'The Uncanny Valley'


Picture from IMDb
"Hah, it's a dolly episode!"

That was what my husband said one evening when we started to watch an episode of Criminal Minds, from 2010. And after the episode he joked and said "Now I know how you are!"

The short version: I am a bit nuts.

Well, this episode is about a lady, who works as a nurse at a center and she has an unusual personal obsession as the show itself describes it. She lost her dolls, when she was young, and tries to re-create these dolls by using petite humans - tiny young women. She uses medications to get the women to sit still as dolls and she has tea parties.

When it comes to the hobby, I'm always interested to see how shows, other people and movies portrait collectors and those who like dolls. So far it has only been scary with dolls, collectors have been crazy and even murderous. Or the dolls have similar characteristics. Nothing so far have showed the opposite, and of course I wonder why.

Do people outside the hobby see us like odd people? What experience have you had? From my point of view, I have not had anyone saying crazy things or been pointing at me as the crazy lady with dolls. I have gotten some gazing, with an associated expression of curiosity. Kids are easygoing and do not mind. They can ask, stand beside or sometimes even just comment something like "I have a doll too" or "I like cars". Or as a little boy said last summer: "Do you like berries, I have some?"

Esther, last summer.
I had Esther along at a sightseeing nearby our cottage and stood there among berries, heather flowers, grass and the Johannishusåsen, with runestones. Took some photos and I think that Esther was a toy and an opener in his eyes. He did not see me as a danger, I felt that he trusted me because I was playing - maybe as his sister, with dolls. The boy was nice and stayed a while, while his family looked at the sights.

Well, I enjoy this hobby and if someone sees me as odd, then I will let them do that. 

14 comments:

  1. Wow what a lovely thing to offer you some berries he had! What a nice little boy. :)

    I've had mixed comments about dollhobby, worst comment was from a good friend when I bought my first doll. My friend said "you should get a real boyfriend instead of a doll", those days I didn't have a boyfriend which made it really hurtful and made me feel like how low do some people think of me really. Or some people think that you're having a doll becouse you don't have children, that could be really hurtful for someone who can't have children even if they want to. People don't really think what they say sometimes.

    One workmate is really interested and she always asks what I'm doing with my dolls currently, if I'm having a sewing project or so. The sewing part of it is totally acceptable and good, some say they like how pretty the dolls are and then are horrified about the prices. Relatives, I guess my parent's don't think about my hobby, my other relatives except few propably think less of me becouse I have dolls. There was this "sorry-I-pity-you're-stupid-face" going on when I once tried to explain to one of my aunts about going to LDoll to sell the clothes I sew... Oh that was a total waste of time.

    I've heard many comments but I really don't care if I seem odd or not, I've always had hobbies for myself and not for the others. It's great to have good dolly friends with whom to share this hobby. :)

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    1. The boy was really nice and he had some social skills. His sister was a bit like that too, but the parents mostly felt awkward. It was like the situation was a bit strange for them. But they were nice too.

      Oh my, that was a harsh thing to say, that you should get a boyfriend instead of a doll! I do not know, if I would get very sad och totally angry if someone said something like that to me. Probably both. I understand that it felt hurtful and made you feel low, as a person and as a collector. People should bite their tongue more often.

      I am glad that you could have a better discussion and experience with your workmate, who’s showed her/his interest. I have noticed that too, that the sewing part is accepted - and even the part when you take photos. But often the limit is right about there. The doll hobby is so much more and it does not describe us as nuts or crazy people. Often it is ignorance that open up for those discussions and ”sorry-I-pit-you’re-stupid-face”. Sadly.

      We need to do our thing and share the hobby, so that people do not think that we are a dolly worshiping odd sect. :D Glad that we have good dolly friends to talk to!

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  2. Oh I have seen that episode Niina, it was quite gruesome. I hope people don't think of us as quite that nuts! LOL! I don't mind being thought of as eccentric or a little dippy, like you I enjoy what I do and don't really care much what people think. Being unconventional and slightly strange has it's benefits at times.
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. We agree over here, hubby said it was a bit too much for him. Haha, I hope too that people see us as more normal than in the episode, but you never know - LOL! And it is true, it is always better to be oneself instead of being someone else, even if it is being unconventional and a bit strange. Then you are true to yourself! Hugs!

