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They are just dolls, where do you draw the line?

Dec 17, 2010

    1. Sorry if this is a topic already wasn't sure. I know that to all of us our dolls are important, sometimes irreplacable and of sentimental, but when do you stop to realize they are just dolls? What is your general feeling of having your doll nude, does it highly offend you or do you feel it's just a doll it is not a big deal, do you talk to your dolls when it isn't play time? What other things? where do you draw the line and remember that they are only dolls?
    2. I always remember they are just dolls. For your example, I have children in my home so I don't let them sit around nude for more practical reasons. Not that we are particularly prudish and worried about our children seeing tiny resin penises or anything but somehow having my 5 year old running around constantly asking "mommy why is yous dolly nakey again?" seems more problematic than just keeping them dressed. He is the 20 question type. He would question me into the ground about it. He has seen the dolls naked more than a few times, he loves "dolly dress up time" and is well aware that the dolls are anatomically correct. I think he would find it odd if they were not.

      But to answer your actual question, my sentimental attachment is more to the character I have put in the dolls than to the dolls themselves. The dolls are just hunks of resin. If the dolls stopped representing those characters for me I would lose all interest. Call me cold, plenty of people have, but that is how I feel. I am far more attached to my books than I am to most other things in my life. My dolls are special to me, but I do recognize that they are not anything more than dolls. It is because I have poured so much energy into making them into these representations of characters that they are so important, but at the end of the day, it is the character in my head that I am attached to. Though I have to say, if something happened to one of the dolls I am really attached to, I am not sure what would happen. I have not had to test this yet. So maybe I am not as clear on where the line is as I think I am.
    3. Hm... I can get to be a little shy about nude dollies. I'll try to change them in private if I can. ^ ^;;; The way I figure is, you don't hoist pictures of nude people around in public, it might also be good to not hoist nude anatomically correct dolls around in public, either...

      Sometimes I'll watch a TV show with my little fellers, and I'll take them for a walk every once in a blue moon. I remember for my first guy, I'd taken him out for the summer one year and it was all fun and things. Then winter took its good ol' time to go by. And then finally it was spring again, but then I found out that my sister had taken him out for pictures. I actually felt sad because I hadn't been the one to take him out for his "first day of spring again"... _xD I was disappointed that I'd missed that opportunity... It was quite a phenomenon...! I also get picky about how other people will pose my dolls, as their personality really shines through the best via their body posture. And it can be awkward to watch someone put them in a compromised position without your consent... @__@;;; Even if it's just playing around...

      I do still consider them as dolls, though affectionately. I wouldn't put them above paying bills and responsibilities in general...! And if I had to rush out of a burning building...!

      I think I'd probably dive onto concrete to save one of them from a fall, though. xDDDD I guess that's just about where the line is...
    4. it's completely understandable why you wouldn't want the doll naked around children and all of my dolls are based off of characters I've made up as well with my wife and all have links to one another. I don't want to offend anyone on here but I do find it silly when a person becomes upset over a doll being naked or saying not to look because their doll doesn't like it, but that's just me

      I like to take my dolls out on a walk too, our resent favorite spot has been a cemetery although I will carry them in a bag until it is picture time.
    5. Hrm, they're always more than just dolls to me. I'm very attached to them. But I don't worry about hurting their feelings or neglecting them or anything like that . . . I wouldn't have one hanging out nude just because 1. it makes me feel cold to look at them 2. they look unfinished 3. there are people around who aren't used to nekky dorries and 4. I like how they look clothed. While I often feel bad for them if they're naked or in some undignified position, I consider that as part of the fun -- imagining that they really are the characters they represent.

      Up to a point. I try not to think about it too much when dressing most of them, as I think most of them would be very offended by me doing that *L*. There's only one young enough for it to be reasonable for an adult to be dressing him.

      It would actually be nice if they could dress themselves . . .
    6. To me, they're just representations of characters - not the character themselves. I always get a bit confused when people talk about a doll being 'upset' at them, or 'glaring' at them. I mean, there's emotional projection, but there's also a thin line between that and me viewing the person as 'odd'.

      But then again, I'm also highly aware that my characters are creations of my own imagination. They're -not- real people and they never will be. Doesn't stop me from being attached to them, but I'm attached to them in the same way that I'm attached to any other beloved toy.
    7. I realize they're dolls and don't think of them more than that really. I do have abit of attachment to them because of the amount of time, money and effort I put into getting them, caring for them, working on them, etc. I also am an avid story maker and role player so I always end up developing personalities for the dolls - it's nice to be able to imagine how the character would feel about things you do.
    8. I like playing along or pretending my dolls speak via me or through their pictures and the like. I've always loved RPing online and table top RPGs, and my dolls are just a new facet to that, for me. It's how I have fun and relax and try and cope with all the little and not-so-little emergencies life likes to throw my way.

