Swimming Against the Stream

A Doll’s Heart

The Face of the Future: A Japanese BJD

As a puppeteer, with quite a wide definition of puppetry, I find often myself keeping an eyeball cocked onto the world of those close cousins of the puppet, dolls. Technically the basic difference between a doll and a puppet is this: you play with a doll by yourself, but get an audience and you are a puppeteer. Playing with dolls is an act of personal fantasy, the creation of a private world. When you turn the figure outwards everything changes, you now have to communicate something to someone else. Dolls and puppets both serve valuable functions. And there is some academic wrangling over the true ancestor of the puppet. Is it the doll or another strange homunculoid cousin, a more fearful relative, the religious idol? It is probably a mixture of the two. The puppet is a performer who can contain many a complex message. The doll is a figure that is usually outgrown as a playmate as a child discovers the outside world.

But what happens if the child doesn’t outgrow the doll? What happens if the child begins to treat the doll as something to emulate? What happens when the personal fantasy becomes a prison? And more to our point: What happens when the doll becomes a role model and object of desire? What happens if the doll’s lover develops a real case of agalmatophilia, that is a statue, doll and mannequin fetish?

VenusAngelic Doll Girl 2012

I recently stumbled upon the phenomenon of girls becoming dolls. We have often the heard a girl compared to a doll before. But in this new trend to call a teenage girl a living doll has taken on far more than subtext. There is a girl whose real name I’m told is Venus Palermo, but who goes by the YouTube moniker VenusAngelic. Venus is about 15 years old as I write. She likes to dress up like a doll, to wear ribbons and frills and to compose her face with wide eyed innocence. Oh! Did I say wide eyed? I mean that literally. Not ‘literally’ as in ‘I literally fell on the floor laughing.’ when no such thing occurred. But literally as in this girl has a fetish for Japanese anime an is turning herself into a ball Jointed Doll (BJD in the doll world). In her video entitled: How to look like a doll (make up), Venus instructs her viewers how to achieve a porcelain like doll skin and even how to apply contact lenses to enlarge the size of the pupils. Giving her eyes a real doll effect. And VenusAngelic has about 80 videos on her personal philosophy of doll simulation. (She also speaks in a crazy doll’s voice that make her videos uniquely bizarre.) So think about this for a moment… A girl trying to become a doll.

Venus Palermo as a Doll

As soon as I saw these photos and videos I knew I was looking at one of those weird trends that would catch on all over the place. It’s obvious to me that hippiedom, punk attitude, alternative piercings and tattoos all pretty much have the musty aroma of stale history to many teens these days. They need a new model. The revolutions of the counterculture are basically dead. (Occupy Wall Street not withstanding.) Here is the strange new thing. This is not my vote for a new paradigm mind you. I would hope for something more grounded, more questioning of technology, a bit more Luddite and much more fiercely intelligent. But as long as people are seduced by our wireless, app-worshipping, multi-screenal technocracy this is what we will get. I just knew I would see much more of this particularly curious blur between fantasy and reality, between plastic and flesh, between screen and quotidian existence.

And there certainly is more…

Kotakoti another Doll Girl 2012

There are more doll girls already. Dakota Rose, a 16 year old, who goes by the name dakotakoti or Kotakoti is even more popular than VenusAngelic. (Between the two their videos have been watched by millions.) She’s a bit less extreme and some have said she tweaks her photos a bit to get the doll effect. She too comes across as a human BJD and creates her big eyed effect a bit more naturally. But the effect is the same. (She also reveals a connection to the Emo girl look on occasion.) And the doll look is certainly being copied. Japan? Absolutely. America? It’s just winding up. Globally? We’ll see.

