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Is your doll a shield for you?

Nov 12, 2011

    1. Recently I came into a new view in life...everything I had liked before (anime, BJD's, lolita)...just in one day changed. I found that those things were shields hiding the true me. My dolls were like my cover...they would keep secrets and I thought they were always there for me, I could dress them and make them look beautiful....something that I did not always feel (even though I know I am so beautiful...we all are). My lolita clothes were more in a sense a way for me to be noticed...for people to see me, since I felt I did not feel the love that we all yearn for (even though it was right in plain sight). I learned in one day how much these things were not the real me. I learned that what really matters in life is being love, giving love---to everyone.

      I learned that material objects can NOT fulfill you--even though in the past I thought I knew this, I would still see myself wanting things I could not afford (basically more BJDs and lolita). I learned I would much rather spend time with nature and my close friends with the same views on life...I'd rather have few things and be just filled with love than to have material objects that can not be taken with me to the next life.
      I would rather feed starving children and help people than to waste money on a doll. Well if you do have one....why do we always need more? I always wanted another when the one I had was fine....I did not need them to survive. God alone could fulfill all my needs.


      How do your dolls make you feel? Deep deep down what reason are they in your life?
      Are they really there just to look at?---or are they covering you too?
       
    2. Hmmm. My take on epiphanies - if your life has been total s$#t then that attitude (total reversal of everything, etc) is healthy. If you had a decent life & you've just figured out that maybe you need to get out a bit more, or get more involved ethically, socially, whatever - something I see a LOT of BTW - well that's incredibly wonderful - but if you then turn your back on everything you've done & been your whole life, well I'm a bit sceptical. Just saying.... Cause I've had a few cleansing moments in my life but I STILL love the same things I've always loved (been interested in the same stuff for years). Just saying.
      But if purging helps you, go for it. Material objects are just things after all.
       
    3. I think that it's healthy to examine WHY we do things. Your introspection is really fascinating and powerful to me.

      I came to some similar conclusions BEFORE I got my doll. I didn't want to continue amassing clutter. As a result, I asked a lot of hard questions and got rid of a lot of stuff. When I saw the doll, I had to consider the fact that it could add to the useless stuff in my closet. I ended up waiting a long, long time to make sure it was the correct purchase for me.

      Does it act as cover? Yes, somewhat--but I think it's a helpful one. This may sound pretty dramatic, but I don't have anything to look forward to in my life. I desperately needed some goals. Working on this doll gave me a long-term project. Due to my low pay, I can only buy supplies in tiny little spurts. It's like miniature Christmas when they come in. I feel very good about planning the look of this doll, working on this doll, learning how to sew clothes for this doll. I even keep a "doll journal"--I examine a lot of the great posts on this forum and write down tips and suggestions for its upkeep and future face-up.

      In short, it gives me goals and it distracts me from some painful realities in my life. No, this isn't always a good thing, but I feel this is best for me at the moment.

      I think that this could only become a problem for me if I started buying lots of dolls on impulse.
       
    4. Sounds like someone drank the Kool-Aid. I don't think there is anything wrong with playing with or collecting dolls if it makes you feel a positive emotion. Obviously, it made you happy in the past before your...enlightening...They make me genuinely happy, and if "God" has a problem with that, perhaps he should not have wired me to be so inclined. I do not deign to know what happens in the afterlife, but I am going to do the things that make me happy here in the material world while I can, and if "God" has a problem with this, then "Heaven" is appearantly not for me, as I obviously could not be happy there. I am truly saddened when someone gives up something that made them happy after...being convninced...that the source of this happiness is shallow and materialistic. As long as you feel content and fulfilled, it matters not what I think, though, correct? Happy trails to you on your new life and point of view. May true happiness find you!
       
    5. A human being needs little more than basic shelter, food and clothing to survive. Does that mean we should all give away all our posesssions and live as hermits in caves? Well hey, if that's the way you roll, go for it, personally I rather like my central heating, 3 square a day and warm clothing tho so I'll be over here, wasting my hard earned money on a hobby that brings me joy, happiness and an escape from the everyday life that does it's best to lay me low.

