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Unconditional love or Actual possessiveness?

Nov 9, 2007

    1. Hi i've been thinking about this for a while so i was wondering if it would be a good debate or just a discussion. Please lock and delete this if it's not a very good debate subject or if it's off topic.

      The facts is that i watched Dollmaster a few days ago. And one thing really got to me

      "You may be very upset if you lost your doll/toy even if it is not real. But have you ever thought how a doll would feel because it's lost it's owner? Desperately looking for the lost owner?"

      "How do dolls show their love for a human?"

      This isn't a cross over with the other debate threads. The topic is simple:

      To those who are sentimentally bonded with their dolls, do you reckon your 'love' is an actual unconditional love or is it really a dictated possessiveness on your behalf?


      This idea came to me after watching the movie (Doll master) in a way it got me thinking. I had a heart to heart with my mother last week. I've been feeling down, very down. It was a gradual thing but that's not the point. When i talked to her i said one thing that never really crossed my mind:

      "I hate being alone, having my dolls and plushies around make me more relaxed. They calm me, they give me a sense of security."

      I had always thought i loved my dolls unconditionally, i like them to look good so i spend money on them. I like them to have things that match them in their storylines so i sew and design their clothes. I've spent so much money on them it's ridiculous to other people. But what do i get in return from them? Beautiful pieces of art, company. Or is it self satisfaction? They look good or look how i want them to look so i'm proud and happy? Or is it really them i'm thinking of in the first place?

      I'm not saying this is initially a bad thing, i'm not saying people who love their dolls are crazy or anything. I'm just asking if the 'unconditional love' we say we have for our dolls is really unconditional? Like a mother and child. Mother's love their children unconditionally (so as fathers) children love their parents back. Partners love each other. But can this be applied to loving your doll?

      I've once heard a saying, every human being is selfish. No one would love selflessly. Yes people are capable of doing wonderful and selfless things, but deep down each person do things for themselves.

      So if we apply this 'love' to dolls, is it really 'love' or is it 'possessiveness'? We take care and love our dolls in different ways but in a way we always know they can't betray us they wouldn't lie, they're always there for us. But the idea from doll master. Is this really love? On their behalf and ours.
    2. I'd say it's a mix of both but with elements proportionate to the individual owner. Personally, I view my dolls with happiness because I feel accomplished at making something that matches the vision in my mind, but I feel fond of them because of the fact that they look like what I wanted. I don't know if I'd use the word 'love' when speaking of my dolls - I know love, and it's a two-way thing for two people. I don't think I could love an inanimate object - I might seriously adore or be passionate about it, but.. love? I don't think so. So.. I think it's a little of both in my case; I adore how they look, and I derive satisfaction from the work involved in getting them to look that way.
    3. My dolls aren't people. Sorry to tell them I love them just as toys. I've only ever had a few toys that I bonded with enough that I couldn't give them up and it was because they represented something more than they are.
    4. I suppose because I'm older and have a human partner and family, I don't look at my dolls as more 'people to bond with'. And I don't want them to be! It's hard enough with real people, the dolls can be an escape from that for me.

      For someone who's single though, perhaps they do mean more in some sense. I can't imagine having been able to afford to buy and upkeep such expensive dolls when I was young and alone though. Perhaps the "stuff" should come later, after settling down?

      I don't know how I feel about the whole "bonding" issue. Sometimes I think it's very wrong-headed. These are things, inanimate objects... no matter how human-shaped, no matter how beautiful or how cute.

      In a human's life there's a time one has to put away the toys for awhile, or it used to be that way anyhow. Maybe you can find a partner/friend/s who also has toys? That would be wonderful!

    5. I love my dolls, but it's not unconditional. If they suddenly stopped bringing me pleasure, I wouldn't keep them around strictly for 'their benefit' or anything - they don't have emotions, as much as I joke that they do. So.. yes, I'm totally possesive of my dolls. They're my possesions, so that's how it works out. It makes sense to call the emotion 'love' on a day-to-day basis only because they have characters.
    6. All of my dolls to me are just basically possessions and pretty things to put in my line of view to make me happy. Of course, I feel a little less this way about my favorite doll of the bunch ^___^;, but still, in the end she is just a possession.