Dakota Rose posed as a BJD

BJD by Marina Bychkova

But this doll/human interchange is actually a two way street. The doll itself has become a sort a laboratory for a kind of android aesthetic. Let’s consider the BJD. The unusual thing about the BJD is that they are anatomically more correct than most dolls. Some of these dolls are exquisitely crafted with incredible attention paid to detail. Not only that the costumes and accessories are even more elaborate. I first ran into the Ball Jointed Doll (though it wasn’t called that yet) in the mid-80’s through little Japanese doll books of Amano Katan. His Katan Doll: Fantasm was something I’d never encountered before. Beautifully constructed, yet disturbingly emaciated dolls, that seemed one step away from drawing a warm tub of water and contemplating a razor blade.

Katan Doll: Fantasm – The Book of the Dolls of Amano Katan

Since then the BJD has developed a cult following with artists vying with each other to create the most dewy eyed melancholic homunculi imaginable. In the hands of an artist like Russian/Canadian Marina Bychkova these dolls are anorexic works of art. They have a strange erotic power in their tangible realism. I’m impressed by the craft and dedication that goes into these dolls.

Oh yeah, by ‘anatomically correct’ I mean they show pink nipples and genitalia, which is quite unusual for a doll. Of course they aren’t really for children. But what is their function? I know that people get together at conferences to marvel over these BJD creations. Doll collectors consider them a real pinnacle of the craft. But there is a problem.

‘Anatomically Correct’ Dolls by Marina Bychkova

The Japanese have a word, ‘kawaii’, which roughly translates into English as ‘cute’. Now in English ‘cute’ a relatively recent word, means something akin to baby-like, when most people use it. Babies are cute. Bunnies are cute. Kittens and puppies are cute. Cats can be cute. A teenage girl might say that a boy is cute. (Here the meaning is slipping a little.) But generally baby-like things can’t be violent or pornographic. At least that’s our vision of things. Kawaii things in Japan can be. That is, big-eyed anime and manga characters can certainly be both violent and highly pornographic. I won’t follow this any further, but if you know the worlds of anime and manga you know exactly what I’m talking about. The BJD has evolved from the anime tradition. And like anime or manga the BJD, though fitted with the standard markings of cuteness, big childlike eyes, puffy lips, silky smooth skin. But in the very realistic, and stylized treatment, of human genitalia several categories are being blended in ways that are not only erotic but have an especially troubling kick. The moist childlike faces seem to beckon towards very forbidden fruit.

So what exactly are we being invited to imagine?

But there are further degrees of the human/doll interpenetration. If you remember the climax of the first Star Trek movie where man mates with machine you can understand that there has long been a desire to make the perfect erotic mate. One that isn’t bitchy, naggy or bleed once a month. Someone who will not ask uncomfortable questions. This curious desire goes at least as far back as the Greek myth of Pygmalion. I suspect that it even finds it’s expressions in various fertility idols of the remote past.

A truly ‘anatomically correct’ life-sized RealDoll©

And RealDoll has achieved the next step. The old image of the inflatable love doll is now hopelessly antiquated. For about $6,000 one can purchase a female doll approximately the exact size and, more importantly, the weight of a real woman. And would you understand me if I said that these dolls are even more anatomically correct than the BJDs. They have certain replaceable parts and very pliant human textured silicon skin. Interestingly the movie Lars and the Real Girl, featured one of these lifelike dolls and yet did not find the concept all that creepy. Again, as so often in the movies, humans and machines were made for each other. The relatives of Lars find it getting a touch too weird. But the movie itself seems to plump down with that old saw ‘whatever works’. Well they do make porn films of these dolls too. And what is the nature of the actual relationship of the man (Girls don’t get too envious, they now make male RealDoll’s too.) to the simulacra? Have we crossed the line from fetish to idol?

Where does Reality Stop and Fantasy Begin?

I don’t know, am I being too much of a Puritan about this stuff? (Calvin did make some good points.) Or is this really the destiny of the human race? Predictably the media has recently been covering the Doll Girl phenomenon and of course the questions they ask go something like this: Are we sexualizing young girls again? Like that was the big issue here. It is indeed a problem. But I don’t think that’s the serious issue. Maybe we should ask; What are we sacrificing in our desire to blur the distinction between what we make and who we are? What are we losing in the bargain?

