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Why do you think there are so many frowning dolls?

Nov 15, 2010

    1. Is it a trend, a cultural thing, or are the frowny ones simply more popular? Why do you think so?

      Bonus question! What's your favorite expression to have on a doll?
    2. I haven't noticed a load of unhappy looking dolls... I've seen a few, but I've seen a few smiling dolls, too. I think most dolls' expressions are pretty neutral, which is what I like best. That way, they can look to have different expressions from different angles.
    3. oh, i haven't noticed many frowning dolls! maybe 3 that i can think of. i like them like that, though i don't own one. i think that most dolls have neutral expressions, so that you can infuse your own ideas or character into them.

      i guess i like all different kinds of expressions, but i think neutral ones are a good idea. dolls with smiles are always nice to have around too. :)
    4. While it's true that most of them are somewhat neutral, BJD neutral seems to be a little broodier than a human neutral, particularly when face upped. Maybe "frowning" wasn't the best way to describe it. ^^;;

      I'd like to see more genuinely relaxed-looking dolls. ^^
    5. "Pouty" is adorable on little pukipuki's XD I guess it makes them look a bit 'angsty' and 'deep' like staring off. Not totally sure~
    6. I wouldn't say there are lots of frowning dolls specifically, but that there are lots with fairly neutral expressions. However, that allows them to be more versatile as the owner can change the doll's expression by changing the faceup. There are some smiley dolls out there, though -- Ninodoll has a lot of happy looking headsculpts.
    7. when you said "relaxed neutral", i immediately thought of volks school a. :)
    8. I have noticed the same thing. The frowny ones make me think they are unhappy and make me feel like a bad owner @_@ so I wouldn't want to get one. I like ones that have a small itty bitty smile to them or like an curious expression. Thats what i think ^_^
    9. I actually think there are more smiling dolls out there, though may just be a matter of perspective...I prefer pouty, frowning or neutral dolls but all I ever seem to see are smiling ones. People searching for smilers may only find the frowning dolls.
      More than half my dolls smile, and there are plenty more out there that are even more smiley.

      Also, so many male sculpts are on the less masculine side that a lot of people use angry eyebrows to manly up their boys, giving a more neutral sculpt a "frown".
    10. I've no idea why - but they sell so they must be popular. It would be very bad for my finances if there were mroe smiley ones. At least with the majority looking neutral or grumpy I'm not as tempted to buy as I would be with smilers.

      I have a token grumpy girl and grumpy boy in my resin clan and the rest are neutrals or, if I can find them, smilers.

      Big smiles!... RealPukiSoSo type smiles, preferably... or actual smiles, instead of neutral-could-look-like-a-smile-if-viewed-from-the-right-angle-and-painted-to-emphasise-it-but-not-actually-a-smile sculpts.

    11. I think we tend to read "happy" easier (Oh, he's smiling! All must be well in his world) so it's also read quicker, and the effect is that it spends less time in your thoughts. Whereas, a "broody" expression begs a question--why is he upset? What happened? etc, and causes us to think a little more, and so it stays in our thoughts longer. For this reason, "broody" tends to be a more compelling expression, and thus more appealing, and the rest is just the history of demand and supply ^^;;

      ...Yes I -may- have been doing too much art-history related homework lately LOL.
    12. I never thought about it much before but I definitely do go for "smilers" and maybe that's why there aren't many sculpts that have really grabbed my attention. Just looked through my favourites and aside from the odd grouch, 'smiling with the eyes' - for want of a better expression - seems to be a pretty consistent theme, Souldoll Philippa being an obvious example, along with Iplehouse Carina and Tatiana. In fact most of the Iplehouse sculpts are very expressive in a subtle, accomplished way (if I had infinite money/space I would own every single EID and SID because they're incred) and Jessica was one of the first dolls I really loved, but now I couldn't see myself buying her just because it's like, y so srs Jess? Even though she's terrific and whoever sculpted her is a legend.

      I was terrified of porcelain dolls as a child though, and many of them are all ":("

      At the end of the day I think it does require a lot of skill from the sculptor to make a face expressive sans faceup and remain natural-looking/not creepy, I'd imagine you have to have a good handle on the basic facial structure/aesthetic of what you're working on and only then start to bring in an expression. From experience it's hard enough trying to draw an accurately referenced smiling face without taking too many liberties and it then looking like an over-stylised mess.
    13. Speaking as someone who's got a lot of those tiny cuddly toys out of UFO Catchers in Japan - I think it's a cultural thing. In a box of about fifty of the things (The box at the foot of my bed) about half of them look "neutral", a quarter look happy, and a quarter are actually crying, or have that strange dizzy @_@ face. Apparently, according to a Japanese girl I met, it's because if they're sad you feel like you want to hug them and look after them.

      This could easily also apply to dolls.

      Of course, it could just be that realistic smiles are difficult to sculpt. My BBB sprite looks downright mirthful though!
    14. Personally I think most dolls are neutral looking. I've only seen a few truly frowning dolls (elfdoll K is one of them). Most have a standard neutral expression and with the right face-up it could look angry or serious, yes, but also happy, shy, sad etc.

      Plus, as Ratty says, realistic smiles are difficult to sculpt, because a face needs more than just lips to pull of that expression.
    15. I have noticed quite a few here and there, I think it's their face-ups made to look that way.
      You ever noticed in fashion shows a lot of models have that 'angsty' look?
      I think it's just to give a bit of depth.
    16. I don't think there are that many frowning dolls. I've only seen a few that are actually sculpted that way, and some that have frowning faceups.

      I think that the few that are frowning are just for some character and expression. Most dolls are sweet or neutral. Some people have characters that aren't just sweet or neutral...
    17. I've come across a lot of neutral looking dolls, but I have seen some smirking or frowning ones as well. Maybe society has just decided the whole *smiling* thing is a little cliche with pictures? Because a picture is usually the first thing we see of a doll.
      Or maybe even companies have designed dolls to be more neutral so they can seem more real. I mean, most people don't go around smiling or frowning every second of the day. ;)
    18. Is it a trend, a cultural thing, or are the frowny ones simply more popular? Why do you think so?

      They look...more moody? More brooding and beautiful? The sad, lonely and fair is always a popular look for people I geuss.

      Bonus question! What's your favorite expression to have on a doll?
      I tend to like really shocked faces or wide eyes.
    19. It probably is just a preference or character thing. Some people prefer that kind of doll, and others have specific characters in their head that may not be all sunshine and roses. I find pouty or frowning tiny dolls tend to be adorable since they appear to have an attitude, but I don't know if I'd own one.
    20. I have one - HZ's Wangye. He's adorably grumpy at times, can look angry, soulful, sad, and sometimes he actually looks quite cheerful. Don't ask me how because the frown is actually sculpted on his face. I do think he's more versatile than a sculpted frown might suggest. I also think eyes can make a difference. When I tried him with a pair of blue acrylics, I'd never seen him looking so cheerful. Sadly one of my other dolls has nabbed the blue pair for the time being, so he's back to his luminous red eyes. I don't think I'd want a bunch of happy dolls. I don't mind a mix. I find Iplehouse's Tania more soulful than Tatiana, so while I like both, Tania's my favourite of the two, though I don't own either.