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"Its a doll, its not a real person."

Nov 27, 2009

    1. Okay I'm sure this question has been asked like a hundred times, but I kinda wanted to start a new conversation about it pertaining to something that happened to me today, and as a newbie to the BJD world.

      Today I had a friend over. He knows nothing about BJD and doesn't really have an understanding of dolls in general.

      I was talking about my darling Elliot as if he was a real boy while showing him to my friend, etc etc. I was taking his headcap off to look at the label on the inside for another thread of mine and he happened to be present, and I said something like

      "I feel so bad taking Elliot's head apart.. I don't think he likes it much"

      And he goes
      "Its a doll. Its not a real person."


      I think he could see that his comment visibly upset me, and that the bluntness of it hit a nerve. I went rather quiet and put Elliot aside after that.

      I'm new to the world of BJD really, so I'm not actually sure how common it is but, what I wanna know is:

      How many of you see your dolls as real people? And treat them as such and have feelings for them as such? Empathy, Love, etc.

      Have any of you had a situation like this where your ideals were shot down or objected?
      How did you react?

      Again I'm sorry if this is a repeat question. I'm just really curious and want to learn more about the community. ^ ^;
       
    2. In my experience, people who like and play with dolls "get it", and non-doll people don't. I don't waste time talking about dolls to people who don't collect them because it makes me tired to try to explain it to them. Of course I know that my dolls aren't real people, but it's lots of fun to pretend that they are. That's kind of the whole point of having them for me.
       
    3. Ditto that linakauno. I don't talk about dolls to people who aren't into dolls themselves unless they ask me about it. Like I don't really enjoy listening to someone go on and on about football or the F1 race etc if I'm not interested in it or know anything about it. And most people who aren't doll collectors tend to think that it's weird for anyone who's not maybe seven years old to still be into dolls and stuff so hearing us say something like, "My poor doll has no clothes. ):" or "I haven't spent any time with my doll. The poor thing." -- well, they won't be able to get it and you can't expect them to. It gets tiring. But yay to DOA. (; You can go on and on about dolls in this place. So welcome on board! :D
       

    4. second this.

      I do not talk to non-doll people about my dolls as if they did have a name etc
       
    5. The other day I tried to re-string my Garden of Dolls Ppoppo Colette (she is on a Bobobie body). And I thought "oh yes, this is so easy!" But then she came out more floppy then before! I was so upset, how would I ever fix her if I couldn't find the right tension?

      I have a shelf that I put some of my OT dolls on, like Pullips, Blythes, Disney Barbies, Ellowyne. I put Colette up their on her chair and left her.

      That afternoon my boyfriend gave me hell. "Baby, why is Colette on the shelf? Only dolls you don't play with go up there! She must be so sad and lonely, and she wants to know why she is up there and she is alone and she is afraid..."

      I said, "She isn't alone, other dolls are up there. And maybe I should just sell her, I can't make her work, she needs a new look, and I don't like the size."

      He responded with, "You are just saying that because you are frustrated, take her down and apologize right now, and when we have some extra money we'll but her a new dress and eyes, and I don't want to see you ever put her away again! Go give her a big hug, you meanie."


      So I guess in my house everyone thinks that dolls are real people. :sumomo:
       
      • x 1
    6. I've been fortunate enough that all the people in my life have been understanding of my doll hobby, and don't mind that I talk about them like actual people. I think my family was already used to that kind of thing, as I'm fairly certain that I got my outlook on inanimate objects from my mother when I was young. ^_^; My best friend is just as doll-crazy as I am, and my old housemate was just plain amused by it. But all my friends are geeks and roleplayers, so it's not all that unusual to talk about non-existent people as though they exist.

      That said, I suppose you do just have to choose your audience. I work on doll clothes at work, and if asked I tell coworkers so, and if they're not interested I leave it at that, while if they are I might give them more detail, but from a collector standpoint and not as though they were people. I would hope that a friend would have a little more consideration for your feelings, though. =/
       
    7. He's right. It isn't a real person. You can treat it however you like, but at the end of the day it's just a doll. The best way to handle it is to keep your 'odd' behavior to yourself - don't talk so fondly of your doll around people who aren't collectors themselves and don't drag them around in public. Would you like to lose real friends over something as silly as a doll?
       
    8. Sometimes I like to play as if my dolls are 'real people'. I refer to them as 'he' or 'she' rather than 'it'. I refer to them by name instead of 'that girl doll' or 'that one doll with the black hair'.