Gazing at the Face of a Real Doll

Too understand the answers to that line of questioning I think we can start by imagining VenusAngelic or Kotakoti twenty or thirty years down the road. What prosthetics will they choose to retain their status as living dolls? What surgical procedures will they adopt? We know that most organs can be transplanted now. What happens when they finally find a donor to give them a doll’s plastic heart?

I hope they learn to face reality long before then… But then again what in this society is really encouraging them to do that?

Gazing at the Face of a Doll Girl

Byrne Power
Haines, Alaska

15 responses

  1. Ayajoellah Khomeini

    I don’t know how to reply to something like this, but we have all seen similar attempts at fantasy based living before. There is a strong desire for people to live in a fantasy rather than face the day to day realities of life. I suppose I am also guilty of this, but rather than playing dress up, I hide in media. That includes everything from books to mindless internet surfing. Sometimes it is just easier. However this particular fantasy driven experience does have a strong element of vanity. Is there an island for the BJD clan after they get “old.” I shudder at the thought.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    • Of course, you are right AK, fantasy is an age old profession. But consider the ‘progression’ from telling ghost stories around a fire, to reading fairy tales, to reading a Tolkien novel, to watching a movie bases on a horror story, to watching a TV series of the fantastic, to dressing Goth, to buying little models of your favorite comic book superhero, to becoming the model. At some point here the degree of mediation is so far from humanity that it takes one’s breath away. But then again doll’s don’t have any working lungs do they?

      May 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

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  3. Charlie

    this is an interesting thought on the matter.
    I am sure there are people out there that take the whole living in a fantasy world to a (probably too far) extent where their whole world revolves around it, but i don’t think there is any thing wrong with having a hobby as an adult which may be conveyed as something for children but has been adapted for adults like model trains which plenty of older people do.
    Also I had a late aunt who was an avid doll collector (they would cover every wall which I must confess creeped me out a little when I was a child) but this was merely a love of hers and a hobby, she also had a husband and children a lived “normally”.
    As far as the BJD collecting thing goes and the people that are into that, I know there are those who are really into it who may seem like they are living in a fantasy world because they dedicate YT channels and blogs to the subject alone, but it’s only one part of their life and interests. Also there are those who as their life moves on may fade away from the hobby and onto other things.
    I’m not saying that there arent those who take it too far because I’m sure there are, just like there are those who take it too far for other things like shoes or handbags or gambling etc.
    but everyone has their own interests and a certain degree of choice in how they live their personal lives which I think has to be respected, even if it may be a little different from ones own veiws.
    When it starts to ruin their life or someone elses is when they need to know when to slow down or stop.

    I guess I should mention I myself have a few Bjds. In fact the one at the very top of this post with the tattoo is mine, I came across this post because someone told me about it.

    July 7, 2012 at 10:52 PM

  4. Thanks for leaving the comment Charlie. I actually found your doll to be a fascinating work, which is why I put it on top. It represents a kind of perfection that I think people long for in their own lives. I think the expression on that doll is actually quite touching. I do think that dolls can be treated as an art. Your BJD and Marina’s, a little further down the page, represent that art well. The problem comes when the fantasy that a doll naturally represents feeds a hunger for something that our confused age craves. Anything can be used as a substitute reality. I love Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and I was never as creeped out as when I was invited to a gathering of fans of the same many years back. But then again look at what happens to the Bible. Anything can be twisted into a strange version of itself. As a puppeteer I’m quite aware that these little homunculi can have a power. In ages past some of these images were children’s dolls. Others became idols. With the doll girl and Real Doll phenomena some line has been crossed. But it doesn’t follow that the serious art of doll making is troubling.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

  5. I just stumbled upon this article, and found it very informative! However, as someone who has been in the “doll hobby” since childhood, there were a few misunderstandings in this article.

    1. Marina Bychkova’s dolls are OOAK jointed porcelain dolls, and the “forbidden fruit” is a OOAK clay doll by Canadian doll designer Dale Zetner. The photos are taken by the artists to show off the sculpting and realism— the nudity here is not necessarily sexual. If you spent years perfecting how to sculpt a body, wouldn’t you want to show off the fruits of your labor?

