"Reborn" dolls - Cute or Creepy?

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GloriaInTX's picture
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"Reborn" dolls - Cute or Creepy?

If you have never seen these dolls just do a search on Ebay and you will find hundreds. Some of them are amazing how real they look. Do you think they are cute or creepy?

According to recent news reports, elaborate fake babies—called “reborn dolls”—are becoming popular with adult women.

The dolls, which can cost more than $12,000 (but often sell for several hundred or a few thousand dollars)—have extremely realistic hair and incredibly lifelike facial features and skin tone, thanks to many hours spent by artists who paint them, complete with one-of-a-kind birthmarks—and painstakingly apply their locks and lashes. Some of the dolls are made to look exactly like premature babies and delivered with an incubator and even with IVs.

Some younger women claim the dolls satisfy their maternal needs. Some middle-aged women claim the dolls comfort them as their children leave for college. Indeed, companies will supply custom-made dolls that closely resemble a woman’s own baby—born twenty years before.

It would be one thing if women were buying “reborn dolls” out of morbid curiosity or a passion to collect them (like Hummel figurines). But women are taking their dolls out in strollers (no kidding) and strapping them into car seats for trips to the mall. Fortunately, they don’t actually believe their “babies” are real. That would be a true psychotic delusion. But they are able to suspend disbelief and play with them as though they are real—kind of like believing in a movie while you are watching it..

While this may seem like a harmless fad, when taken with other evidence that we prefer fantasy to fact, I see this as the latest symptom that our species is losing its grip on reality, in a wholesale fashion. Increasingly, we are loath to accept our own life stories, and work through the inevitable painful chapters, in order to achieve real personal growth. People who are dissatisfied with who they are can now pretend they are entirely different people on secondlife.com. Children who might otherwise have to establish real relationships with pets, can adopt animated ones on clubpenguin.com.

Teenagers who haven’t seen the world at all can wear tee-shirts from trendy retailers emblazoned with logos of hotels and restaurants in exotic, far-off locales (hotels and restaurants which, by the way, may not even exist). Many millions of people can sterilize their life stories into Facebook profiles and each effortlessly gather hundreds or thousands of “friends” (not one of whom need necessarily be a genuine friend, at all). Politicians who choose not to address real threats to our economy can print money and prop up failed or fledgling industries. And, now, women who might have integrated the end of their childbearing years (or their inability to ever have children) into their self concepts and found new ways of truly expressing themselves, can dodge that journey by ordering fake babies and “nurturing” them.

“Reborn dolls,” seen this way, are closer to drugs than they are to collectibles. Like street drugs, they reduce anxiety by substituting an illusion. But, like every anesthetic, they only delay the inevitable reckoning with anxieties everyone must face. A woman who uses a fake baby to treat questions she has about her value as a human being after her childbearing years is actually dodging those questions. And, like every artificial way of avoiding discomfort, nurturing a fake baby will only increase that discomfort, in the longer run.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/06/28/fake-babies-fake-lives/#ixzz1QaqAmzOO

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
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Creepy . I also question the psychiatric condition of these women that carry them around.

culturedmom's picture
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Undeniably creepy on so many levels. I went into a Reborn store in Orlando one and it freaked me out. They are gross and demented.

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Harmless. I don't find them creepy and I wouldn't automatically assume some kind of mental issue for a woman who collects them.

I also think it's sad that this kind of imaginative play is fine in a little child but adults are deemed crazy. What age is imagination considered taboo?

This article is really pushing it claiming it's more like a drug. Puhleez. That belittles the seriousness of actual drug abuse. Not to mention makes some unfair assumptions about a group of people that are hurting who exactly?

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

Harmless. I don't find them creepy and I wouldn't automatically assume some kind of mental issue for a woman who collects them.

I also think it's sad that this kind of imaginative play is fine in a little child but adults are deemed crazy. What age is imagination considered taboo?

This article is really pushing it claiming it's more like a drug. Puhleez. That belittles the seriousness of actual drug abuse. Not to mention makes some unfair assumptions about a group of people that are hurting who exactly?

Collecting them is one thing. Carrying it around and treating it like a 'real' baby is another.

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I remember quite awhile ago there being a post on the TTCAL board about people buying a realistic looking doll to remember the baby they lost. They did not treat it like it was real, but just a way to remember. Many people either plant a tree or a special garden to help them remember.

