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Reasons Why There Are No Dolls With Realistic Proportions

Oct 26, 2011

    1. I am not talking about the 'real' feeling that many BJDs have. I am saying realistic proportions like facial proportions of Ipleouse's dolls. I really love realistic dolls like Iplehouse with close to correct human proportions. Too bad most BJDs have ultra thin noses (no offence intended) and large eyes. I measure realism by seeing if the eye width is about the same as nose width (measure your own, not your dolls).
      But, there are no dolls out there with realistic body proportions-due to their large heads. The length from shoulder to shoulder is abouth 3 heads wide. At most, dolls are only 2 head wide. I am wondering, why aren't there dolls with more realistic proportions? I am not looking for Barbie like bodies which are totally unrealistic (she will be some lady suffering from anorexia with breats implants, again no offence intended.) But just those that look like a beautiful and healthy lady. Sometimes, Nobility Doll's Special BJD and DIM's MiniMee seemed like the only way out of this.
      I really wonder why is this so. I mean Iplehouse's BJDs have real enough faces that are still 'asian aesthetically' enough, so why can't bodies be done in the same manner?

      Mods please delete if it is a repeat or off topic.
    2. There are quite a few companies that sell in proportion dolls. The Fairyland Chicline is pretty proportional and so is Supia.
      In my eyes the Iplehouse EID's are very proportional and look very healthy. Especially the ladies are quite plump.
    3. I think part of it is that there are always things that are 'improved' and ideal. For example, in most advertisements, models will be phototouched to have the following: Larger eyes, plumper lips, larger heads, longer legs, thinner waists, smoother faces.

      These are the standards of artistic beauty we have for human beings. While beautiful in it's own right, natural human bodies have these features more rarely, if at all. The best and fastest example though would probably be to take an image of a BJD, and make it just black and white-- just the shape of the doll-- vs the shape of a natural, unphototouched 'beautiful' human body. We look suspiciously like stout little apes. xD
    4. I'll agree that there are some bodies which take things to far (i.e really skinny dolls- don't remember the company) or dolls that just don't look natural on their own bodies.

      However most dolls, while maybe not perfectly proportioned, fall within an acceptable margin. For me personally, I find that the Iplehouse dolls are one of the most beautiful and realistic companies out there. Not everyone will agree. Like elijahfeathers said: There are standards of artistic beauty we have for human beings. We want the perfect, even if that means sacrificing some of the reality.
    5. Personally, I think if the bodies were more realistic, a lot of buyers (such as myself) wouldn't want them. Companies need to make money, after all. One thing that makes me avoid a doll regardless of how beautiful the face is is how large the head is relative to the body - I don't like the sight of small heads, even if they are more comparable to real human proportions. However, there are some "pin-headed" dolls out there which are quite popular, so I may just be biased due to my own opinions. As you mentioned, Iplehouse dolls are extremely popular, but their faces aren't what I like due to the realism. (Actually, I thought the Iplehouse dolls had fairly proportional bodies too, at least relative to some companies.) I guess my point is: there may be just as many (or more) buyers who prefer the unrealistic body proportions, which is why realistic proportions aren't as common. Think of how popular Leekeworld's Mikhaila was - she wasn't even remotely realistic. Neither are Doll Chateau's skinny dolls, but a lot of people like them for their bodies. I'm not sure how popular the Chicline is relative to FL's other dolls, but comparing their sales might be a good way to see what people prefer, since they've got tiny heads but the overall aesthetic is similar to their bigger headed dolls.
    6. I kind of like larger eyes, they give a kinder feeling. Also, it's easier to see the beautifully coloured eyes put in them. I do wish their shoulders were broader though
    7. I am right there with you on the realistic dolls. Althought their features can be called Asian, Iplehouse dolls have sculpts that are adaptable to any ethnicity. I have not seen any other company's sculpts that if you order it in dark eony and apply the right face up it actually looks like a black person. Th body proportions of the Iplehouse EIDs are very close to actual humans and do not have unrealitically thin builds or waists. It is unfortunate that so many collectoors are all about bodies that could never exist in reality but I guess the idea is that dolls have to be idealistic representations of hiumanity ends up making it that way. After all thse companies need to make money and as such they will make what sells.
    8. Not everyone wants realistic dolls, especially collectors who came into this hobby by way of Japanese anime. I like both kinds and came into the hobby after I collected fashion dolls. I think it's great for there to be a lot of variety to choose from, so everyone can indulge in whatever makes them happy.
    9. I think a lot of it has to do with the anime fan base that forms a big chunk of people in the BJD community. Most BJD follow 'anime proportions' with larger heads and eyes etc.