      I (personally) can really only use the term "unconditional love" for another being... as in sacrificing of yourself for it. If someone sacrifices him/herself (in a way that is really harmful, at least. I think to a point many doll fans, especially us younger, less financially-secure ones, "sacrifice" fancy meals and stuff once in a while to save for a doll xD) for an inanimate object, I would be worried about that person...
    7. I don't think there's anything wrong with bonding or really loving your doll. The thing is, is that people view their dolls in so many different ways. To some they are just pretty hunks of resin, to some they have souls, to others they are physical embodiements of beloved characters, to others they bring the satisfaction of art and crafty pursuits, and there is no right or wrong to any of these ideas. However, you can't really expect all owners to see their dolls as only inanimate human shaped objects--there's just too many different types of owners from too many different backgrounds.

      Being really bonded to your doll doesn't mean you can't bond to other people--it doesn't have to be one or the other. I love my dolls, really and truly, but my relationships with friends and family and the respibilities to my various animals don't suffer because my dolls mean more to me than inanimate hunks of resin. Why does it have to be all or nothing?

      I also don't agree with the idea that you get to a certain point and have to put the toys away. I think playing is healthy--it relieves stress and you can have very positive social interactions over shared hobbies. As a very shy person, playing with dolls helps me get out and meet more people in a nonstressfull way.

      As to the OP's question: I think there's a bit of both. I love my dolls because I love my dolls. But yeah, I also get a sense of satisfaction out of seeing them look nice, or if I manage to get a really good photo (which doesn't happen very often), and they are beautiful to have around.
    8. Well. . . I think it depends on the person, but to me they are treasured possessions. I love my doll, I really do, but there are limits. You spend a lot of time and money on them to turn them into something you can be proud of and call yours. I do love my doll, but I have limits and those limits keep me from going too overboard with my hobby.

      I do worry for those that truly treat their dolls as though they are living beings, and they start sacrificing themselves for the dolls.

      I have a friend that is one of those that Turynn was talking about. She almost went into the poor house before even considering to sell her dolls so she could eat/have a roof over her head. Truth be known, she'd have had the dolls, but no house to live in and no food if no one had stepped in, just her dolls.

      That level is definitely bad. Very bad.

      I do think those that would rather lose their homes before their dolls, are combating loneliness with them. I seem to notice that the only people that seemingly have this issue are those that live totally alone.

      Humans can't live alone, they have to have something. For some, it's dolls, I guess.
    9. Like Ravendolls, I'm an older, married gal, and the majority of my dolls do fall into "highly-valued possession" territory. I absolutely adore them, but I don't have anywhere near the same depth of attachment to them that I have to BSR or my god-daughter or The Kid Brother. I don't feel the same way about them that I do about any of my "live" friends.

      That's true for MOST of my dolls... Not all.

      Harumatsu and the Alabaster Prince are a whole different thing. With those two, it's more like they're members of the family than lifeless objects. They're every bit as much companions to me as my cats or my canary, and I think of them in similar terms. Yes, I know they're not alive, and that when you get down to it they're soul-less chunks of resin just like the rest of them... But I still value them more, and in more "human" terms. I'm closer to them.

      It's not a rational attachment. I know that. Even though Harumatsu was originally purchased to be something of a "silent companion"... and even though I loved the Abyssal character that Al represents more than any gaming character I've ever had, before or since... it's still a very silly thing. But it's the truth.

      I guess that means that using the OP's terms, I'm just possessive of most of my guys, and I only really love these two.

      I can handle that. :lol:
    10. hm that's an interesting thought, because unconditional love between humans means means no matter what one does the other will love it. but even that bond still doesn't mean you own someone or they belong to you.

      whereas, as you say, dolls can't betray us, or run away, or upset us deliberately. so it's a safe kind of love, for anything you know you own.
      we know we can make them look and ‘be’ how we want, and as some people don't 'bond' with their dolls, they sell them on.

      i love Rei because i know he's mine, so to me it is more of a possessive love. :D
    11. Since I'm not sure I entirely understand the OP's question, my apologies if my answer comes out a bit skewered, but from what I think to myself when reading the first post, is yes, I do love my boys unconditionally.

