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Talking about dolls behind their backs?

Jul 14, 2017

    1. I know this might seem sentimental to some, but do others refrain from talking negatively about their dolls within "earshot?" I know they're not alive, but some part of me must believe they have feelings because I hate hearing owners talk negatively about their dolls. When I was searching for a new doll, my partner suggested that I sell one I already owned, but I shut that idea down-- the doll was right there! Another time I heard an owner say that their little girl's poor posing (a toddler-ish sculpt) made them want to "punch her in the face," and it made me wish I could bring that little doll to a kinder home! Am I the most overly sentimental person in the world, or does anyone else feel this way?
      • x 2
    2. For me, dolls are really just pieces of plastic, so I don't really care about saying "bad stuff" about them. Like...I love my dolls and the characters they're based on, and I personify them a lot, but I'll still don't give them "feelings" or anything. So if Ilya is being a dork and won't sit right during a photoshoot, I'll definitely pull a "C'mon man, don't be a boob..." Or "Man, you're so annoying today!" It's really more for my benefit than the doll's, of course. I take good care of my dolls as objects, because I paid a lot of money for them and am emotionally attached, but word-wise? I just act like I do with any other object. (Which is complaining whenever the smallest thing goes wrong. :lol:)
      • x 1
    3. I think you might be reading a little too deeply into it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you can't have your own opinion and do as you please- just that there's a difference between joking about something and actually doing it. I don't think there's such a thing as, for lack of a better term, "doll abuse" because they are in fact inanimate. One of my firsts threads on DOA was a sort of survey to aid with writing a paper based on the doll community. Most owners project personalities & characteristics upon them making them feel alive but I did get results saying that no they're just dolls, I had someone say they think of them as modeling kits- which is fine because I feel that a major part of this hobby is artistic freedom.

      But that's just my two cents. If you don't like it when owners talk negatively about their dolls than that's fine. But when people say stuff like that it's normally meant as a joke. I talk smack about my resin kids all the time, but I'd be devastated if something actually happened to them.
      • x 2
    4. ahahah I tell my dolls this to their faces. I'm all "Nhar, you're a jerk. You're beautiful but you're a jerk and you anger me." and then he'll kick me or throw his S hook across the room or find some other way to tell me "the feeling's mutual"
      -_- suuuuuch a jerk.

      But yeah, i'm affectionately abusive to my dolls in that they refuse to stand up and I talk to them telling them to stop being difficult and omg standing isn't hard etc. I talk to my dolls a lot. Both good and bad.

      But yes, I would get a bit "shh, don't listen to them!" if someone else said mean things about them. Covering their ears and all that ahahaha.
      I do kinda... treat them almost like people. You know how people talk to their pets like the pet can understand when it clearly can't? that's me with dolls... and plushies... and generally anything with a face.

      And omg i'm a total sucker for a sob story with a dolly. I mean, unloved dollies are my weakness. Dolls that need tlc, that need a new home because they've been stuck in a box in the dark for years, i'm all "COME TO ME BABIES! I will make you beautiful and happy again!"

      then again, I am probably a little bit nuts. but oh gosh, the idea of dolls, even cheap fashion dolls going into the trash makes me feel sick. I've saved many a toy from landfill. When I was a teen I found this cuddly lion covered in engine oil and grease, soaked by the torrential rain and I just felt SO sorry for him. Unloved, filthy, saturated. I took him home and cleaned him, stuffed him with fresh stuffing, sewed him back together, repaired his tears...
      I swear his expression looked happier after a bath and some tlc.
      My dad was all "wtf why is this thing in the bath? get it out!"
      lol. My parents never understood my need to save inanimate objects.

      I got a doll recently (a sindy doll) who'd been chewed to heck by what I assume was a puppy. Her legs are mangled and the shop was all "we can't sell this!" and I was like "Please let me have her!" and so they let me have her for free. I couldn't stand the idea of her going into the trash, she was a sindy! She was precious! I washed her up, gave her some long pants to hide her scars and she's never leaving.

      It's funny but when I go through my collections for dolls to sell, it's always the perfect ones that get sold. The damaged ones, the imperfect ones, something about them makes me feel I have to keep them, something about their defects endears them to me more than a perfect doll ever will. It's character, it's history, it's ... I don't know, something more.
      And so, even with bjds, i'll gravitate toward the floppy stringed, yellowing ones who need love more than the perfect ones lol. I want to save them, and I enjoy the challenge but also, I just... I think I identify with the damaged goods or something.
      • x 9
    5. Well, they're apart of the family and they'll get harped on just like their human counterparts. Since I had to move back home because of surgery stuff, the law of the house applies to them too.