      But at the end of the day, if anyone said to me 'It's a doll, it's not a real person,' I'd honestly look at them and say 'No sh!t Sherlock, what was your first clue?'

      I mean, my dolls do spend most of their time in their boxes. Naked. Wigless. I only take them out for photos. Although I go 'too far' as far as non-doll people are concerned, I don't at all feel that they are, or should be treated as, real people.
       
    9. Yeah, it's easy to feel connected to a new doll. When I got my first doll the feelings I had toward her were overwhelming.
      But you have to keep in mind also that people who do not have the same ideas, collections, perspective, etc. will always try to knock you down when you feel good about something. And it does sound to me that this friend of yours was deliberately mocking you. We've all been there, whether with our dolls or some other object/pet/whatever. Just know that you have to cater to other people and their pettiness. It pisses me off but what can you do? Just let him/her be an asshole and enjoy your doll less when they are around and more when they are not. That's it!
      :pcupcake Carry on!!
       
    10. Hmmm.... I do treat my dolls as if they were real because they're based on characters from my stories; so I know their personalities, any quirks or habits they have and so on. Fortunately for me, most people that know about my doll hobby that aren't into dolls themselves don't really mind me referring to my DoI as 'Dieter Volker', the 'Straight-Arrowed Knight', etc.

      I've yet to actually meet anyone who has bluntly said to me 'it's a doll, not real' or anything along those lines. I guess I'm just lucky? :sweat

      I don't think there's anything wrong with treating a doll as if it were alive as long as you're aware that it is just a doll though and don't start lugging it around everywhere, talking to it in public and trying to feed it or anything weird like that.
       
    11. I'm gonna agree with the "don't bring it up around non-doll people." Heck, I collect dolls but I would wrinkle my nose if someone said something like that to me with any hint of seriousness. I would be just as likely to blink at you and say a similar thing.

      I "get" collecting dolls.
      I don't "get" anthropomorphizing them.
      Yes, they're shaped like people for the most part, but I think you should expect the same reaction as you would if you spoke of any other inanimate object like it had feelings or desires or hobbies or whatever.
       
    12. I admit, I have a huge tendency to act if my doll is a real person, but I only act it around people who I know are okay with it and won't be weirded out. Not everyone will "get it", and there are probably some doll people who won't "get it". You just have to be careful who you act the act around if you want to avoid any awkward or hurt feelings. I'm sure he has hobbies you would find weird too, and might even react similarly too. ;) I know when my sister gets riled up about football, I tend to be all "oh calm down its' just a game!" Then I realize I must look just as silly when I'm speaking about my doll.

      I'm really attached to my doll, and I enjoy pretending he's a real person with a real personality, but at the end of the day, I know he's not real, and I'm okay with that. I don't get mad or upset at people for pointing out he's not real, because it's the truth. Of course, if they're being rude about it, I may or may not feel annoyed, but chances are I won't feel something as extreme as anger.
       
    13. Though I see my dolls as 'just dolls', they project a kind of personality that seems to make me think otherwise sometimes. I apologize like crazy and say 'pardon me' before removing Reika's faceplate to adjust her eyes or if she falls over. Indeed, people have different views on others' hobbies, and so not talking to the doll in the presence of non-doll people/people who 'don't get it' would cease the awkward-ness.
       
    14. I understand why you've said this, and I agree one hundred percent that to anyone 'looking in' from the non-BJD world would see the 'talking to your doll/dolly fondness' thing as utterly and completely bizarre, because at the end of the day, yes, they are only little pieces of resin. Your behaviour around non-doll owners should be kept in check, if only to keep these people comfortable. This hobby should not be about attracting not necessary attention to yourself.

      But on the same token, the dolls are often also 'more than that' to those who buy them, meaning alot of emotional investment has gone into them (not that they think of the dolls as real people, even if they 'treat' them that way, not neccessarily). And I think think that if you stand to lose friends over your hobby (?!), as in good friends who should know and understand you, then those people are not real friends at all. O_o;;.

      It boggles my mind the 'value' of friendship has to some people. If you truly like dolls and if you truly have good friends who are not in the hobby who do not understand dolls, if they cared about you as a person, they wouldn't need to understand. They'd just accept you for who you are. That doesn't go to say that you should chance making them uncomfortable by going, 'blah blah blah' to Mister or Miss Super Dollfie at any chance, but it does mean that your real friends wouldn't desert you over something as non-dentrimental as what you responsibly budget and spend your money over in your pass times.