      Some companies have defiantely tried more realistic proportions. Iplehouse's EID and SID line comes fairly close. Fairyland's Chicline BJD are, right now, probably the most realistically and classically proportioned and I think aren't very popular because of it. A lot of people seem to think their heads are freakishly small, (probably because we're all so used to looking at the anime proportions lol)

      Personally I like both and I own both the more realistically proportioned dolls and the more stylized dolls and I would be sad if all of the BJD companies started moving toward more realism. I like variety.
    10. Uncanny Valley and the history of drawing people with big heads and eyes aside, early Western animation shares this with Animae, the PBS show How Art Made The World http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=2287651&cp=2729306.2883326&fbc=1&f=PAD%2FFormat%2FDVD&pg=3&fbn=Format%7CDVD&parentPage=family explains we emphasize the parts of anatomy we prefer. We're hard wired for it.

      When Greek sculptors made statues of realistic looking humans the audiences didn't like them. They made legs longer, removed tail bones, and did other impossible things to make the statues people love to this day. We accept doll proportions because big eyes and heads are cute, long legs (calves) look more graceful, there are waist to hip proportions that speak of fertility.
    11. Actually, the shoulders are two head lengths for females and two and a half head lengths for males. Or are you referring to width of the face, as in, shoulder-to-shoulder = fifteen eye widths (5 eye widths across the face)?
    12. I don't quite agree that it has anything to do with anime fans. Large, expressive eyes have always been a part of dolls for a long, long time. I think it comes from people want their dolls to be beautiful. A huge schnoz and tiny eyes and thin lips isn't as cute as large eyes, tiny nose and cute lips. Same goes with the body size. Legs are not exactly shapely, but they're thin and gorgeous. Same goes with the waist and other things too.

      If you really want a better body-to-head ratio, then buy a smaller head and mod it onto a bigger body. Thats a great point about the hobby, you can do that.
    13. As someone who is passionate about seeing proportionate bodies within this hobby, I believe there is just not enough
      interest in realism (in general) for companies to offer more realistically balanced bodies, yet. I am a classically trained artist,
      so I would love to see an ideally sculpted 8-head-tall male body, one that is realistically proportioned and doesn’t seem like
      the torso was sculpted two-scales smaller than the legs. But I have been around this hobby long enough to know the aesthetics
      won’t be suddenly changing –so having anything close to realistically proportioned bodies won’t happening anytime soon.
      Maybe in the next few decades, if the hobby is still going “as strong.”XD

      - Enzyme
    14. I'm not a big fan of realism. I never have been. It's got nothing to do with anime, I just find stylized figures more appealing. Realistic bodies seem ...boring. Many people in the hobby prefer stylized bodies, so that's what they make.

      Also, I think that since Volks was the first producer of modern BJD, and followed the anime style, I think most companies just followed suit. They saw how popular Volk's stylized dolls were, and made their own.

      I'm sure that is there was a bigger push for realistic bodies, other companies would take notice and follow suit, though.
    15. I was going to make some kind of indignant remark about how there totally were realistically proportioned dolls, but then I got curious and made this comparison here. (Warning: no genitals, but still lots of mostly naked men). In the center is an idealized sketch of a man's proportions (from Loomis), and next to it is (an) Apollo Belvedere, the statue that is touted as the inspiration for our idealized male proportions today. (Incidentally, Mr. Apollo seems to have ever-so-slightly longer legs and (probably, judging by what's left of them) shorter arms compared to that sketch. Also, a wider waist. IMO He's actually got much nicer proportions). And then all of the closest doll contenders that are available right now (Chicline, Idealian, Mega Gem, Iplehouse EID). (And then there's a summary of artistic proportions, too.)

      .... Wooow. What a deformed bunch, eh? :lol: Looks like Iplehouse EID Superhero and Fairyland Chicline are the closest, though, while Chicline does pretty well from the waist up, his legs are abut 50% longer than they "should" be, according to the realistic proportions. I think an EID superhero with the strongman arms would probably come the closest. Having seen a Mega Gem head on an Idealian body, I think he'd fair pretty well in that line-up as well. I'd totally love to have Apollo as a BJD, now that I think about it.

