Epicari, Jan 9, 2018
      Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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    14. Definitely not! I understand that horror movies merely take advantage of fears that already exist -- in this case, the fear of something that is neither totally human nor comfortably fits in the category of "object" -- but I think these things definitely influence people, especially the younger generations who grow up forming their first perceptions based on these movies. I occasionally tutor a second grader and he basically thinks of clowns as another horror movie monster, like zombies and werewolves. He didn't even realize there was a time when people found clowns charming and fun!
       
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    15. I'm pretty thick skinned about my hobby, as I've been the "weird kid" since childhood, and mostly don't care what others think. However, I find "that's so creepy" to be the most insulting thing anybody has said to me about my hobby, even worse than saying my doll is ugly or childish. I'm not really even sure why, but I hate it. It makes me feel like they're trying to say something is wrong with me, or that they find me disgusting for having a hobby I enjoy.

      It's times like that when I need to stop and think about why they think it's creepy. And I guess seeing something with human form, especially in a baby or toddler size, missing eyes, with an open skull and in scattered pieces probably is pretty disturbing to people outside of the hobby who have mostly only seen children's toys types of dolls. That probably could make things a little more difficult for them, so if they're calling my disassembled or unfinished dolls creepy, I can justify it. They'd probably also find it creepy if their child tore apart their baby doll and was playing with it in pieces.

      But the movie thing..."Ewwww, it looks like Chucky!" "*SCREECHES* Annabelle!" "That thing will kill you in your sleep!!"....those comments are the ones that infuriate me because they just sound so childish and ignorant to me. I wouldn't insult your toddler because of Children of the Corn, don't compare my doll to some horror movie doll. (Unless it's like "Hey, isn't that the kind of doll from Doll Master?" but it's never that....>.> ) If my dolls were horror/gore themed, I could understand it, but they're not, so I just find it incredibly rude. If it comes from a stranger, I just roll my eyes and ignore them, but from friends or family, I'll ask them why they feel the need to criticize things that are important to me, when I don't insult their hobbies or belongings. Usually, they do apologize and understand after I explain that doll art is a hobby like sports or model figures or gaming. They don't have to like my dolls, but it is important for them to respect me as a person and not belittle me for having a niche hobby.
       
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    16. Eh, I do get that a lot. It's fine. Dolls aren't for everyone, BJD or otherwise, and I can respect that they disturb some people.

      However, I thought about it for a bit, and I think the reasoning for this can be broken down into:
      1) appearance of the doll itself
      2) misunderstanding of the doll hobby

      Most people aren't scared of, say, Barbies. Why? There are many answers for this, but I'm going to focus on this: exposure. Good old Babs has been around since 1959, and she's still very easily found in stores internationally. Millions of children have played with her. She's a part of pop culture and so ubiquitous she's unthreatening in her familiarity.

      You can use many other examples in place of Barbie, but my point is that while BJDs are most definitely dolls, they look different from the type of dolls your average person is most familiar with...and therefore, perhaps not the type of doll your average person is comfortable with. They also don't hit any nostalgic notes for people either, unless it's to conjure up their memories of Grandma's creepy cabinet full of large dolls with vivid inset glass eyes and moveable bodies...wait... ;)

      Primarily, a doll is an object for children to either nurture or play fantasy with. So if you're an adult and you own dolls, people think there's something a little off. A doll is not socially acceptable as a creative outlet past a certain age, and an average person does not think "art" when they think of "doll."

      I believe doll collecting is seen as a strange hobby because it appropriates an item almost everyone is familiar with and uses it in ways that aren't consistent with societal standards. How many times have you been asked, "But what do you DO with them?" I don't think this is a rude question, but merely an honest one. Each person is measuring their own experiences and perceptions about dolls against yours and it can be hard to qualify. Some people have negative reactions. It's okay. Keep your head level and continue to love your BJDs!
       
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    17. I think more flack I have gotten is the ideas I have come up for with my dolls (namely them having politics and wars, if one could call them posing for pictures and badmouthing eachother a war) at first it took on silly over the top angles but now it is more mirroring real world things (namely there is a Doll Confederacy and a Doll Union).
      Someone called one of the photos a "Doll White Supremacist Gathering" despite none of the dolls being white
       
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    18. there is one friend who said that she's afraid, and dolls are creepy... but she keeps on commenting on my doll photos. I know I would block her for the benefit of both of us... but, she could do it herself. I also try to understand that maybe it was not her intention to sound insensitive or a bit rude so I just ignore it most of the time. I don't know what are her intentions tho. Is she trying to pass her point of view to me by commenting that dolls are creepy on every picture I post?
       
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    19. have you maybe thought she said she's "afraid" but secretly interested? Maybe she just needs some more information?