Monday, January 28, 2013

And I thought Cabbage Patch Dolls were expensive...

I do love a good fad, but occasionally even I'm weirded out by the things people find themselves liking.  Take, for example, the trend of women buying lifelike dolls and then treating them like real babies?  Seriously, this is a real thing.  They're called Reborn Dolls and the artists that make them try to get them as lifelike as possible.  I have to admit, some of them are pretty spooky.  If you didn't  know, you'd think you were looking at a photo of a real baby.

Women buy these dolls, dress them up, and then whack them in a pram and take them with them wherever they go.  They give them names, build nurseries for them, and pretty much treat them like they're real kids.

Can anyone else say textbook attention seeking behaviour?

I remember watching a documentary about it once where one of the women admitted that she got her doll because she missed the attention she used to get when her kids were babies.  But by getting herself one of these Reborn Dolls she got all sorts of people coming up to ooh and aah over her little plastic bundle of joy.

Huh, well that sounds ... disturbing.

I'm all for doing whatever makes you happy (provided you're not hurting anyone), but there's just something about this that screams psychologically unhealthy.  I know that people anthropomorphize things all the time (hell, I have a cactus named Pedro, I can't talk), but this just seems a bit extreme.

But this woman has taken it a step further and decided that if people can have lifelike dolls that they treat like real babies, she can have zombie or vampire babies.  She gives them wee little fangs and dripping blood, or clouded eyes and pallid skin.  And I have to admit (under protest), they're cute in a weird way.

Is it wrong that I kind of want a vampire one?  Not to treat like a child or anything ... but there's a small but insistent part of me that thinks it would be hilarious to wander around with one in a stroller and then secretly record people's reactions when they lean over to coo at the little darling and clap eyes on the fangs and the red eyes.

But at around a thousand dollars each, I don't think I'd buy one just for the sake of a practical joke.

Shame though, I could have called him Vladimir and told everyone I met his father while I was travelling in Eastern Europe.  Oh Nosferatu, we'll always have Transylvania.

78 comments:

  1. Carrying around a doll that looks like a real baby is just weird. I like your idea way more.

    That doll is creepy and adorable at the same time.

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    1. I know, it just makes you feel totally conflicted, doesn't it.

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  2. I love crazy people shows, but I agree, there's just something about these women that buy these dolls that is hardly even entertaining, because it's so sad. I remember seeing this one family where this woman's husband and son were made to ooh and ahh over her baby, and all I could think was that guy has got to have a mistress out there somewhere.

    I checked out the zombie and vampire baby site and I am feeling deeply disturbed now. They creep me out even more than the regular old reborn dolls do. Nope, fairly certain I could not sleep knowing I had one of those in my house!

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    1. LOL! Good point, if I got one I'd probably have to lock it in another room when I went to sleep, or I'd be afraid of waking up to find it hovering over me.

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  3. This is news to me! People are crazy! I think a vampire baby makes perfect sense! Or a zombie.
    I'm your newest follower from the meet and greet!
    Sandy
    http://savardstudios.blogspot.com/

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  4. Hello Kellie:
    We find all of this very strange indeed and not a little distasteful.

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    1. It is, and in some cases incredibly sad. Some of the women who get them have lost babies and they're using them as substitutes. It's not at all healthy.

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  5. I met a woman carrying one of these, bundled and dressed and everything. She was about 55 and a little dead behind the eyes I could not for the life of me tell if she knew her baby was fake or not. I said, "ah!" and gently backed away.

    Your life is always going to feel incomplete without little Vladimir to complete your family, you know. Choose wisely.

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    1. I know, and I had the romance between his father an I all mapped out in my head so I could tell the strangers who peeked in at him. All about a Summer in Transylvania, forbidden love, a night of passion, followed by a stake to his heart from a travelling vampire hunter. Such a waste of a good story...

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  6. Replies
    1. You're probably right ... although it would look silly to wheel a cactus around in a baby stroller ;D

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  7. Sounds so foreign doesn't it...but you're right the little vampire ones are pretty dang cute. A new follower from the Meet and Greet Blog Hop. Would luv if you could stop by my blog as well.

    Anne Marie
    http://moanasuniquedesigns.blogspot.com/

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  8. OMG! I think the little vampires are too adorable. I just had to look through her entire site. What a creative lady. xoxoxo Mina

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  9. Now that I've finishing gagging, I'm just wondering if anyone would buy Reborn Teenagers.

    More power to the Twisted Bean Stalk (love her name) and her twist on a very weird concept!

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    1. LOL! Somehow, I don't think a Reborn Teenager would have the same appeal.

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  10. I'm at a loss for words (and it's not due the language barrier!) Distatesteful, disturbing and psychologically 'cookoo' just don't describe what I really want to say! If one can't have kids or they're old and out of the house, then what about adoption? There are so many orphans out there! I just don't get it!!!

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    1. It's a fantasy I guess, one which requires no actual responsibility or commitment.