      I'm getting rather tired of the general implication that hovers around threads like this that we should all be living in a perpetual state of guilt for working hard and having a hobby that is expensive. Life is a fleeting, difficult thing and my dolls are a constant source of joy to me within it. I refuse to feel guilt for that when I, and I should imagine the majority of other doll owners, are honest, good, hardworking people that worked their arses off to pay for their fun time in their undoubtedly equally hard lives, that's not a "cover", that's the seeking of happiness within an increasingly harsh reality and needs no more explanation than that as far as I'm concerned.
       
    6. Amen to that! Beautifully worded.
       
    7. Why do people always go "feed starving children or get a doll" or "adopt a pound puppy or get a doll" or something to that effect?

      It's possible to both collect dolls and donate to charity.

      We don't need Internet, TV, and tons of other modern amenities to survive either, you planning on cutting that?



      My dolls are one of my creative outlets. Living isn't that much fun without art.
       
    8. My doll is a doll that sits on a shelf, a bit like those books or that painting over there.

      I have a life, I live it, I do what I want; there are things I like, there are things I need but I dont spend that much time thinking about it, I just get on with things.

      I dont get this guilt complex rubbish associated with dolls or this puritanical divide of material versus spiritual. Your doll can not physically stop you from going outside and being in nature or hanging out with friends, if it does, there is a problem and not 'a shield'.
       
    9. Happy. They're there because they're pretty. I'm not deluded into thinking they're people, or that they'll give me "love" or affection or someone to talk to in place of actual people. They're pretty toys that look nice on my shelf and that I can dress up in miniature versions of things I can't afford in my size. (I get to enjoy the clothes and shoes and I don't even have to worry about damage, or wearing out/growing out of them! :D)

      This. I am not going to go around self-flagellating because I have one main thing-ONE thing-that I spend a bunch of money on sometimes. Making oneself suffer or denying oneself things one desires is not a sign of being superior, it's just denying oneself happiness. I do not feel guilty about all the poor starving children that are getting maybe ten dollars less because I chose to buy one of my dolls a shirt. I have not once robbed orphans or starving puppies for funds to buy dolls. I was working full time and earned the money I used to buy my dolls. There is no reason to feel bad about spending my money, which I earned, on what pleased me. No-one else needs to, either.

      Obviously, it's because one can only do one or the other. It's entirely impossible to give to charities or organisations one believes in whilst also buying things one wants for oneself.:roll:


      Also this. Your dolls are not physically restraining you from going outside and associating with friends. They are not stopping you from helping the starving children or showing love to people. The dolls are pretty objects, not people who are taking your time away from others, and if a person is having serious issues with valuing dolls over people or finding themselves unable to tear themselves away from their toys and go out with friends, the problem lies with them and not the pretty hunks of resin on their shelf. It is perfectly possible to be the sort of person who has people they care about, who helps others, who donates to charity or volunteers, who has spiritual beliefs that inform said charity work and other things, and who also buys and owns dolls.
       
    10. You can have your opinion but such remarks about the "Kool-Aid" and putting God in quotation marks instead of stating that the OP believes in a God (it doesn't mean you have to) is seriously rude and condescending.
       
    11. How do your dolls make you feel?

      Joy, self-worth, happiness.

      Deep deep down what reason are they in your life?

      Because I get a sense of achievement when I improve in my customisation skills, a sense of joy when I look at them, a self-esteem boost when someone compliments them and a great number of friends with whom I share the hobby.

      Are they really there just to look at?---or are they covering you too?

      Yes, they are just there to look at, and no I don't believe they alter my personality in any way. They are my companions, my confidants. Always there for me when I am upset, unable to give me any negative feelings only positive ones. I do not feel guilt for being happy with them, nor do I feel guilt about the money I spend on them. They make me happy, and I give the charity on a regular basis. I actually donated £200 in September to a charity - the entirety of the profits from a raffle of a BJD I did. Did I have to? No! I could have kept that £200 for myself, but without BJDs I wouldn't have had that money to give to charity. I chose to do that because I wanted my hobby to be something I can feel good about as well as something that I enjoy. It gave me a feeling of appreciation for their value that I was able to sell so many tickets to be able to give a really good sum to a fledgling and worthy charity. And I love the fact that I can do that with this hobby.

      Do I think that I couldn't survive without them? Of course not. But do I think my life would be worse without them? Yes, I believe so. Without the dolls I wouldn't have made some of my best friends. Without the dolls I wouldn't have been able to improve my artistic skills, nor would I have had any ambition to do so. Without the dolls my life would have gone in a very different direction.