      Not matter if they're objects. That's just how it is in my family. XD which is sort of funny, because we're all adults talking to inanimate objects that are typically considered "kids toys".

      My gramps will call some of them free loaders, or tell them to get their naked butts off the table. (in a teasing manner, sprinkled with more colourful words) or I need to make better pants and some underwear because butt cracks and bare backs peaking out of jeans is unacceptable. LOL And that I need to keep my children inline.

      Grams spoils all of my bjd with little props. Which is probably why I can't "keep them in line"....

      I think it's a fun experience when people get involved... And it's a mutually accepted thing. Sure they're just objects, but personifying them and their little attitudes is pretty entertaining.
      • x 1
    6. As much as I love them, they are inanamite objects. And I will talk about them when their right there. They can be pains in the arse to pose, I need to restring one of my girls officially now and I'm terrified and I'm shopping for a new boy since I need more then one big male doll. I don't think it's abuse. I talk about their characters and we all joke around about how "Dolly1 hates me for sticking him in this outfit/her in that set of shoes." but in the end their just dolls.
    7. Nope! Not a problem I can say I have. They're not really alive even if talk about them as if they are sometimes.
      (concern about whether or not posters, photographs or dolls can in some way hear you can be a clinical symptom of very real things, it's worth mentioning in all seriousness. I am not saying I know or claim anything about you personally, OP, but if anyone reading this ever has that kind of thing becoming a bother for them, it's a fact worth knowing, and it's not "crazy".)
    8. My gang are inanimate. They don't get to have opinions... Not even when I'm telling them they're total pains in the butt. :lol:
      • x 1
    9. I've threatened to throw Jack right out a second story window because he kept flopping at the hips when I was trying to set up a photo shoot. :|Of course, I'm the type of person who would also say that to a friend who was annoying me. :XD:

      I do get attached to my dolls' characters, but I'm not a terribly sensitive person, nor do I think of them as having feelings, so I don't censor myself around them. Some of them have characters who might be upset easily, but I also don't write myself into their stories, so it still doesn't matter to me.
    10. I definitely don't think is a symptom of a mental illness for me! I know they can't hear me and I'm fine with treating them like inanimate objects when i have to, but i also love them dearly and don't really like any sort of unkindness. I've always been a highly sensitive person who feels empathy for everything (like sad for my car when i got a new car) Thanks for reminding us that this can be a red flag for mental illness!

      This is me! I have a handful of plush toys and dolls that have stayed with me for years because of their lovable flaws. I feel like it makes them orphans! I definitely don't think they are actually alive, but i agree with what you said about caring for things with faces! Left-behind toys really get me: sometimes there will be really well-loved stuffies at the secondhand store with matted fur, and you can tell some kid really loved them... i always bring those ones home!

      Glad someone understands.
      #10 brat_attack, Jul 15, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2017
      • x 2
    11. Well, yes, I talk to them sometimes if they do not do what I think they should do. First and foremost, this is to relieve myself. But this is also dangerous for them, as I am not afraid of modding. If their quirk annoys me too much, I look at that joint closely if anything can be done to improve it. If yes, the Dremel and very often Apoxie comes out (they are all afraid of that thing, hehe).

      Otherwise, I really consider them only expensive toys I like to play with. A somewhat personal connection is necessary, otherwise I could not have brought myself to buy them (heck, it is not like as the money could not have been well spent otherwise). But they make me happy, they feed my imagination. And that's what really counts.
    12. I honestly think like, almost every single person is well aware they are "just dolls" and don't really need to be reminded of such. It brings us joy to treat them like little people.
      I remember as a kid playing with this toy turtle and having it crawl over a table and saying something about what she was doing and this guy glared at me "It's a TOY!" and I was like "wow.. you're a dick."
      I didn't say that because I was like 10, but I remember thinking it really loudly.
      Like, dude, chill out. It's not hurting anyone for me to play makebelieve, stop being a jerk about it yeesh.

      I'd be just as annoyed these days if I made a joke or talked to my doll and someone snapped "it's just a doll" because to me they aren't "just dolls", they're representations of characters and sorry, i'm gonna project into em because that's part of how I play with em. (In a relatively healthy manner) Yeah I KNOW they're a doll and an inanimate object, i'm not stupid! but saying it makes it feel like you think I don't know that and it's insulting. You're insulting my intelligence and that's just nasty. "oh you DO know that's not real" "nooo, I had no idea omg! Thank you random person for showing me the error of my ways!"

