Why are dolls so meaningful to you?

Apr 23, 2016

    1. Hey everyone!

      The never ending question doll owners seem to face is, "Why would you collect dolls?" Or various other questions of scrutiny. I see a lot of doll owners are also a little scared to admit that they collect dolls at first to most people they know, with how judge-y a lot of people are about them (especially family, given costs). That being said, for a lot of us dolls have different meanings and there are different reasons why we love them. Whether we call them an investment, a hobby, or something else they without a doubt all hold a special meaning to us.

      For me, there are several reasons. Each of my girls has a story and is a character of some sort, and I love writing stories, ect. However, they've also helped me out in other ways that most people probably wouldn't expect. This is something I haven't admitted to many people, if anyone at all- but BJD helped me see myself in a better light. This may sound incredibly strange, but they helped me (at least start to) get over an eating disorder. Seeing the beauty behind dolls, especially those which weren't super thin made me see weight in a more realistic way. As each doll company makes their dolls bodies different, so are all people. In fact, most dolls I've found are not extremely thin but more of an "average" weight than we see in every day culture.

      Dolls can mean many things to a person, and be so much more than a hobby or art. When people question why you'd spend so much money on your dolls, we all see them as worth what we spend for certain reasons.

      So I have to ask, why do all of you love your dolls and what is their significance to you? :)
       
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    2. I've always used creating characters as a way to cope with being alone all the time growing up. For me, the idea of having a physical representation of the characters I have invested so much of myself into is just so pulling. I never have to be alone again if I have my dolls with me, I never have to worry about any of them judging me.
      I can't wait to be able to carry around Kishen, my bby, my boy.
       
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    3. For me, I guess it's having this perfect little friend who you can hang out with that won't judge you. Well, that and the artistic aspect...
       
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    4. I like the artistic aspect, but like so many things it can be a very social hobby, which I really enjoy.
       
    5. It makes me feel less loney. Downside is I tend to cut down real life human interaction because I am satisfied with my doll.
       
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    6. Many reasons. Overall, these little resin people are an outlet for almost all of my hobbies combined--painting, sewing, role play, character creation, writing, toys, dolls, dioramas, photography, sculpting tiny foods and props, meeting new people, hanging out with friends. I've always liked dolls, and these are my favorite.

      Side note: I don't feel a need to explain my interests to rude people, especially since I'm an adult managing my own finances. I don't have to justify a harmless hobby that makes me happy to people who don't care if I'm happy.
       
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    7. My doll gives me an escape. I can jump into the world I'm creating instead of the one I live in.
       
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    8. I do agree with you there. If someone finds it strange that I have dolls I generally just figure they really aren't worth the time. If someone can't support someone else's hobbies how much of a friend are they really? Life's too short to not do what you want! :)
       
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    9. That's how I've always felt. I may have friends with hobbies I find weird, boring, or too expensive, but I don't put them down for it. People don't have to like or understand your hobby to accept that you're happy. A good friend should respect that fact! There are people out there doing much worse things than playing with toys as an adult/teen.
       
    10. I really like to use them as a creative outlet. I think it's amazing what this hobby has introduced me to like sewing and improving my paint skills.
       
    11. I've always enjoyed making small models out of clay, like mini-food, mini-animals, mini-trees and flowers (I'm a bonsai collector, by the way >.<), and my favourite part of The Sims is creating characters. So, for me a doll is like a scaled Sim-person <3 I can choose a sculpt, the body, face-up, eyes, wig, clothes, imagine a story, take photos... so for me it's the ideal hobby!! I think we feel attached to a doll because we choose every single thing that doll is wearing, and that's very personal and special.

      Same here! I really like imagining stories for my doll. Just like in the sims, lol!

      Wow!! I'm very happy to hear that!! Eating disorders can be very harmful, I know I don't know you, but I'm really proud of you :)
       
      #11 Naisha, Apr 23, 2016
      Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
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    12. I grew up in a military family and we moved often. Just about every three years. Add to that the time needed to deal with eight orthopedic surgeries and you can see..I didn't really have a lot of time to make close friends. We were three sisters, and we generally stuck together. While I and my middle sister could play with almost anything as long as she was the leader..I and my youngest sister didn't have that luxury. I couldn't get around well, and she was very active, so if I wanted to play with her I knew I had to make it specially engaging.

      She loved animals of all sorts, and collected animal figurines, and I collected dolls. So for her animals and my dolls we created a town. I don't remember what the town's name was. It tended to change names and locations pretty frequently. All of my dolls had a task of some kind. My flamenco dancer-doll was a teacher. I had a Dresden Shepherdess who was a tour guide (and the town drunk) and Barbie, who was the town's medic, because she had a magic necklace. Which was as close to cerfification as you could get in a town where the mayor was a ceramic snail. I fear that I lost the Flamenco dancer, and the shepherdess to frequent moves. Barbie didn't really hold my interest. Once my little sister grew up some she put aside the toys and the town. I left off dolls altogether until I saw the article on BJD in an issue of the paper...
       
