Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do Your Dolls Look Like Your Insides or Outsides?

Once I asked a Phily Collector if she thought people generally liked dolls which looked like they did.  For kids I think this can be very important.

But what about us adults who get hooked on dolls? 

The answer I got was something like "No, not really."  But I still wonder.

Would a person who felt alienated from his/her society like action figures or dolls who represented this to them?  In other words, do people pick dolls which look like or represent their Inside?  Some people are Definitely attracted Only to dolls which look like them.  I know a blonde lady who grew up in California who Truly likes best only blonde Barbies with tans. 

But what about those of us who like best dolls Different from ourselves?  What do these dolls represent to us?  I've never had the privelege of meeting the Phily colector.  But as she has a lot of blonde dolls I wonder.  Is this person blonde, or is it just that she can part with some dolls more easily than others?  None of my business and I am Very thankful for that Perfectly Accessible link she put in her blog!  How Rare and Easy to read!

I have come to know that different kinds of dolls have different meanings to me.  Ann loved dolls with red or strawberry blonde hair, as her hair was curly and red when she was younger, a teenager.  As she grew up it became more auburn.  I didn't like all dolls (fashion dolls) having blonde hair and blue eyes when I was a kid, I had neither.  Now I have dolls with all colors of skin and hair.  But each type represented a specific thing to me when I was multiple.  As I grow older and continue to grow and change, the lines of representation blur more.  But I do wonder if anyone else has thought about this.  Is loving dolls which Don't look like you at all a sign on not loving oneself?  For kids I think the answer is probably yes. Is it the same for adults?

Signed, too Nosy.


  1. Great post.

    Timely, too.

    I am not sure if you are able to follow my blog but I would like to know the tool I can install on it that will enable you to read it or have it read to you.

    In answer to your question, I prefer dolls that look like me -- dark skinned dolls.


    1. as in my outsides. My dolls also reflect my insides if you mean emotional attachment and preference.

      I only had white dolls as a child which was not a preference. They were the ones available at the time and I enjoyed them. As an adult, with black dolls more prevalent now, I choose the dolls that look like me... the dolls designed to represent African American people. In my case, "like" attracts "like"; the lines are not blurred.


  2. Neat questions, Teresa!

    As a child, I liked lots of dolls. None of them looked like me. I mean neither the black ones nor the white ones. Most fashion dolls were white. Most of the tv stars I saw were white. So for me, white was visible; black was not.

    Oh, poor black child. No. I grew up in a large black family, in a largely black neighborhood. I knew what I was, and I pretty well accepted it. I saw people who looked like me and other black people who did not look like me. I "knew" that I was "safe" with other black people. But ... here's the kicker: just because some people looked like me, that didn't mean that they thought like me. I was the "odd cousin." So physical resemblance did not mean a meeting of minds. It didn't mean acceptance and/or love. It just meant that race was less likely to be used against me.

    My favorite dolls varied. I loved my TNT titan-haired Stacey because she was British. That made her exotic and outside my realm. I loved my Malibu Christie because she had very dark hair and by God, Mattel got it right that black people could tan, too. Neither of them looked like me, but they didn't have to. My dolls were actors in my stories. My way of bossing the world around.

    I have a good number of blonde dolls. It's very easy to get blonde dolls. Harder to find brunettes and redheads. But when I go to sell, the blondes tend to go quicker because they can be repaints of similar dolls.

    Overall though, I consider the whole of the doll. The hair color and features and build and statement that that doll makes, that helps me decide whether to keep or to sell the doll.

    As an adult, I collect all colors and races of dolls and action figures. It's like I can embrace the world through them without having to place myself in danger. Behold, my idealized world with all kinds of people frolicking about.

    Individual dolls have to "say" something to me. They have to exhibit a mood or expression that catches my fancy. They don't have to look like me though. Maybe one day, I will create a Dana-like doll. That might be fun. But my dolls are not me in any overt fashion. They get bits of me since I am the source of their stories. But a physical equation - no, not really.

    That said, I love me. I don't flaunt myself because I am odd. And that isn't always a safe way to be.

    Oh, I laughed to think that you would think I was blonde. That tickles me. I have never been blonde or wanted to be blonde. I've never wanted blue eyes ... my own are dark brown and one of my best features - barring my sight. Nothing wrong with blond hair or blue eyes. They just aren't mine.

    This droning book shows how much fun I had with this post. Thanks for posting it.