    2. But neither of these two dolls is East Asian or made of resin— as the vast majority of BJDs are. They are “off topic” in almost every BJD forum, and not sold by any BJD or regular doll shop. Most collectors will never see, know of, or even be able to afford these OOAK dolls, which are not representative of the hobby. For a better representation, check out Volks, Soom, or Bobobie (three really popular brands.)

    3. Anorexia is a medical condition, not a “look.” No one uses “AIDS” as a discriptive word for “sickly,” so why use “anorexic”? Besides, some peole are naturally thin. So labeling skinny bodies as anorexic is disrespectful to people who have this disease, and judgemental of those who do not. ;)

    4. Girls and women dressing up as dolls has been going on for hundreds of years. Initially, women were compared to dolls, and dolls were made as statuettes of the “ideal woman.” So it isn’t very surprising that “art imitiates life/life imitates art.” Plus, as long as no one holds you to that standard, voluntarily “dolling oneself up” can be very liberating: you can “sculpt” yourself into your own ideal! :)

    5. Who says your “reality” is the only reality? I feel more “fake” in my “normal” business suit than in my “dolly dress.”

    As for sexualizing young girls, that’s not the fault of doll people. Sexists do that on their own, by infantalizing women. Dolls don’t infantalize women… people do. Why not redefine what a doll is, and make ourselves into what we want to be?

    July 11, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    • Roxy thanks for your feedback. Obviously these are issues which are important to you. I’ve purposely let your comment sit for a while without a reply just to let folks have a chance to read it without my own thoughts tainting it. But it’s time for me to reply. I hope this will clarify a few things. I will reply by the numbers.

      1. About Marina Bychkova’s figures. Granted they are made from a different substance than an off the rack BJD purchased as a kit. (OOAK for those out of the loop merely means one of a kind.) And I would grant that they are extremely high quality works of art with great attention paid to detail. Nevertheless they are fully consistent with much of what I have been pointing out about BJDs. And they are informed by the same anime/manga tropes.

      You point out that the nudity involved is not sexual. Or at least not intended to be. I must seriously question this. As exhibit A let me point out the reaction I’ve had to this very article. Without a doubt this has been the hottest essay I have written. The subject seems to have touched off quite a few nerves. As I look at the search words that have led people to this piece I am astounded by the sheer quantity of porn related searches. And I’m not talking about the RealDolls either. I mean every possible ramification of porn search words that accidentally show up in the article, like nipples or sex or porn, with the words BJD or doll connected to it. We are talking thousands of hits based on words like that. Not to mention the multitude similar searches for the Doll Girls mentioned with similar words attached. Much more than I anticipated.

      Thus I cannot speak of the motivations of various doll makers. But I can say with certainty that something is red hot and glowing here. My only solace is that when someone actually reads what I have written it might raise a few serious questions.

      2. I have not written this from within the circle of BJD fandom or OOAK hobbyists or the demimonde of the dolls. And though I suspected the people for whom these things are very (sometimes too) important might show up at some point, the idea was to unveil what for an outsider is a fairly obscure world. More importantly I wanted to make the connection between a fetishization of the doll as an image of perfection and the increasing cyborgization of humanity.

      3. About the word ‘anorexic’. I really have no particular truck with politically correct speech. I consider it harmful to open discussion. And as for using the word of a disease to describe something else. It’s one of the glories of language that we can use metaphors to increase the poetry and the power of our language. Diseases have been used as metaphors for ages precisely because they are strong. ‘Measly’ comes from measles. ‘Lousy’ comes from being infected with lice. ‘Cancerous’ is an apt metaphor for our metastasizing society. And ‘anorexic’ in the words of most people who use it as a metaphor means dangerously thin. Real life sensitivity is crucial. But enforced sensitivity leads towards totalitarian impulses. The blind are still blind. A better word has not been found. Being blind is not a wonderful thing. But blindness is one of the best metaphors to describe people who cannot or will not see. To simply use polite catchphrases will lead us to a situation where the blind do lead the blind.