      As far as to why there are no realistically-proportioned dolls... Well, I know why there are no dolls with real-life proportions (like Mr. Stumpy in the summary). It's a pretty established fact that we as a species tend to view real-sized arms as "too long", and prefer shorter arms and longer legs (which, ironically, is actually where we're moving evolution-wise. A recent study (the link to which I unfortunately lost) has shown that the Vetruvian man is actually no longer an accurate representation of human proportions, and that we're are consistently slightly taller than our arm span - not by much, but there is still a difference). The rest I think wildly varies based on artist preference and stylization. I think dolls tend to have even more exaggerated limbs because it gives them the look of grace and agility - beautiful and vivacious human characteristics that they would otherwise not have as inanimate chunks of plastic. The large heads I think are a remnant of the roots of these dolls - initially, they were heavy anime-inspired, so larger-than-normal heads are the norm and every time a company comes out with a head that's more realistic, it's always greeted by a chorus of "Eww, pinhead, how would I ever put him/her near my other dolls?!". So there's not much of a market for them out there either. It's expanding, slowly, of course, but there are no wigs, no clothes, and few accepting families for the friendly giants at the moment. Personally, I have nothing against stylization. It actually means there's a precious few dolls out there I actually want to buy because they fit my aesthetic ideal, and that's a good thing, since I save more money. (Except tinies. I can't resist the chubby chibi cuteness).
    16. I agree with a lot of the points made above. We do tend to emphasize the things we like, even with human bodies. But since human bodies, short of surgery, often fall short of the ideal "realism", we resort to heels for height, girdles to restrict girth, big hair to make faces/heads look larger, nails to make fingers look longer, etc. Most dolls just accentuate in resin, right out of the mold.

      Everybody keeps using the Iplehouse EID and SID as examples of realism. I suppose they are, if your ideal is a deliberately bulked-up, heavy-boned Western body. But they certainly don't accurately represent most average Western bodies out there, never mind the majority of average Asian bodies. Facewise, they have a certain generic realism, but a very western esthetic to my eye, aside from a very few sculpts. But this is something shared with a number of companies now, as the trend towards realism seems to mean western faces and pumped up muscles and zoftic curves.

      You could say that the only truly realistic resin out there are minimee heads, but even they sometimes look awkward on top of an idealized body.
    17. Personally, I like long legs on a doll....since my legs are also about 50% of my body. Looks right to me!

      I have to agree with hobbywhelmed, there is a difference between realistic and idealized and because of this, I don't think Iplehouse has super realistic dolls. I know there are people out there that have Mr. Olympia bodies, but I have yet to meet any, or see them wandering the streets on a day to day basis. :\

      Zaolls look the most realistic to me. I know plenty of people shaped like that, and their faces and heads are pretty realistically proportioned. And, since they're shaped like me (if I lost about 15lbs, ha!) I don't think my Dollmore Adams/Eves are as stylized as most people do. They look fleshy and real to me and don't have a ton of ridiculous muscle tone. And all the faces are so different...More like a diverse group and less like a family of Amazons all inhabiting the same island.

      But that's the best part of this hobby. There are dolls for everyone :)
    18. Sorry about that, I meant that there are close to none realistic BJDs, or maybe I just have yet to see them yet:sweat. Maybe it is their inability to share bodies with other BJD bodies that made pinheads unpopular. And I have to agree with the 'anime connection'. When I first started this hobby, I was like "OMG, they are sooo realistic!" Took me 2 months to realise they are not that realistically proportioned. Too much anime and manga:sweat.
    19. It seems to be a matter of personal preference, like many other things in life. I really like the fact that many dolls have big eyes and tiny noses--those are the ones I am interested in. I do like anime and manga, so perhaps that has influenced me somewhat.
    20. Actually, I recently watched this show on the history or art or something, I dont remember exactly what it was, but it kind of addressed that train of though. They talked about how Greek sculpture ( I think it was greek) improved more and more until it reached a point where sculptors could create scuptures that looked exactly like people in every way. But as soon as they got to this point, they suddenly stopped and went on making scuptures with unrealistic idealized proportions/features. I guess theres just something about artwork that makes it less beautiful if its too real.