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  3. Oh that episode reminded me a lot of an anime I watched where there was a psychotic vampire boy (he was quite young) who liked to turn human females into "living" dolls and stored them in glass display cabinets.

    I agree with you though - a lot of doll collectors in movies/tv/anime etc seem to be portrayed as somewhat crazy and dangerous. Which is a little disappointing.

    I love this hobby and I do think a few of my immediate and extended family think it's kind of weird (seeing as I'm an adult and I play with dolls) but I let that sort of stuff slide right off. I know my work colleagues find it a little strange but I'm not the sort of person who hides something just because it doesn't fit into the perceived notions of 'normal'.

    And you know a little bit of odd in our lives just makes things a whole lot more interesting.

    I think children when they see us "get it" but some adults have somehow lost that part of themselves, that childlike wonder and imagination and this is why they can't fathom why adults would collect and play with dolls. Those of us who do I believe retain that sense of wonder and imagination and it's why we're drawn to the hobby in the first place.

    I also find it strange that adults who collect porcelain dolls are seen as perfectly fine doing that but any other type of doll and we come across as really strange people. Kind of a double standard there. I know when I tell people about my hobby, the first thing they think of are those older style porcelain dolls.

    I'm actually glad we have such a supportive community in this hobby. It's nice to talk to people who understand and 'get it'.

    So here's to a bit more odd in our lives. Cheers!

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    1. I have not watched so many anime movies, but I think I should. Some I have seen while the kids were younger. This one with the psychotic vampire boy sounds like an episode for me. :) Odd and creepy. And that is true, it is a bit disappointing that dolls and their collectors are portrayed like this. It would be a nice change with loving dolls instead of creepy ones, like Annabelle. And that the collectors are just normal, but what’s the fun in that? Well, life is more interesting like this - odd.

      And life is so much more with imagination and childlike wonder, you see things differently and can interact with kids and alike in a different way. A more giving way. My family understands my interest in dolls, but do not always hang along when I talk about it. Oldest daughter had a moment when she wanted to join the hobby. She had found two dolls to choose between and even got so far that she had bought a wig and a pair of boots. After several months of thinking, she came to the decision that she likes dolls, but does not have the time for it, emotionally to care for something. So she did not want to do that to the doll, as she put it. I kept the shoes and the wig for a long time, if she would change her mind. But she never did and are more ”no more dolls in this household” now. LOL. But she gets me and can at times give some guidance too, like that time I bought my second Barbie, the curvy fashionista. She wanted her to be as she was, so please no face up on this one. And I do listen.

      Yes, there is a point - why is it okay with porcelain dolls but another dolls is seen as something strange! I agree, it is a double standard. Collecting dolls is still collecting dolls, no matter what size or style. There should not be any lines.

      So, to supportive community, nice understanding people and a bit more odd in our lives! Let’s toast to that, Cheers! :D

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  4. This is a very itneresting topic, every single media out there picture us as the crazy people. I think it's crazier not to have any particular hobbies just because they are strange. I often wonder how many people out there would love a strange hobby but they are afraid of what others will think.

    I haven't encountered that any bad reactions to my doll collection. One girl once said my dolls were creepy but I just laughed, I just didn't care. I think people also tend to believe that adults collecting dolls might be trying to fill a void because they don't have children, but we know that's just silly and as Xaya said, really hurtful to people who actually can't have kids and actually want to.
    There was a TV program the other day here in Chile where they interviewed a male barbie collector in my city. He had a weird style (appareance) so I instantly thought they picked the weirdest guy they could find to make their show funnier and put us all in a crazy bag once again, but that was me being judgemental and Imental slapped me several times for thinking that, they actually treated his hobby vert respectfully and the guy wasn't even that crazy (and even though I can't see myself in him because his way of doing the hobby was different, He wasn't any crazier than any of us).
    Maybe in the future the people will see unusual hobbies with an open mind.

