Friday, March 11, 2022

When People Mock Adult Doll Collectors



I find it absolutely deplorable when clueless adults (even subtly) mock adult doll collectors with snide remarks that insinuate doll collecting or loving dolls in any way beyond childhood is absurd. 

When these people think about a doll, they immediately relate it to a child's toy. They are unaware that dolls are not just toys for Christmas or special occasions for children.

Their inability to comprehend that artist dolls and art dolls exist—dolls made strictly for adults—results in silliness that prompts ignorant remarks, stupid questions, or belittling and childish comments to spew from their mouths.

Recently, the dolls in my virtual black doll museum were referred to as toys. They are not toys. They are dolls (three-dimensional inanimate representations of people), many of which are highly sought-after by adult collectors. Others of which are one-of-a-kind that no one else will ever own except me. 

Just this week, I was asked by a woman I had not seen in several years, "Are you still doing the dolls?" (Doing? I thought.) I answered, "Yes," and did not elaborate further. (In my head, I thought, I founded the first and only virtual black doll museum that celebrates antique, vintage, modern, and one-of-a-kind black dolls 24/7; I was recently interviewed by NBC-4 in Washington, D.C., I have been interviewed by the New York Times, two of my dolls are currently on display in the New-York Historical Society's Black Dolls Exhibition, I have revised and republished my third book about black dolls, and so on), but I did not share any of this with her. I don't need to impress her or anyone else. I collect dolls for my enjoyment, for no one else's, and if they do not understand, that is their problem, not mine. However, when snide remarks spread to other collectors, I go into defense mode.

I drafted this post after viewing the ABC News video at this link where Stanley Colorite is referred to as a "grown-up" (who collects Barbies) and in which other similar subtle criticisms about him were made along with laughter.

Here are some things I would like for non-plangonologists (non-doll collectors) to know and to remember forever. 

  • A person is never too old to like, enjoy, collect, play with, or do whatever they desire to do with dolls.
  • There is nothing wrong with an adult who collects dolls.
  • Dolls are for everyone; they are not just playthings for children. 
  • Some dolls are designed for play while others are made specifically for adults, some of which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars based on the artistry or artist involved.
  • Artist dolls and doll art exist.
  • An adult can love dolls that were designed for play as well as those designed for adults. 
  • Your shallowness is exposed when you criticize adult doll owners. 
  • Find your own harmless passion and enjoy it. Doing so will eliminate the time wasted on mocking others about what brings them joy. 
 
dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
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18 comments:

  1. This is a great blog post. You are also a doll collector advocate!You made so many points that I hope non collectors consider and think about.It also helps those who collect understand and feel reassured that there is nothing wrong with collecting and enjoying dolls. Thank you.

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  2. You're welcome!


    If nothing else, "I'm down for my people... my doll collecting people." I have your backs!

    dbg

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  3. Thank you so much for this post. It has been so humiliating to have to explain myself to people around me. Thank you.
    Arlette

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  4. You're welcome. I had to stop and write this post after I viewed the video about Stanley Colorite's collection and witnessed and heard the newscasters' remarks and laughter. As someone wrote on FB after I shared the video, "If it was a model train or car collection, or even action figures, no one would blink." It's always doll collectors who get side-eyes, raised brows, and rude comments from clueless non-doll-collectors.

    dbg

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  5. I was listening to the radio the other morning (I only listen first thing as it’s my morning alarm) and the presenters brought up things that creeped them out, or that they find distasteful and doll collecting by adults was one. Two sisters that just couldn’t comprehend why anyone would participate in such a wildly inappropriate hobby?! Not a good start to that day. I think there’s a few things at play (no pun intended) here, one is whether there’s an understanding of collecting anything (which many people don’t), there’s the inability to see value in dolls or toys generally beyond there use as attention distract ours for kids, but also that “female” play, and the things that are deemed female are not of value, compare this to art, or cars, or weapons, or medals, or stamps etc. The female creative play is deemed unworthy of collection, even more maligned when you’re a male who sees value in dolls or girls toys. Look at Barbie’s legacy the best selling toy of all time & yet it is the GI Joe’s, Star Wars & Masters of the Universe that are held up as the icons of the industry…me thinks there’s a little (a lot) of misogyny at play here as welll