      Both of my dolls are resin forms of characters that I created during a very difficult time in my life, and continue to work on now as I'm starting to heal from that period. There's parts of them that are so purely me it's a little bit unnerving, and I think it's because of this I'm so focused on creating them to be as 'alive' as possible. If something were to happen to them, their spirit/idea/memory/creation/whatever you want to call it, I don't quite know if I'd be able to respond to that. Just keep in mind this isn't something that started just when I began collecting dolls. This is something that has been continual, simply that dolls is the tangible form for it.

      I'm not sure if people find my ways of viewing my dolls as particularly healthy, but I love having them here as I think they really do help me to cope.
    12. I'm of the opinion that people are inherently selfish. They are also inherently good in many ways, but "selflessness" as we so often think of it does not truly exist. That being said, the motivation behind the effort each person puts into their dolls is very different. While some people view their dolls as a companion that would have some sort of soul, even if this soul is only positive energy that we have given them through our doting dedication, others view them as toys, albeit exceptionally lovely ones. In either case, the doll makes the owner happy, and that, in the end, is what matters.
      If one thinks about it in a certain light, love too is rather selfish, as although we must consider the object of our affections' feelings, we ultimately pursue love for our own happiness. I feel that all of life is spent in the pursuit of happiness, and if these dolls can give us that, we shouldn't think of ourselves as "selfish," no matter what our individual motivations may be.
    13. I'm really sorry for not being really clear ^^" Basically i'm taking the idea from Doll Master the movie. I wouldn't recommend a review reading because the film doesn't make enough sense without the explanation of the director.

      Basically the idea is similar to the one of unconditional love. Can a person love another without asking for something in return? I had answered yes when a someone asked me. But that person went, really? No human being does anything for free, even the idea that 'i'm doing a good thing because i want to' is more like 'i'm doing a good thing because it would make me feel good (either because someone else is happy or personal happiness)' therefore would you consider that as selfishness?

      So i placed that idea on dolls. Do we 'love' them because they're 'special' and we give them 'souls'? Or is the artistic 'soul' merely a method of 'dictated possessiveness' i got the idea from the director of Doll Master. So the question is the one he asked at the end of the film.
    14. Yeah, it USED to be that other humans could tell you how to live your life, & burn you at the stake if you differed from their formula. It USED to be that women were supposed to get married without going to school or working outside the home. It USED to be that you could own other humans as property and make them work for you. And remember when videogames used to be for kids? Now gaming is an entire industry for adults, and grownups don't hide their games or toys anymore.

      Times have changed. It is now okay to keep whatever objects make you happy as an adult. Play, as Taco points out, is now widely regarded as a good thing to keep in one's life.

      I love my dolls as possessions-- even though they're particularly "lively" possessions that have more of a humanlike mojo than my other possessions. However, that doesn't mean that it's not still love. I suppose it depends on each person's philosophical definition of Love; I think you can love objects just as much as you can people. What you get from object/person in return, and how it makes you feel, that's a very personal thing. If someone "bonds" so closely with their doll that they get a nice warm feeling in return... how can it be harmful or 'wrongheaded' to give their love to it?
    15. Lol i dont think im smart enough to understand this topic.
      but ill give it a shot xD.

      Im selfish and greedy. I love to own stuff. My dollies... so far i havent bonded with any of them. Ive seen them all as an inanimate objects. Similar to a a figure from a story or Like those figurines of anime characters many people collect, just to have sitting on their shelf and to show off. they cant really talk... hold conversations, interact.

      I guess i have a possessive love for them. Theres always a reason why you love someone or something. Although, maybe it also depends on how the person views the word "love" as im not all entirely sure of the meaning myself. Or maybe its the word "unconditional" i dont understand.