      I'm more than capable of differentiating reality and fiction, I just don't always wanna because real life is terrible. A lot of people don't seem to understand this need for escapism.
      I mean, we're well aware it's weird to "feel sorry" for dolls and plushies, but that's just how it is. Why shouldn't we? A lot of people do, it's not that weird among doll people.

      I admit, i would wonder why someone kept a doll if all they did was whine about it and say things like "i want to hit her/throw her etc". And I do feel a stab of "oh no, what'd they do to you?" when you see a totally mangled one. I think that's not that abnormal.

      A lot of people anthropomorphize things with faces, it's not an uncommon human trait. If you put eyes onto any inanimate object, you'll notice people treat it differently, it's weird but it's just human nature. Draw some eyes on the toaster and it's no longer just a toaster, people will pat it and talk at it. I'm serious, try it. Draw a face on something in the communal area of your work and watch people interact. People are weird, and while we know it's still a toaster, having a face makes it somehow relatable and endearing.

      We're not talking about "the eyes in the walls listening to us" or something, that's a whoooole other ballpark but I don't think "Don't talk mean about my dolly, it's okay, they don't mean it." behaviour isn't that unusual and not usually a red flag at all. It's anthropomorphize, and it might be a bit weird, but it's ultimately harmless. It'd only be a problem if you started to treat dolls like they were all bugs that could listen into conversations or something, but there aren't many people with that level of issues and i'm not sure it's something worth bringing up here because it just comes across as insulting and implying you think the OP is unwell.
      Not cool man, not cool.

      Play nice, and accept that for many people dolls aren't "just an object" and that's not a symptom of some illness. Creative people shell characters and entire worlds into these hunks of plastic, they're more than a doll.
      • x 5
    13. I totally understand you OP, I do the same thing!
      I'll say the normal frustrated whiny stuff, but I won't say anything mean about my doll when he's nearby. Not because I feel like "ooh the walls are listening aaaa" but because I feel this twinge of guilt. I kind of treat my doll like he's one of my friends, I might jokingly say something rude but I wouldn't say anything mean or hurtful near him. I do complain a lot though, particularly when I'm taking his head on and off, so I say a few things like, "Do you want to be a head forever? No? THEN GET ON YOUR DANG BODY!"

      As for things other people have said, no one has said anything mean about my doll thus far. If someone did say something rude, I'd probably feel a bit hurt but I'd laugh it off when that person was nearby. After they were out of earshot I'd probably say to my doll something like, "Don't listen to them, you're beautiful" heck, I might even do it when that person could hear to freak them out :XD:
      I also would do the same if it were someone else's doll in the same situation.
      When other folk say something like, "I want to punch you!" to their dolls, I tend to assume they're joking or saying it affectionately so I'm never bothered on that front.

      With all this being said, yes I know my doll isn't actually alive. Everyone knows this. However, it's fun to anthromorphize things, particularly ones that you're very attached to. It's totally fine to do and no one's crazy for doing it. I just feel like that needed to be said. I don't think anyone really implied that but it's still something I felt I should say. If you feel bad saying something kinda mean near your doll and you treat them in a way that's similar to how you treat humans ( I know I do) then just have fun. It's not overly sentimental or wrong, just have fun doing it *shrug*.
    14. No I don't feel like that myself. I only hate it when I see dolls with really messy hair or just looking badly treated because that's such a shame for such precious dolls. Specially when it's a doll that many people wish to have. My Volks May had a really messy and frizzy wig and there was even a chip of resin broken off her nose. Those kinds of things hurt me to see. I also feel bad when I sell a doll to someone and they are treating it without care.
    15. I don't know how it came about, but I kind of have trouble being critical vocally because it might bring bad luck. And it's been that way since I was a kid. If I do say something negative, it's usually because I thought it out first. Not always! I mean, everyone has their limits. So no, I don't say anything critical about my dolls. In front of or behind their backs unless I think it's funny/cute. There is no way they could cause that sort of feeling.

      I don't usually care what other people say about their own dolls. I guess an exception would be if the owner was a friend, super frustrated and about to say or do something regrettable.
    16. I like to use my doll as a trick to get my little sister and nephews to leave me alone or keep them in line. I say things like "You better stop before Chandler pays you a visit." or "I hear Chandler coming down the stairs." My family makes you watch Chucky series as a coming-of-age thing. Sometimes I do scare myself though haha. I do critique them with my older sister though if I'm not happy by the way they look next to each other and get her input. Maybe I'm not that hesitant to smack talk in-front of them because I haven't had time to flesh out the characters or really dive into their world, so maybe that might change. But, I totally get you.:shudder