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    13. I was definitely one of those kids who didn't make friends easily-- though when I was a kid, I wasn't really 'into' dolls, more stuffed animals or smaller figures. But I mean, the relationship I had with my toys was very informed not only by my own loneliness, but also the book 'The Velveteen Rabbit', which kind of dug into my head.

      Cut to years later, adult (well, college) me is dealing with change and impermanence, and having the friends that I had managed to make all moving off to other places and such, having groups that used to be close drift apart from each other, and just needing something new and interesting to capture me and take my mind off of things.

      My two younger siblings drew me into the world of BJDs, and though I'd never been a 'doll person', the customization factor was really appealing to me as a writer and an artist, and I just... really loved the look of the dolls that they showed me.

      During the time period where I was actively saving for my first doll, having decided to go all in and join the hobby, the family suffered a really huge loss, and a lot of things changed for me for the worse, but having a new hobby-- not just a goal to work on as far as saving up money, but having creative things to look forward to *doing*-- and not just any hobby, but one I could share with some of the people I was closest to in the world, it really did make things better. It was something we could bond over and get into together, and now it's not just me, but both of my siblings who are doll owners, able to do things like face-ups and sewing projects together and trade tips, lend each other props for photos or help out with setting up a good lighting situation. Our mom's even got a little (off-topic) doll of her own, though she's not really interested in going for a resin BJD (though she's open to a small, non-resin bunny at this point, haha)-- she understands the hobby well enough and is always enthusiastic about our dolls and any new creations or finds for them.

      So even if my relationship with toys in general started out because they were there for me when I was a lonely kid... now the doll hobby has given my family something we can all bond over to at least some degree. (plus, well... the dolls still are there for me, for whatever I do need them to be-- they just aren't the only ones I can talk to)
       
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    14. What does this hobby do for me...

      Well I have been in this hobby for 10 years now. When I first started it was more of an "awe" affect... And the endless creative possibilities... ( I was an artist) Now that I am older and a stay at home mom of four.

      It's my "me time" my personal gift to myself... I've actually become much more active since becoming a mom. It's a quiet thing I can do while everyone is asleep. I get to admire and play with my little latis...
      They remind me to take time for myself. It's also a strange " you can have something nice" kinda feel...
      And in a strange way, I see them as an investment too.
      They also give me company because truthfully I don't get out anymore with so many small kids in tow... I love each one of my girls for being their own little person.

      I truly enjoy this hobby so much more as an older adult now.

      If only I could go back to my 16 year old self and say "it does get better" haha
       
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    15. I've always loved dolls, and I've always loved creating characters, but I think all the tertiary hobbies that factor into this one are what really make it fulfilling for me. I've learned photography, painting, sewing, and jewelry making through dolls, and I've made a lot of friends through meetups. It's just been a very positive experience.
       
    16. Anneko, I wish I could give you a hug.
       
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    17. There's a lot of reasons for me, but the biggest reason is that I just really like dolls a lot! I think they're pretty and I love pretty things! I also enjoy the artistic aspect that comes along with this hobby. There's endless possibilities in the realm of dolls, you can make them whatever you want them to be! It's so much fun trying to come up with different looks and styles, personalities, and stories for them! :) I also kind of like living vicariously through them. There are definitely some hair colors that I wouldn't be able to pull off or really care to put in the work just to maintain it, and there are fashions that I think are cute but just wouldn't really reflect my own style very well, so when I dress my own dolls up and and give them crazy colored wigs and eyes, I get a feeling of satisfaction from it.

      On a more personal level, I have to say I also enjoy dolls because of the community itself! As a person with a lot of interests and is also quite shy, it's not always easy for me to feel accepted within a lot of communities, as I find a lot of them to be a bit on the aggressive/competitive side and some can even be downright disrespectful to one another, and that's just not something I want to join in on. The doll community is by far the nicest and most polite community that I've ever had the joy of being a part of. Another thing is, I feel like within this hobby, I'm my own person, if that makes any sense. People see me for me, and not as someone's tag-along; that's a first for me. Often when I join in on something that say, my brother or my husband is a part of that I'm interested in, I'm automatically just known as "the sister" or "the wife" and that label seems to just stick. It's nice to just be recognized as me. Sorry if this seems like a bunch of babble, I'm struggling a little to properly put this into words. ^^;
       
    18. I love the beauty in them.
       
    19. I don't think I would be as interested in dolls if it were not for the community. It's so much fun to share pictures and stories and swap them with others. I'm sure I would still like dolls otherwise, but I probably wouldn't own nearly as many.
       
    20. Their characters and stories, definitely. It must be one of the most pleasurable things on the world, seeing a beloved character who used to live in your imagination come alive and become tangible all of a sudden. And you are able to look into their eyes <3
       
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