      In a sense they have actually saved my life on many occasions. They helped me see that my partner was controlling and so I was able to get out of the relationship before it was too late. They have given me joy when I was in despair, in my darkest moments I have been able to be uplifted by them. They have introduced me to some of the most wonderful people in the world, people who have made me feel like I am worth so much to them that I believe them.

      Dolls are worth so much more than money. They are so much more than simply materialistic things. At least, they are to me. If that makes me a lesser person then I am glad. I would much rather be a happy heretic than a miserable saint :)
       
    12. My dolls make me happy. They're awesome toys. I have no idea what they would be shielding me from. They're certainly not going to stop any bullets. Or are you trying to proselytize here on DoA and mean are they shielding us from some bogus religious epiphany?

      I don't believe in an afterlife. I focus on the one life I get to live and experience and consider it a waste to spend your time worrying about things that will happen after you die because, well, you're dead. End of story. It's also a complete logic fail to think that just because someone buys themselves things they enjoy that they also cannot be compassionate beings who help others. Why the two are mutually exclusive in these arguments I have no idea, but it comes up repeatedly. I work hard to earn my money and feel no guilt spending my money on me and things that make me happy. I also do what I can to help the causes that are important to me.
       
    13. I think it's fair enough, you're allowed to 'go off' things, get bored of them, get new hobbies etc and if you find that your hobby is preventing you from doing other things you want to do then maybe there is a problem. I think a lot of people use dolls to express their creativity not to suppress it or use them to hide behind.
      I agree with previous comments, why is there the view that if you own dolls you therefore are materialistic and don't support charities etc? I know I do voluntary work and I can think of other doll owners who do great work in their (non-doll related) community. This has been said many times but should we stop people buying tvs, cars, designer clothes, handbags and other things we don't NEED or 'waste money' having 'expensive' hobbies even if they bring us joy?
      You say that material objects (ie dolls) cannot fulfill you but I think they can, if they bring happiness, beauty, creativity etc to your life how is that not fulfilling? They don't prevent you from having friends, relationships, venturing outside etc so why would you feel you can't do those things because you have dolls?
       
    14. I'm not going to feel guilty because I joined this hobby. I'm not going to feel guilty just because I work hard for money that I want to spend on hobbies that bring me joy. I have spent thousands on video games, drawing supplies, and I will likely spend thousands more on these dolls. But I have in turn donated thousands to charities, anytime I use my debit card, I am donating extra to the Humane Society, and I have donated clothes and toys to the Salvation Army for years. And this year I applied and began work as a seasonal bell ringer for the Salvation Army's Christmas fundraiser.

      I have just proven that one does not need to make a choice on whether to give to less fortunate people, or buy something for themselves. You shouldn't have to feel that having things makes you less of a person. And if you believe that you have to make that choice or feel that way, then perhaps you should reevaluate yourself a little more.

      The point is that I am not "wasting money on a doll." I am investing in something that is going to bring me just a little bit of solace in a chaotic and miserable world. I'll admit, that I can be guilty of materialism from time to time, but I invest time in the friends that care enough to let me, I work to make my life fulfilling, and I give to those in need when I can. This hobby is not a cover, it is way for people to be creative and have fun. If that isn't what this hobby did for you, then it's good that you admitted that and are working to make yourself better... however, it is not the case for *all* of us, and that needs to be understood.

      I'll happily give to make someone else a little happier... but in turn, I am no less deserving of my own happiness just because I have it a little better. We *all* deserve to be happy, and with the way the world is, we desperately *need* some happiness in our lives...

      The single doll(head) I have already makes me happy. It cements the fact that I have taken a dive into a new artistic medium. It makes me see new paths I can take in my art, gives me something to look forward to. They are in my life for that same reason. Once my boy is whole, I plan to use him as a model, to hone my skills in drawing. I've also considered taking up sewing and painting because of these dolls.The possibilities alone excite me.

      These dolls are not covering me. I will never believe that they alone make my life, because they don't. Sure they will bring something positive into it, but I've lived just fine without them, and if the day comes that I abandon this hobby, I will go on just as I did.
       