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    1. I think that I'm a rather normal person and there is nothing strange about me, so I felt that I do not fit the description out there when it comes to doll collectors. And where does the line go between odd and normal collecting? Stamps, old magazines, cars, cards are rather normal. So are figures (cats, dogs, angels, frogs), but dolls are often seen as creepy (should we blame the scary movies for that?). When I was a kid, I had a friend who collected Smurfs, a friend who collected perfume bottles and one who collected capsules from bottles and sometimes even the etiquettes. I had an amount of stuffed animals, nothing about us was seen, then, as odd. Maybe there has been a change how collecting is seen..sadly...

      That sounds like an interesting program. Often we do base our thoughts very fast on what we see. I'm glad that they treated his hobby and the guy with respect, that gives hope. Our collections are a part of us and it can describe us, but it is never a substitute for anything, so it is sad that people assume that. Then it is better to ask why one collects dolls, instead of being blunt and saying strange and hurtful things.

      Let's hope for a more open mind towards unusual hobbies!

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  5. That was very kind of him!!

    I have heard the most ridiculous comments from people inside the hobby, but since I do not take my dolls outside not share them with anyone outside my husband and parents, nobody knows xD But I agree that most media tend to portray "unusual adult hobbies" like doll-collecting as something inherently bad.

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    1. Yes, it was a nice gesture of the boy. It was a bit easier for me to stand there with Esther, just because of that. So I'm glad for that.

      Well, even inside the doll hobby - never thought about that, but I should have figured out that too. It's on open arena for opinions. I just hoped that it would be a bit more sheltered place. We all want the same, play with our dolls in the way that suits us.

      In the beginning I mostly had my dolls indoors or took them out while we were at the cottage. It was more safe and I could get used to the thought. But now I try to take photos outdoors more often. And we all know that our hobby is nothing bad. I would like people to ask me things instead of giving me strange faces.

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  6. This is an interesting topic and it's shame that some people look weirdly at this hobby. It is a special hobby, but in my opinion, it isn't weirder than someone owning 100 pairs of shoes, 200 nail polishes or someone collecting model cars.

    There are so many hobbies out there and as long as people have something they're passionate about shouldn't that be just fine? :D

    Most of my friends are in the doll hobby too and my family probably think I'm a bit weird, but they don't comment much on it. I've had my dolls outside a few times where I've gotten some weird and sometimes very judging looks, but no mean comments.

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    1. That's so true, collecting dolls should not be weirder than any other hobby. And behind every hobby there is one passionately engaged person, who just seeks understanding and wants to share his or hers point of view. It is sad if ones hobby gets so introverted that only oneself can enjoy it. There is a joy to be able to take out your doll, take pictures and have a time that gives you energy and fresh air. The judging looks makes it a bit harder, glad to hear that you have not heard any mean comments.

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  7. Hello, I recently discovered your blog :-). This is an interesting subject! I liked that episode by the way, at least the dolls weren't deliberately made "scary", like Annabelle and the likes. I'm very private about my hobby myself, so I haven't had many reactions yet. Once a stranger on a flea market talked to me about a "weird lady who makes clothes for her dolls". I got a very strange look from him when I told him that I do that too lol! People may think it's odd to collect dolls or sew doll clothes, but I don't care :-). But it's true, either scary dolls are presented in horror movies or shows, or murderous characters who like dolls (have you seen the movie May?). It's a good thing that there are so many doll blogs to read, the doll collectors blog world is a friendly place, whatever kind of doll it is that one likes!

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    1. Hello Susi and glad that you discovered my blog - welcome! :)

      I liked this episode too, and you have a point there that these dolls were not made scary. It is a good thing. I was pretty private about my hobby too, in the beginning. Then I found photos and blogs, were the doll-owners had taken photos outdoors. The light is different and even the scenery. So, that is why I tried a bit of that at our cottage, that is like a safe place. Since then I have been a bit braver, step by step.

      As long as we collectors feel confident about ourselves and our hobby, I think that we can take a lot of the strange talk, odd comments and their gazing. These words can be hurtful but I am glad too, that there are many blogs with like-minded collectors. It is a safe haven.

      Have not seen the movie May, need to look that up. Thanks for the tip!

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