Explaining Dolls to Muggles

Written on February 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

I used to keep various parts of my life fairly separated from people I knew in “real life”/offline. The only people who knew about my dolls were members of the doll community online. But with how interconnected everything gets on the internet nowadays (mostly with Facebook), there’s a trickle down effect that results in me occasionally being asked at work “So what are those dolls that you keep posting on Instagram/Facebook?”. I do add coworkers to my Facebook, which then results in coworkers being added to Instagram. And for the most part I actually don’t post a lot of photos of dolls anymore – it’s mostly tea these days, and photos of dolls when I’m at doll meets. I’ve just gotten into this weird constant phase where I am active but I am not active in the doll community at the same time. Yes, I still blog here, but I don’t have the motivation to take a photo of a Blythe on a daily basis.

20170203“I’ve been wearing the same dress for months. Is there a dolly neglect hotline?”

Is this what adulting is like? Gosh, I hope not. Also, I still need to make a pair of scrubs for my dolls, because the idea of matchy outfits with me and a doll make me smile.

And yet I still find myself explaining dolls from time to time. I generally start with the fact that Kenners existed, how they were picked up by a Japanese toy company, and the dolls have the pull string and the ability to change eye colours. Usually that earns me a confused look that reads why I did even ask or it garners me more questions that usually consist of “Do you have any more photos?”. And just like a proud mama of a toddler or a fur-baby, I gleefully pull up my Instagram or Flickr and show more photos, or try to find a video I have on my phone of me clicking through the eyes.

Sometimes it goes into a conversation of “But why?” and then I just shrug and go “Why not? It’s a hobby just like crafting or video games.” (which, surprise! are some of my other hobbies). I ask them about their hobbies to which I get replies about baking, crafts, dance/yoga/jogging/other forms of personal torture and then I go “we all need something to keep ourselves sane when we’re not at work”.

How do you explain your doll hobby to the muggles in your life?

Lydia Melbourne’s wearing: dress/Endangered Sissy.

11 Responses to “Explaining Dolls to Muggles”

  1. Ashlie AKA @BrickleBears

    A lot of my relatives think my doll hobby is a sign that I refuse to grow up. Actually it isn’t, but I usually don’t argue with them about it. I have had people tell me that they think Blythe is “weird”, or “creepy”. I am not friends with people like that though, so I don’t care what they say. One person was really offended by my doll collecting. She said she thought dolls were for children, and acted like she didn’t even want to sell me the item I was purchasing! I have a lot of Blythe friends on Facebook and Instagram, so I am confident Doll people are just really creative, and they like cute stuff.

  2. Frankie says:

    I find that most of my friends just don’t get it. I tell them, for example, that I’m going to Blythe Fest this year (yay yay yay) and they go “That’s great!” and then change the subject to something supposedly more interesting. One of my friends told me she thought it was kind of sad that adults still collect dolls. To each their own, of course, but I see nothing wrong with it! Dolls are my life and the only people who seem to understand why are the people who take the time to look. But, on the bright side, I recently got one of my friends hooked on Blythe and she has just ordered her first doll-a Bling Bling Party Fur from CC Toys! So at least I’ve got a few people I can chat to about Blythe without getting strange looks 🙂

  3. Laura says:

    I can relate to this a lot. I set up a separate Instagram account just for my doll hobby because my other Instagram was linked to Facebook and to people I work with and I know they can be as cruel and judgmental as high school students. Its a shame because I feel like I can’t really enjoy a lot of the Facebook doll community for “fear” that someone judgmental and cruel will discover my childish hobby, which only a few very close family members know about. Even they don’t really get it, but when I think about it, “Why not?” seems to be an appropriate response. While I know there are Blythe fans from all walks of life, being childless, single and a little shy makes me feel like there’s an added stigma to the whole thing. Like I’m compensating for things that are supposedly missing, or reverting to childish things. Maybe I am a little. Blythe came to me earlier this year among hard times and it was comforting to have something to do, something to keep me and my thoughts company. I’m hoping someday to be so confident as to not care. If I really think about it, along the lines of what Ashlie AKA @BrickleBears said, I like to be creative and I like cute things. That doesn’t sound so bad.

  4. Kirsten AKA @lady_kire

    I don’t really talk to many people about my doll hobby, but most people I know don’t really care what I do. I collect Vintage Polly Pockets as well, so my parents and bf are fine with what I collect and do. Though, the bf just doesn’t like the girls staring at him because it creeps him out a little. Also, I watch cartoons and play video games. If those grounds are used to judge people, then there really is no definition of childish to me.

  5. Jules AKA @glamlizards

    I mean, if people won’t accept or at least try to understand such a big part of your life, do you really need them at all?

  6. Katie AKA @kultofkulta

    I’ve been asked if my doll collecting was me trying to make up for not having a baby before. I found that super offensive, esp as the person asking spends 90% of the time whining about how hard being a mother is..ahem anyway. I’m open about it and don’t care anymore. I bring them to work to put on my desk and post them on my non professional instagram page which many of my professional contacts follow. I often explain the history of Blythe to people when they ask what they are.

    • Michelle AKA @blythelifecom

      Oh gosh, that is super offensive (the baby comment). I’ve never been asked that before, but I think it’s a very touchy subject (re: babies) because you never know what’s going on in that person’s personal life – maybe they’re trying but failed, maybe there’s health issues preventing them from having a baby. Then again, I think part of why people would ask that is because of those very life-like Reborn dolls and how some people do treat them like babies.

  7. Andi B. Goode AKA @andibgoode

    Most of my friends are gigantic geeks (as am I, so I use the term with love) who spend their free time playing video games, D&D, cosplaying (which I also do), collecting action figures & the like (which I also do), reading comics (which I also do) and other things, so, while dolls don’t exactly fit in that geeky world (some do, of course) I think they kind of get it by extension. Although, I guess those things are becoming a bit more mainstream than doll collecting is!

    But I’ve even gotten a friend or two into collecting Blythes, so, yeah, I think I don’t really need to explain it? Most of the people I’m closest to are, well, we’re weird by most people’s standards and we revel in our mutual weirdness.

    Although, I do have a separate Instagram for my doll stuff because I was personally offended any time someone would unfollow me when I posted a doll photo haha

  8. Suzi says:

    I love collecting dolls and guess what, I already have a child and a loving husband and probably most of the things people will presume you are lacking because you enjoy the innocence and the joy that collecting and displaying dolls comes with. I say that the world has enough hate and uglyness and sometimes we need reminding of the beauty and connectedness you feel when part of a doll collecting community. Sometimes it’s fun to kick off your work shoes, put away your phone and just brush your dolls hair. Who cares? Love me, love my dolls x

  9. Patricia Arris says:

    Doll-collecting and doll-making run in my family. In fact, my great grandmother was an award-winning doll designer and maker. I tell people that when done right doll making is an art form like any other and Blythe, well, she is the Mona Lisa of dolls. –Patricia in Seattle.

  10. Cristina says:

    I too have a lovely child and awesome husband. I’ve been collecting Sylvanian Families since I was a girl and got my 1st Blythe in 2008. It’s a fun activity and have told some people. I think most people think it’s quirky and harmless. But yes, I created a separate IG account because I know some people would get weirded out and it’s not for them anyway. I went to BlytheCon SF this summer and even though I didn’t bring my dolls and felt a little shy, I had a great time.

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