Originally Posted by bri276
The doll issue is related because it's insulting to real mothers to pretend to be a real mother when you're not, on some level. To parade around with your expensive "pram" and your fake formula (blech!) and your designer baby clothes so that you can get the attention and not have to "deal" with mess or imperfection is, in a word, insane. To do so in one's home is harmless, if somewhat unhealthy. To do so in public is deceitful . . . and frankly it's disturbing that a grown woman would need that kind of desperate validation so much that they'd seek it out knowing it's false.
LOL. If they're doing it in their own homes they're obviously not doing it for attention.
And, honestly, I've collected dolls and participated in online doll communities for years. I participate in an online community with the ladies in the documentary, and that film was the first time I'd heard anyone talking about using dolls to get the "new mom" attention. That DID come across as wierd and kind of disturbing.
I think that the filmmakers may have asked leading questions or made judicious cuts to get that footage. I can certainly say I've never heard doll collectors--even these particular doll collectors featured in the film--talk about it that way before. I have a feeling that they may have been making a comparison or trying to explain it as closely as they could, but that the part where they were saying it wasn't really like that or it was only sort of like that may have been cut out.
I do agree that the way it comes across in the film is disturbing. I'm just not really convinced--primarily because of my other interactions with these ladies--that they really think about it that way. Even the film didn't say that they actually try to make people think the dolls are real babies. The ladies shown in the film were rather extreme examples of doll collectors, but even they
didn't really think they were babies or try to make others think so.
The only people I've heard of who actually think these dolls are real babies are Alzheimer's patients or people with dementia, and a lot of these dolls ARE used for that purpose.
I saw today that Sue said she was misrepresented in at least one newspaper article, and that she certainly does NOT rock her babies to sleep at night as was claimed.
The whole thing about dolls being almost the same as real babies except that they don't move was wierd, and I would never say such a thing, but obviously she's never had a child. I can certainly see how people would find that offensive or disturbing. I did get the impression that she uses the dolls as an opportunity to try out the idea of having real children occasionally--especially in the part of the film where she was talking about trying to imagine the doll being a child who was difficult or up all night, and how she would handle that.
FTR, I also found it rather shocking and disturbing that the artist would market her dolls by walking up to people and saying, "Would you like to buy a baby?" That bothered me.
Most doll collectors don't take their dolls out to random public places, and if they do they're usually doing something like shopping for clothes for the doll. The ones who do take them out in public because they want to show them off are wanting to show off the beautiful artistry of their DOLL, not trying to fool people into thinking they have a real baby so they can dupe people into complimenting them as a new mom.
I think it would be fair to say that most people who do take their dolls out to show around in public do it (if not just for their own enjoyment) to raise awareness and appreciation for the art form, or (in the case of the artists) to generate business (PR). If they are trying to make people think they're actually real babies, that would kind of defeat the purpose of getting more people interested in collecting dolls.
Just for the record, Sue said that her reason for taking part in the documentary was to raise awareness of and interest in these dolls, to show people how beautiful and interesting they are and how talented the artists are.
Originally Posted by bri276
. . . potentially harmful if someone like me who is hyper-aware of SIDS is watching your non-breathing, non-moving baby and thinking it's dead . . .
As for the issue of some casual stranger who walks by thinking a doll is a dead baby because it's not moving, the more I think about that the less it makes sense.
Newborns often get very still and breathe shallowly while they sleep. It can be really hard to tell whether they are breathing or not anyway--I was always holding my hand in front of their noses or feeling their chests to see if they were breathing when mine were small. A casual stranger who glances over isn't going to be able to tell whether a REAL sleeping baby is breathing or not in many cases--you'd have to get very close for more than a few seconds to ascertain that. And a baby who really wasn't breathing would be changing color.
The few times I have had dolls out in public, after the first glance people knew right away that they were dolls. Most people seeing something that looks like a baby but isn't moving or breathing, but isn't turning blue or grey, are going to have the common sense to realize that it's a doll.
It's only the first split second or two that they think it's a baby. After that their reaction turns into awe and enjoyment over the artistry and realism of the doll, not cooing over a baby. It's not the same thing.
Now I'm half-tempted to take a doll out in public and have someone follow me around with a video camera just to show what kinds of reactions it gets.