    15. This is going to sound harsh, but that entire paragraph pretty much reeks of 'holier-than-thou'. Also, by that logic, the rest of us should feel guilty for owning/buying dolls? Sure, you can't take them with you when you die, but you can sure as heck enjoy them while you're alive. Besides, what's the point of dwelling on that? Why take the fun out of life? I absolutely adore my hobbies, and I honestly see no reason to give them up. I have a job, I'm very careful with my finances, and my owning dolls certainly isn't hurting anyone or depriving anyone (including myself) of anything. Also, it's all well and good to want to feed starving children and help people and such, but it IS quite possible to do those things and still have hobbies and 'material' interests.

      My dolls make me happy. If they didn't, I wouldn't have them. They represent original characters of mine, and just simply having them around is a huge source of inspiration for my writing. Also, they're a great creative outlet. Sewing for them, taking pictures, face-ups, etc. I love my dolls, and I'm not going to feel guilty for having them.
       
    16. If you want to help people, you could always enjoy the doll for a while, and then sell it (assuming someone will buy it) and give the money to charity. This way you might end up giving a lot more money to charity than you would normally.

      How do your dolls make you feel? Deep deep down what reason are they in your life?
      Are they really there just to look at?---or are they covering you too?

      Like someone else said, buying dolls gives me something to look forward to. After the initial sense of excitement wears off, a perfect doll gives me a vague sense of contentment every time I look at it. I don't buy dolls to get "fulfillment" though. They really are just something to look at. Dolls are a very, very small fraction of my life. I think people may start to have problems if their dolls are all they think about and they lose interest in everything else. Maybe in that instance I can see how they could be "covering" someone.
       
    17. That comes across as a bit condescending. You would rather do these things as opposed to being me, a doll collector, because I don't have my priorities straight by your definition? Consider the other person's side before offering judgement.

      I have 5 pets that are all shelter rescues or nursed from death when the vet gave up on them and passed on to me to help them die. I cared from them and am happy to say they are healthy, thriving, and so very loving.
      I have two younger siblings who were adopted from the state because they were sexually and mentally abused by their father. I love and mentor them and try to instill confidence and values in them and to teach them that they are loved and they are worthy of love.
      I cared for my dying father throughout my twenties, working full-time to buy his meds, pay his bills, buy food, make a house payment and pay his doctor bills when my friends were out being immature and partying.

      I work hard for the little bit of money I have. I think I've earned the right to be frivolous with the money I've earned.

      This. So much. People have boats, ginormous houses, expensive cars, designer bags, and expensive shoes, etc. I'm not going to feel guilty on buying a "toy" when most people have bigger, more expensive "toys" than I do.

      I have met so many people from being a part of this hobby. My doll hobby actually got me out of my shell and made me want to be around people again.
       
    18. Mine is not a shield, but a creative outlet. I have plenty of creative outlets. Actually, a truck load of them, but I like dolls because I just get to do whatever I'd like with them. In my life, I don't feel like anything is shielding me. I'm usually a very very very straightforward person who thinks things through. But I could see how dolls could be a shield.
       
    19. I don't feel that my dolls cover me. It's almost as though the connection between me and my dolls resembles that of a friendship, primarily because I have no rapport with other people. But nevertheless, I've authenticated who I am through my dolls. My reason for having them is that they provide me with excellent company. I fail to see why I should feel guilty for shelling out so much moolah into a hobby that genuinely makes me happy.
       
    20. After reading this paragraph, OP, I just want to ask...why are you here posing this question? If you really have had an epiphany, then why are you still hanging around a board centered around the very thing you no longer wish to own? I don't want to be confrontational, but I figure it's a valid question.

      Beautifully put, and better said than I could have gone about it (though I'll likely try). I worked hard to get the things I have in this life, whether they are necessary to my survival or not. I refuse to feel guilty for doing something I like with some of the money I earn.

      I agree with these two posters as well. Life would be nothing without creative outlets. I've got a whole slew of mental issues that can be quelled by something so simple as painting a doll's face, planning a doll, or so on. Maybe in a way, that makes said doll a "shield" but do I care? No. I'm happy that I found something in life to be so passionate about again. The world was turning a sick shade of gray before I got into the hobby, and the color is finally starting to seep back into it. I have ideas again. I have creative plans again. It's like living again. Because dolls are art for me.

      I'm not a believer in the after-life, so I want to live my life now and enjoy the things I have now, because, for me? This is the only life I have, and I am not going to spend it feeling guilty for doing things that make me happy.