      Courtesy and respect goes both ways, is really all I can say. As doll owners, we have a responsibility to be courteous to those who we don't know/who might not understand what we're doing, but on the same token, they should limit us the same freedoms, even if only in retrospect of our own behaviour. :daisy

      edit: And again, just for the record, I do agree that at the end of the day, dolls are not people. While I honestly think that emotional investment would best be suited directed at living things, it doesn't mean I don't understand or feel emotional attachment to my dolls, myself. So anyone who does feel something towards thier dolls, as if they were people (as long as they don't think they are people), can definitely feel free by any means. Often, it is a very large feature of this hobby! :).
       
    15. Honestly, dolls are dolls. You can give them personality and backstories (I do the same) but they are dolls nonetheless. I also notice certain facial expressions in certain situations, but it's not real personality and they are not real people and personally I don't think people should treat them that way. I absolutely love my dolls, but I know they are just objects. personalized objects, but basically still things.
       
    16. Second it. I personally really enjoy pretending that something, some doll or just my plushy is alive. But that's just when I am completely alone. You could say it's kinda my second secret "face" that I don't show to other people.

      And hell yeah, if anyone (even my best friend) just come to me and says: "Hey, what are you so excited about? It's just a doll!" I would probably say him something like:" Hey, aren't they calling you Sherlock?" Or so.

      Just don't mind it. Enjoy your dollie and be happy ;)
       
    17. I'm a doll collector, so I get the hobby, but I hate being put into situations where I am expected to play along with the whole "My doll is a real person!!" charade for fear of offending another owner's delicate constitution. I'm sorry, it is just a doll. That's all it ever will be to me.

      Don't expect other people to play along with you if they don't want to. That's just as rude as them calling you crazy for owning a doll, and if that is all your friend said as you fussed over a doll for probably a fair amount of time....I can see why he said it. It probably made him uncomfortable and confused. If a friend or family member asks me about my dolls, I'll talk about them, but I'd never force the issue without interest from them. My sister scrapbooks. I think it's a terribly dumb, expensive hobby, but I don't bug her about it and she thinks my dolls are funny so she sometimes asks about them. She never asks me about scrapbooking since she knows I am not into it.
       
    18. ^ This paraphrases what I meant exactly. :pcupcake
       
    19. This.
      I don't consider my dolls real people or anything, but they definitely have individual personalities and attitude, which I attribute to their corresponding characters. I have plenty of people friends, but when I'm alone it's nice to have my dolls around.
      I never try to force dolls on people though, if I show them my dolls and they don't seem interested or think they're creepy and such, I drop it.
       
    20. I think non-doll people sometimes just don't get it. I think it's hard to explain even among people who do get it. I've been known to say "the copier doesn't like that kind of paper" and "the car doesn't like driving up that mountain" so it makes total sense to me when a doll is being difficult to dress for example, or is hard to pose in a certain outfit to say "he doesn't seem to like that outfit". Even though I know they are "just dolls" - I still refer to them by name in most cases and use pronouns like "he" or "she" rather than "it". Why wouldn't I? Doesn't EVERYONE refer to all dolls that way? My friends know Riddick as Riddick - not as a "dollzone mo" or "the doll with the leather pants on and black hair". If I said "I need to buy that for my doll" they'd ask which one.

      Maybe it's just the people I hang out with, but we all talk for and to the cats, encourage our cars to make it up the hill or past that truck on the highway, say "Oh come on! You can do it!" to the computer or copiers when they're being slow, and make stuffed animals say things like "Hey! Get off me!" if someone sits on them. I don't see how talking a little to a doll is that different. My friends can see that the dolls seem to have personalities and are characters and that characters do sometimes like or dislike things. Talking about them that way helps the characters develop. Of course we know they're not "real", but it's not really different than talking about what a character from a movie or book might like or dislike.

      Honestly any friend who you lose because they don't like that you call your dolls by name or jokingly refer to the doll not liking something is someone you're better off without. Real friends go along with stuff like that. Even before I said anything about Riddick my friends were asking his name. People name and talk to their CARS on a fairly common basis, how are dolls different?

      Yes, they are "just dolls" we all know that. We all get that. There's no need for anyone to be rude about it. I don't force my dolls on others either, and I don't expect them to force their hobbies on me.

      You can tell everything's tongue-in-cheek anyway usually, it's all said with a bit of a wink.