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  11. I saw that documentary! And people say I need to get a life?

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    1. It's definitely scary, and more than a little bit sad.

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  12. I think it's a sickness for anyone to own these dolls and then parade them around town as though they are alive... well, except for the one with fangs. He's sort of growing on me. :)

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    1. There's definitely a pathology there. I'm sure psychologists would have a field day with one of those women.

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  13. I've seen these! I work at an OBGYN office and this couple had one they were "practicing" with before their real baby got there. It was creepy, and they were all sorts of weird. I agree - freaky trend.

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    1. Oh dear, I kind of feel bad for their poor kid-to-be!

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  14. Last April, I did a post (What's the Word?) on this subject and was surprised to find out how popular the Reborn Baby craze is. I decided the words for it is obsessively odd and creepy. Not so much that they are anthropomorphizing a doll but adding nurseries and spending thousands of dollars on life-like babies. Seems someone has upped the ante. Vampire babies??? Really???

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    1. I did a few google searches and was shocked to see how many sites there were about it, with women comparing their "babies" and people selling stuff. It's enormous!

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  15. It's not often that I'm at a loss for words, but $1000 plastic vampire babies? Puh-lease!!!

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    1. LOL! I know, it's a ridiculous amount for what is essentially a toy!

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  16. Ha!!! Again I will say: You just have to shake your head at some of this stuff!!!

    Take care, Slu

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  17. Ok, Kellie, I know we aren't friends in real life or anything, but I feel that I have to answer your question, "Is it weird that I want one?" YES.
    Put the vampire baby down.
    Just walk away.

    :)

    Hilarious post, my friend!!! xo!

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    1. You're right, I know you're right. But I had it all planned out! I was going to tell the gawkers all about my illicit romance with an undead hottie and his sudden demise thanks to a travelling vampire hunter.

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  18. This "fad" is really too much. I feel sorry for people who need the baby dolls to bring attention into their lives. I would say, "get a puppy" but I would actually be concerned for the puppy's welfare.
    The vampire/zombie thing; good for a quick laugh, but to actually spend that much money on one is obscene.

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    1. She seems to sell them though, if her "adopted" page is anything to go by. It's terrifying what some people will spend on a fad, isn't it.

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  19. And I just watched another documentary about the men who have these life-size dollies as girlfriends. They look just like humans, and nothing is missing, if you know what I mean. They actually have a full on relationship with a DOLL.

    What's going on in this world? Now you're telling me women do this with dolls acting as babies! I need to take some pills. The whole weekend has been a bit weird.

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    1. Oh, I've seen those dolls too! They're just as creepy, if not moreso!

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  20. I'm sorry, but that is just weird! I can see wanting one for the joke/shock factor as you mentioned, but these women sound serious. I'm thinking they need to be calling some HELP Hotline pronto!

    S

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  21. I have to say, this is pretty crazy.

    Funny story. Both my children are adopted. When we went out of state to pick up the first one I had to take the stroller and car seat too so we could get him home. I was pushing it through the airport and people kept sidling over to take a look then finding the car seat empty. It was kinda hilarious to watch their faces though some of them seriously thought I had left my baby somewhere.

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    1. LOL! It's a shame you didn't wrap something like a drink bottle or a sandwich up in a baby blanket and put it in there, then act horrified when they pointed it out to you!

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  22. It is SO weird. I remember when I used to work at Target and a woman used to come in all the time in a motorized cart, and she had one of those dolls that she'd have wrapped up and put in the basket of the cart. We'd actually get complaints from customers because she'd 'corner' people with her cart and tell them all about her 'baby.' She also used to steal toddler clothes for them. But vampire babies, haha that is a whole different level.

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    1. LOL! Oh dear, if she spent that much on the doll you'd think she could afford to at least buy the clothes!

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  23. Yeah it's creepy but much cheaper than raising the real versions and if it stops even one of these women from breeding (again in some cases) doesn't that help us all out in the long run.

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  24. Yes, yes it is wrong that you want a vampire one. Though it is wrong that anyone wants any type of one at all. These baby doll things are disturbing. What happened to owning cats as a substitute for caring for an actual living thing? Using fake babies is really really sad. More sad than hording animals.

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    1. Oh, cats aren't substitutes for babies. Cats are substitutes for the flatmates you had in your early twenties who ate all your food, never lifted a finger to clean up, and then acted like you were a horrible person to live with.

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  25. Wow.

    Is this the natural progression for those Twilight Moms I've read about?

    Funniest thing I've read in a while.


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    1. LOL! I imagine quite a few of them out there are named Edward.

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  26. Well, I hadn't heard of this, but when my daughter was in high school she had to carry around, "Baby Think It Over," for a class.

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    1. I've heard of those, but they don't make kids do that here so I've never seen them.