      But it was a good movie lol.
    16. Oh, I see, thanks for explaining a bit more yukihotaru. It almost sounds like you're dappling with the thoughts of altruism, which I just had a huge discussion about in my english class, so my entire thought process as to whether ot exists or not has been entirely turned upside down. @.@

      I love my dolls simply because their character exists. I think in a way, this could be a yes to your question of 'do we love them because of the 'soul' we give them'. The reason my boys are so special to me is not because of how much time and effort I put into making them the unique individuals they are. It's because they already are those unique individuals, and that is what puts me at ease. I don't doubt in the least what I feel towards my boys is love, not simply their resin forms, since for me, they go to something so much deeper than that. If they were destroyed or mutilated in some horrible way, it would make me quite distraut, but not more than if something were to actually happen to their very essence. It's difficult to explain, the presence they have. I'm not sure if I'd call it a soul, but it's something that is definately...alive.

      Once again, I think I entirely missed the point and went completely off topic. My apologies, and I'll just bow out before making more of a fool of myself.
    17. This is pretty tough. Personally, I have a writer's soul and my dolls are characters that I created. I treat them like I would my beloved fictional characters that I eventually plan on publishing. So, to me, they are a part of myself and I dearly love them. Call me crazy, but I interact with them as if they are alive. And they are because I am.

      So, in a way I have bonded them to me and I couldn't imagine tossing them aside out of boredom or whatever reason. For me it's unconditional since as a writer I feel I would be telling my characters they don't mean anything to me. I love them all dearly. I know very well human interaction is a big part of my life, but I balance my creative passion with reality.

      I have to agree with the 'unconditional' love linked to whatever my dolls develope as a character I'll love them anyway. However, I know they are dolls. I give them life. So, I guess it's my love for the possession but I hold them high above simple objects. So I guess it's a mix of both, but mostly un-conditional since I put their needs before mine!-laughs- Like instead of getting manga and other things, I buy them clothes and spoil them. I really expect nothing in return except for them to be there. But this is how I define it, and I know others view it differently.
    18. I agree with this. I love at least some of my dolls a lot but I don't see it as any sort of "bonding issue" or something to be worked out. I've figured out that the reason I like at least two of my dolls is that they resemble to some extent people I was close to in my real life. Often this doesn't register on me right away, only after I've felt a powerful draw towards the doll. By the same token, some dolls put me off because they happen to resemble people I've had a problem with in my real life.

      "Bonding" with a doll to me is like "bonding" with a piece of art in that it's something that can trigger an emotional response in you for some reason - the way it looks, the circumstance under which you encounter it - but I don't see my dolls as some sort of animate friends or relationship partners with issues on both sides to be worked out.

      Edited to add, and yes, I've sometimes thought of dolls or toys as being sad because they miss their owners or feel rejected or whatever, but at the same time I feel that I am partially projecting my own feelings - the way I would feel in that situation, or the way I have felt in similar situations - onto the doll. Dolls and toys are one place for people to work out their feelings by kind of projecting them. It's not really like the inanimate piece of resin is coming to life and having a feeling all its own.
    19. I'm tempted to say love for your doll would nearly have to be unconditional since it is not the doll's fault if it does not look a certain way or wear the sort of clothing you prefer. The doll is limited in its ability to earn love. Pretty much all a doll can do is be loved for existing. Perhaps if a doll could speak, he or she might
      ask if if their perfection isn't enough to justify being loved.
      I don't know-these are just unorganized thoughts brought on by the question.
      Maybe every doll gives its owner exactly what it receives.
    20. A few of my dolls represent characters that are the creative work of years and years of RP and story-crafting so to me, since they embody it, I feel as though I would be betraying them to let them go. It is unconditional. They are the characters brought to as much 3-D life as they will ever get. But here's the kicker. I made the characters up in the first place. SO what I'm really loving is my own imagination and I suppose by extention alter-egos.

      When I sold my first doll, I had that pang of 'the doll's feelings will be hurt'. But I have since sold quite a few and I feel that my collection is better for it and these dolls that have gone to other homes are perfectly fine. After all, its not like these dolls are barbies. They aren't going to some destructo-kid.