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    Replies
    1. Right on! I was going to point out similar thoughts 🌈πŸ₯ΈπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

      Delete
  6. Yes, misogyny is definitely at play here, and when post people think of a doll, they think of a girl's toy.

    dbg

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  7. P.S. so good to be able to comment again! I’ve been reading your columns in my email as they come through…I hadn’t thought to click through and check! πŸ₯³

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  8. Oh yes, you have to navigate to the actual post to comment. I wonder if others are having the same problem because my posts rarely receive comments. I just assumed folks didn't care, but that won't stop me from writing. :-)

    dbg

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  9. Thank you for this post, Debbie. No one questions men folk who collect stamps, tin soldiers, model trains or ships in bottles. And yet, as soon as you make it known you collect dolls.... there's all this "oh, those are lovely--I'd like to buy one for my granddaughter." "I wish they had these dolls when I was a child." Or...the eye rolls and the smirks. I had an old schoolmate write me to say... "is it true you make doll clothes now" in a tone that really suggested "poor dear, it's come to this." Even my own cousin couldn't understand. "Be careful now...you're playing with dolls." Knowing I collect dolls, she ordered and sent me something that equated to a dollar store Barbie..... Debbie, you know that I do not make "doll clothes" and you know that I do not collect any old doll especially a fake Barbie!!! I am constantly having to explain why the (IT) dolls I collect are adult collectibles and not suited for children (small parts like detachable hands and stiletto heels are choking hasards), that children are attracted to sparkly poufy dresses not form fitted black clothing, suits or replicas of Michael Kors and Jean Paul Gaultier. These things needed to be said and thank you for saying them.

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  10. Yes, as a fellow collector, I am aware of the high-end IT fashion dolls in your collection made for adults, not for children, and that your haute couture designs are also not for children.

    This post was long overdue. Will it be helpful? I'm not sure, but if it can give just one person a better understanding of adult doll collectors (what we collect and why, and more specifically, that dolls are not just playthings for girls), I will be satisfied.

    dbg

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  11. I stumbled upon your blog, and I must say that your post truly made my day. Even if people were collecting dollar store dolls, the bottom line is clear: let people live and collect as they please!

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  12. Thank you, Anonymous, so much for weighing in. Your bottom line is on point!

    dbg

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  13. Hi Frankie,

    Only doll collectors truly understand doll collectors, it seems.

    dbg

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  14. I agree that people could be a little more kind when it comes to doll collecting. Especially when a collector is so accomplished and celebrated in their community as yourself.

    To have a passion and pursue it is a wonderful thing.

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  15. I could not have stated it better, "To have a passion and pursue it is a wonderful thing."

    Thank you so much, Anonymous from September 6, 2022.

    dbg

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  16. Thank you! I needed to read this. I've been recently getting more and more into the desire to start collecting BJD's but as a man in his later 20's I've been feeling as though it's looked at very poorly. I feel like I should be ashamed or that there's something in me that is not matured properly yet and I need to grow up. I'm working on pushing these feelings out, and reading blogs and posts like this definitely help. I am favoritism this page so I can come back and read it whenever I need!

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  17. To: Anonymous of September 23, 2022

    I am always happy to hear when my blog posts are helpful to others. Please do not feel bad about your desire to collect BJDs or any other category of dolls and please do not think a lack of maturity is involved. BJDs are actually dolls designed for adult collectors, but even if you wanted to collect dolls designed for children, there wouldn't be anything wrong with that either.

    I would suggest joining one of the doll-themed (specifically BJD) groups on Faceobook. If you're a registered FB user, search the site for "BJD doll groups" to find one or more that you'd like to join and request membership. On Instagram, you can search for #bjddolls or #bjd to find instagrammers to follow who share your passion. Good luck with your plan to start collecting BJDs.

    dbg

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