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  27. Well if the world has truly gone mad with grown women running around with baby dolls, then I think you should definitely get a vampire baby. And blog about it. Maybe even have a dedicated vampire baby blog that shows "milestones" & people's reactions to your precious. That sh*t could be blogging GOLD!

    Googling weird fake babies now....

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    1. LOL! I'm sure you're right, although there is such a thing as being blogging famous for the WRONG reasons.

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  28. Even when I was a little kid dolls, of any kind, have freaked me out. The more life like or real looking the more I find them terrifying... To each their own I guess, but this seriously gives me the creeps.

    P.s my cactus's name is Orenthal .

    Madison
    atthedogparkblog.blogspot.com

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    1. I can understand the creep factor. The china dolls that people collect always freak me out. Why do they have so many ringlet? Why?

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  29. I just checked out the woman's website. something tells me I am going to have a very disturbed sleep tonight!

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  30. Wow, that really is a bit... well, odd. I'd certainly be worried about the mental condition of a woman who started legitimately treating one of these like a real baby, fangs or not. It sounds like something a deranged or depressed woman would do after losing their own baby or having a miscarriage or finding out she can't have kids of her own at all. I mean they're cute, but... Aaaand the fangs are just weird. Though it would make a pretty good practical joke. I sense an idea for a sort of psychological thriller story coming on...

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    1. It does sound rather like the beginning of a Stephen King novel, doesn't it.

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  31. WOW I have to agree with you on the psychology of this.

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    1. It's a bit scary, isn't it. I'm sure a psych student could write one hell of a thesis on it.

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  32. I watched a documentary about men who buy these completely realistic, life-size dolls of women, which they dress up, give names, shaboinga with, and maintain full "relationships" with. On the documentary, all of the men talked to their dolls, referred to their dolls by their names in a manner indicating they considered them "real people." And ALL of them, yes, ALL, said that they were in love with their "wives" or "girlfriends," because some of them had held actual wedding ceremonies for themselves. But I had no idea that the ladies were getting in on this with babies. What the what?!?

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    1. LOL! I guess for every weird idea out there, there's someone who is totally into it. I'm all for letting one's freak flag fly, but sometimes you just have to stop and say "Huh, I think we've gone too far with this one".

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  33. That is just so creepy! The picture gives me the shivers! And I thought American Doll was bad.

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    1. LOL! Poor little Vladimir, always seen as creepy just because he has fangs ... and drinks blood ... and is one of the walking undead...

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  34. If I had the money, I would front you for it, asking only in return that you post the reactions here for all of us. And then maybe pass it around for each of us to do the same, posting reactions all over the webs...

    That would be hilarious! I love your style.

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    1. Can I join the queue? Love the idea of testing your theories and recording the reactions.

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  35. Is it weird that my daughter has a demon baby? Of course, he want $1000, but the damn thing is pretty lifelike. It has fangs and a pair of horns. She loved the shit out of him!!

    So, there's a small chance that she could grow up to be one of these weirdos...

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. Hmm, you should probably start saving for therapy now. Even if she doesn't need it, you or Eddie probably will by that point.

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  36. My partner teaches high school. In a health class, the kids are required to go through that parenting thing where they have to cart their dolls around with them 24-7 and alarms go off sometimes to indicate that the baby needs to be fed, changed, cuddled, etc.

    I just snorted when Bing (partner) told me about that. I would have LOVED an alarm that went off with our daughter and told me exactly what to do. I say, give them a 2 month old with colic and let them experience no sleep for two months and then see if they think babies are cute. Perfect birth control.

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  37. The only time I have ever pushed anything in a stroller that was not a baby was when my old dog could no longer walk far. Imagine how much I laughed when a gentleman and his wife stopped to admire my "baby". He commented that it was the ugliest baby he had ever seen. His wife was horrified until she too looked in and saw my dog. Everyone had a good laugh.

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    1. LOL! No wonder she was appalled, it's like the ultimate faux pas! But it must have been hilarious when she worked out it was a dog.

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  38. I went to a taping of Anderson Cooper and this was the topic! There were these women there with the dolls and I was in the front row, so I got to see the close up and let me tell you - they were beyond creepy. The best part was before they started taping, the producer was talking to one of the women and some of the other staff members were holding the babies as if they were real and the producer says to the woman "Do you want me to feed her before we start?" (she's holding a bottle) and the woman says "Yes, and then be sure to burp her." I'm not kidding. Just bonkers. Then they passed one of the "dolls" through the audience and I didn't even want to touch it. Just creeped me out. Many of these people have real live children too. The kids just have to deal with it. EEk.

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    1. Okay, that's definitely creepy! Feeding and burping them? There's delusional, and then there's this!

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  39. Back when I used to work for an airline, we had a passenger on board with one of those. It was heaps creepy. I hate mannequins and puppets anyway, I think they're evil (that episode of Buffy makes me cry) but this was just...weird. She kept holding it and snuggling it and she was showing it to us. The thing is, she sounded so...well adjusted apart from the fact that she was nursing a fake baby.

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