      However, I do not for a minute believe my dolls are real, in the sense that they have a soul or consciousness. I generally assume that most doll owners are the same way, no matter what they say or how they act with their dolls. I may talk to my dolls when I'm not playing with them, but it's the same way I'd talk to myself if I were alone. I don't expect an answer that I myself don't provide.

      But thinking that just ruins the fun for me. I'd rather not over-analyze my playtime with my dollies too much. ^^;
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    9. I never see my dolls as alot more than just dolls. Maybe a bit more, because they are an extension of myself and I'm attatched to them, but they're still dolls. Just a little bit more special ;)

      I usually 'realise' this when they either fail at posing or when I take their heads off xD
      To me the saying of "they're just dolls" irks me a bit if someone would tell me that. Yes, they are obviously dolls and they don't have a brain or a soul or a heart, but to me they are not just dolls. They have a special place, unlike the barbies I owned when I was a kid, stuffed away in boxes on my parents' attick. Those are just dolls to me ;)
    10. well I know they are just doll. at no time I would expect them to answer me or anything, but i still treat them as if they are alive. like: "sorry sweetie, i'm gonna have to take your head off" of " OMG sorry i hit your head on the wall xD; "
      they just don't care. clearly. but maybe because of how lifelike they look, it's just an habit to treat them like so. my MOM and best friend are like that too...
    11. The furthest I go, really, is to randomly exclaim "OMG YOU'RE SO CUTE!!!!! >_<!!!!" My mother's said more directly to my dolls than I have. One time, she came in my room to tell me something, saw that Tevy was sitting on my night-stand, bent down and said "Hello, Tevy!" Then looked at me like "well.....I had something to tell you, but I forgot." and walked back out of my room. -_- But then, this is the woman who dressed her Barbies up for the Emmys, so...
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    12. I think, in general, the attachment is more to the character than the doll. But the doll is a representation of the character, in the end; if the character is not one who would sit around nude, then I would (jokingly, mind you) tell people "omg don't look!" when re-dressing them. To me, it's just like when drawing the character, or writing the character. If the character wouldn't be naked in a normal circumstance, that will show in the drawing/writing.

      I do talk to my dolls, of course, and sometimes I imagine what the response from the character would be, and build an entire conversation around that. I see this as no different than filling out a character survey as the character, not as the creator. Or people who write out dialogue between themselves-as-creator and the character.

      But I always remember they are just dolls. I've had some weird experiences with dolls, sure -- one of my roommate's dolls somehow ended up with my wallet, and no one is sure HOW that happened. It was especially amusing as said doll's character is a theif. My roommate and I like to joke that Niko stole my wallet, but we do both know that someone probably moved it and forgot about it.

      I will do a lot for my dolls, but if it comes down to me or the dolls, well. I still have the characters, and dolls can be replaced (...one-offs not withstanding.)
    13. What is your general feeling of having your doll nude, does it highly offend you or do you feel it's just a doll it is not a big deal, do you talk to your dolls when it isn't play time?

      my dolls are nude half the time. i don't think they mind. ;) i talk to my dolls every once in a while, but mostly i just talk about them. (too much maybe)

      What other things?

      if i'm watching a movie or something, and they're in the same room, i tend to turn them so they can see, or if it is snowing outside or something, i don't put them out there nude. i realize the whole time that this may be a little crazy, but i figure if you are aware of that, you're not too crazy.

      however, i think what goes on in the imagination, can be just as real as what's "real". meaning, just because something might not exist on a scientific level, doesn't make it not real. for example, i know some people on this forum even believe their dolls have souls. though i don't really believe that for myself, i can certainly see why others do, and i wouldn't judge that at all.

      Where do you draw the line and remember that they are only dolls?

      i don't have a "line" per se, but some things bother me for some reason. for example, when people say "oh no! i spent all my money on these dollheart clothes because my doll demanded it", i totally relate, and probably have said the same thing, but sometimes i think - "come on, it was your choice, you bought the clothes because you wanted them." so maybe i draw the line when "blaming" our dolls for things. >>
    14. This sounds like a couple different threads, so I'll go look for them in a sec for you. :) Some of these threads address your questions while others may give a more general idea.

