Monday, January 21, 2008

More Thoughts about Fake Babies (Real Reborns)

A week has passed and the whole Fake Baby thing is getting more and more out of hand.

The media in the US has gotten wind of the UK documentary and are now looking for people to come forward and talk to them about how they use reborn dolls as substitutes for deceased babies or babies they are not able to conceive.

Most of the reborn artists I'm in contact with have either NEVER been contacted by a person wanting such a doll, or at most, have done one or two.

I want to repeat that the vast majority of reborn collectors are normal, healthy people with a firm grasp on reality, and who have a fine appreciation for the amount of love, skill, time and intense labor that go into creating a quality reborn baby doll.

**Why can't that be enough?

**Why must it be about bereavement?

**Why must it be about the extremely tiny minority of collectors who might have reality issues with their dolls?

**And most of all, WHY is that anyone's business but THEIRS?

I had an interview this week about "Angel Babies" with the Wall Street Journal. Whether that article will be published remains to be seen.

At least I came away from the interview with a bit of insight as to why people outside the doll world might think that the main reason we make reborn babies is to replace real infants.

There are many, many "nurseries" (yes, that's what most of us call our reborn doll businesses) with the word "Heaven" or "Angel" in them. It dawned on me during the WSJ interview that that's the implication that the media are picking up on.

Get it? Angel Baby = deceased baby.

Not to cast aspersions on any nursery name with that sort of title. Shoot, when I was new to reborning and trying to come up with a good name, I went through a 100 names with Heaven's this and Angel that. All the good ones were taken :-) Hence, HunnyBuns. (there's a story to that, but it's for another day). Hey, some of my best friends have Heaven or Angel in their nursery title....

Just sayin'.
The public is a bit confused as to why all the references to heaven and angels.

Ok. So let me tell you why we like names like that.

Most reborn artists are women. Most of us dearly love babies. We love dolls. It's what got us interested in the art of reborning to begin with. We enjoy re-making dolls over into what can fool anyone into thinking for a moment it's a real live infant. We all get a kick out of that. I know collectors enjoy the realism as well.

But I think deep in a lot of women's hearts is the belief that babies (real ones) are indeed, a gift from God (whatever their perception of Him may be). A true gift from Heaven. That a new baby is a tiny angel sent to earth. Something along those lines, anyway.

That's where the Heaven and Angel thing comes from. Not because most reborn dolls are created to replace a dead infant.

Google Fake Baby today and see what you come up with. It's not pretty, folks.

I hope that those who agree with me (and I know there are many) will continue to speak out and educate those outside the doll world who are confused and thinking we're all a pack of loons who can't separate reality from fantasy.

Oh...and for those of you that think we ARE all a bunch of loons, and that reborn dolls are creepy and sick,'re entitled to your opinion! Have a nice day anyway :-D


Alexis said...

I discovered "reborns" about 2 years ago and just fell in love with these dolls. The artists that create them are to be commended not condemmed. As the saying goes "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". What harm is this causing anyone to collect these dolls? I agree with Stephanie when she said they are not "fake". For those of you who are old enough to remember... people use to collect "pet rocks", how ridiculous was that! Bottom line is if it makes you happy and no one is harmed then why not. People collect much stranger things than this. Too bad that there are still those who feel justified in thinking that they are in a position to play the omnicient and judge what is "normal" or not. If you don't like ot don't buy it. I find it quite interesting that a doll can SCARE so many people. Who's normal now? Alexis

deborah said...

Hey Stephanie

I just stumbled upon your blog - yay! Fun stuff to read about reborning. After reading your thoughts on the fake baby phenomenon, I still have mixed feelings about it all. Yes, I find the term "fake baby" not nice ie. crass. However, when I imagine myself as a non-reborner seeing the fake baby show, and once I got over the creeps about anyone thinking of a doll as a dead baby (or even a real one), I would be wholly intrigued by the lifelike dolls. I think any doll lover would be. I am all for more people becoming aware of our dolls - expanding awareness that these dolls exist. In the end, for me, a rose is a rose is a rose. I won't put "fake baby" in my auction titles, mostly because I think it's ugly. And adding "fake baby" to the auction of a poorly made doll isn't going to sell it. I did add it to the body of my auction, so that anyone who loved dolls enough to look for them online, and only knows them by that name, needs the opportunity to the see the range of talent out there. If "fake baby" is left only to the desperate, then it might hurt the art even more. My two cents. :) You know I think you're awesome though.
All the best, Deb

Stephanie said...

Thanks for your sweet remarks and thoughtful comments Alexis and Deborah! I don't post often so I'm just now finding these comments - I wasn't ignoring you - honest :-)

Alexis, that's my new grandbaby's name!

digi-daily said...

Just recently stumbled upon the whole reborn doll concept; I am a lover of most all crafts and this is truly another one that has truly piqued my interest. I'm a firm believer in live and let live, as the world would be a much nicer place if people did. Right now I'm spending every available minute researching reborns and looking forward to joining the ranks of reborn doll artists.