ETA - I am talking about putting it on a shelf or dresser in the parents bedroom, not carrying it around like it is real.

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"TyrantOfTheWeek" wrote:

Collecting them is one thing. Carrying it around and treating it like a 'real' baby is another.

yeah, I'm still not going to go calling it a psych case just because she wants to put her doll in a carseat or take it out in a stroller. Everyone has their 'thing' and sometimes it's a bit weirder than other peoples. Doesn't mean it's unhealthy. If no one is being hurt by it and the woman gets a feeling of purpose or sense of fulfilment, while holding an otherwise normal lifestyle, why can't she, without being judged?

Obviously some of them are going to be extreme, since extremists happen in every kind of quirkiness. But generally speaking, I wouldn't assume a person to be looney tunes based on this article written by someone who clearly watches too much reality tv.

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To each his own.

I find all dolls creepy (always think of a chucky scenario).

I have to say that it is amazing how real they do look!

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I've seen some that I thought were creepy, and others that I was in awe of how beautifully the artist captured the look of a newborn. Collecting dolls isn't my cup of tea, but I don't see a problem with displaying them. I think treating the dolls as if they are real is really creepy, though. I don't know what I'd think if I saw somebody walking around with one of them in a stroller.

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I want to agree with Jordan, I really do.......but I have to admit that they creep me out. And I further admit that if I saw someone tucking their doll into a carseat, I would think that it was really weird. I feel bad, because yes, I suppose it is harmless....just out of my personal weirdness comfort zone.

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To have 'em, display 'em, keep them as a remembrance for a loss, sure. To put into a carseat and whatnot is weird, to me. Yes, it doesn't harm anyone. But, I would think it equally weird for a grown man to dress up with a tablecloth as a cape and run around his neighborhood. I would think it weird for a woman to set up all her dollies and have tea parties. I would think it weird for an adult to run around outside squealing, "Naked time!" I would think it weird if an adult wailed and had a tantrum when they didn't get a lollipop (not that I think that's great, just that it happens sometimes). These things, including playing "mommy" with a doll, are all things that children do, not adults. Any one of those activities would make me wonder if that person was "okay."

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"b525" wrote:

To have 'em, display 'em, keep them as a remembrance for a loss, sure. To put into a carseat and whatnot is weird, to me. Yes, it doesn't harm anyone. But, I would think it equally weird for a grown man to dress up with a tablecloth as a cape and run around his neighborhood. I would think it weird for a woman to set up all her dollies and have tea parties. I would think it weird for an adult to run around outside squealing, "Naked time!" I would think it weird if an adult wailed and had a tantrum when they didn't get a lollipop (not that I think that's great, just that it happens sometimes). These things, including playing "mommy" with a doll, are all things that children do, not adults. Any one of those activities would make me wonder if that person was "okay."

I'm sure your overall goal here wasn't to make me LOL, but I totally did. I snorted, even.

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I would be weirded out seeing somebody carting around a doll and treating it like a real baby, but I'd probably find it incredibly sad too. I think the extreme grief of losing a baby combined with mental/emotional instability could really push some parents, especially a mother, to a level of denial where this sort of 'make believe' is possible. I'd still find it weird to see out in public, but thinking about it I don't really find it so inconceivable that some women would do it.

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I think the dolls are fine, but if the women are taking them out in strollers and treating them like they're real... that's when it becomes creepy. I think it's funny, though, how people are freaked out about these dolls, but no one says anything about Living Dead Dolls? What has happened to the world, lol??!!

http://www.livingdeaddolls.com/lddsite.html

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"Starryblue702" wrote:

http://www.livingdeaddolls.com/lddsite.html

*shudder*

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"TyrantOfTheWeek" wrote:

*shudder*

LMAO I know exactly how you feel, but it makes these "real" dolls not so weird!

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Creepy.

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I'm going with pretty creepy, especially if an adult carts them around like they would a real child. I've some of the message boards, and it gets hella weird.

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i hate dolls in general, so ya they are creepy. i saw a show once (i think it was obsessed) and someone had a whole crap load of these dolls and had names for them and everything. her husband said they consumed her life. it was the creepiest thing ever.

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On a related side note - I'm watching an episode of Criminal Minds were the killer takes women and dresses them like dolls before killing them :shock: .

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Adult women playing with dolls and pretending that they are real? Creepy. Also sad.

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creepy.