      Doll nudity: I don't mind doll nudity, but mine are always clothed unless they're in their boxes. Personally, it'd be odd to have a doll purposefully sitting out with no clothes on. They look unfinished.
      -Girls with boy dolls
      - Why nudity warnings?

      Dolly personification: Well, dolls are representations of humans and depending on the angle you're viewing/shooting they can appear to change expression. My Benny seems quiet when she's alone but I took a pic of her holding one of my Littlefee and she looked positively radiant and happy. It's a natural part of some play processes to project feelings and emotions onto toys; children do it all the time.
      ~Do you talk to your dolls?
      ~Does anyone talk to their dolls?

      Drawing the line: I don't really have a line because I never completely forget that they're just pretty pieces of resin.
    15. I always know somewhere in the back of my mind, yet nude photography can sometimes make me feel uncomfortable even when people do really great jobs on them. I like them, but... maybe there are some that cross some kind of line for me.

      I also would have to think about other people seeing my pics on the computer (since it's a family computer). No, there aren't kids here; just parents. I had a hard enough time explaining why I really wanted my doll, and I don't want to add to it the reasons for taking nudes of my doll.

      But really, you can do anything as long as, deep down, you know they're dolls. It's fun to pretend, sometimes.
    16. "The Line" is in so many different places for many BJD owners. In the group of my Dolly Friends, our lines are all over the place, yet we are all able to still be friends and understand where eachother is coming from.

      For me my dolls are prized possessions.... but not real. Doesn't stop me from talking to them... but hey, I talk to MYSELF all of the time! ^_^
    17. This will probably sound shallow, but I like for my dolls to be dressed when they're sitting on their shelf. I like them to feel complete. It annoys me when people come over and stare at tiny resin anatomy, mostly because the ones who do are immature about it. I don't mind getting teased for having dolls (which some of my fiance's family has done) but I don't appreciate them coming over and ogling the fact that Jasper has a penis.

      I know they aren't real in the breathing sense, and I'm not quite so romantic about "the resin love" as I was when I first started this hobby, but they ARE real in the sense of seeking the doll out, making their look, putting time and effort into them in whatever capacity the hobby has for each owner. I tend to see such customizable dolls as an extension of their owner in some way, sometimes it is more indirect than with others, but creative folk leave their mark on all that they touch.

      I draw the line at using them as an excuse for doing things, like buying clothes and such. I want to do it, they don't want me to.
    18. Such excellent responses. I'd love to quotes parts of almost every post!

      Yes, I'm aware my dolls are just hunks of resin. That's clear during "maintenance" and repairs, or the lack of response and warmth if I should try to cuddle them like a living pet. But they're also more than just hunks of resin because of the overlay and permeation of the characters they have been based upon and are used to express in photos. So my relating to them is half-submerged in the existence of those created characters. Although I might say "So-and-so is being cranky today" when it's hard getting an outfit on a doll, that's no different to me than the regular writer's speech-shorthand of saying "my character refused to go the way I wanted" when it was actually just a new idea twisting the preconceived plot.
    19. I think all of it is fine if you realize that the dolls are not real, I agree that it's a little odd when people say that their dolls demanded items from them is silly, and I again don't want to offend anyone but in my opinion I also feel awkward around those who swear their dolls are real and have ghosts inside of them I fully believe in ghosts but it's always odd to me and I think to myself why would a ghost possess a doll and always doubt someone's mentality when they say they can hear them speaking. I will sometimes have my MSD charme in the living room to take pictures but I'll have her sitting there for a while and take some glances at her while we are watching TV and think that she is adorable looking. The one time I feel uncomfortable about dolls being naked are when they are tinies, they are too realistic looking sometimes and it makes me want to say put some clothes on them when I see threads of them naked, but for older looking dolls I think to take pictures of them naked is nice sometimes I think that the person who made them worked hard to make their bodies beautiful * not all naked sculpts but more realistic ones* so I think nude photo shoots are fine. I do not really talk to my dolls
    20. The Chinese owner of one particular Chinese-Vietnamese-Japanese restaurant in Camden always makes me very welcome whenever I take one of my dolls in there with me; she views my dolls as being very lucky and therefore bringing good luck with them because I always treat them well and they are always immaculately dressed. She told me that her people believe if a doll is beautiful enough, a lucky spirit will take up residence in it, and if you treat the doll as though it were a real person then the spirit will bestow good luck upon you.