      4. Dressing up like a doll has indeed not been going on for hundreds of years. A walk through the Paris Le musée de la poupée (The Doll Museum) reveals that dolls as we often think about them don’t go much further back than the middle if the 19th Century. (I am looking at the catalogue right now as I write.) Dolls, of course, go back into the mists of time. But they did not begin to take of the elaborate shape we now know them as until that point. They were not cute little baby’s things. They were much more nondescript, even creepy. I really like pre-Victorian dolls. Secondly, the fashions they are wearing reflect the fashions of the adults and children of the times quite directly. This can be compared by examining the fashions of the times and those of the dolls. I can see no relationship going the other way. The late Victorian Age is however the first age we know of in history to idolize children. By the end of the era (early 20th Century) the photos of early Edwardian children do reveal a certain doll like quality. But that is a far cry from suggesting that dressing like a doll is something people have done for centuries. It is something that has been slowly creeping towards us. Just as cuteness is a kind of Victorian invention. In short dressing like a doll has had a relatively short past but seems like its going to have a very big future. (I have a very good Russian friend who used to habitually dress up in dolly fashion back in the Nineties… but she was also quite aware that she was playing a game with herself that went to issues at the core of her identity.)

      5. Finally “my” reality is the not a definition of anyone else’s reality. But what I am suggesting is that we all share the same reality at some level, though we might perceive it differently. I don’t have “my own” gravity for instance. I share it with you. And one person might be the pilot of a Boeing 747 and another might have fallen from a tree and broken her leg and someone else might not ever give it a second thought… but that doesn’t mean that gravity is merely subject to our experience. Likewise with reality. And it is only by sharing our different visions that we can cross pollinate each others viewpoints. Though I may learn a thousand things from a thousand people about gravity I still don’t want people falling off cliffs. And I will try to convince the person who thinks that leaping would be a beautiful thing to reconsider and to enlarge their view of reality.

      In that spirit thanks for reading what I have written and sharing your vision of reality with us. I might not agree with everything you think or even see, nevertheless to write it says that at least you want to enlarge our view of reality. Thank you Roxy.

      And maybe your feelings about work clothes and your dolly clothes reflect a deeper desire to find more meaning than our prosaic world allows us to experience. Feel free to respond here. Or if you have too much to say feel free to write to me at reckoningmotions (at) yahoo dot etc.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

  6. Dirty Wretch

    Interesting reading. One of the things I wanted to point out that I thought was missing was that a lot of the obsession with BJD’s goes back to Hans Bellmer in the 30’s. While a lot of discussion here talks about fantasy I think that when you go back to Bellmer (who was vaguely connected to the Surrealists) the discussions turn to the idea of identity and that ways that certain ideals are constructed in society. Exploring alternative identities or archetypes is also a way to short circuit repression, often the repressions that society creates as we are molded, like dolls, to fulfil certain roles. I first got interested in these dolls via Bellmer and in the mid 90’s I got a book by a Japanese artist named Ryoichi Yoshida. He built and photographed wooden ball jointed dolls. Bellmer’s influence in Japan led to a scene that grew up around wooden ball jointed dolls. Dolls often as art objects for photography or painting. Of course they were very expensive so most people knew about it via various books and magazines that came out. Interestingly enough, Editions Treville is the publisher that put out Yoshida’s book as well as the Katan book.

    The BJD explosion didn’t take off until commercial manufacturers started producing resin dolls in the late 90’s and then exploded with the internet after that. The art scene that had existed prior to that explored much more existential, sexual and traumatic themes than what has come to be the standard in dolls. As opposed to a scene of older people interested in psychological and symbolic content it has come to be more of a fantasy exploration with a much younger audience. Not that I’m looking down on that aspect, I think that the impulse of identity exploration is still there, just not as intellectual and of course made complicated by the market forces that lead to the desire for products. My thoughts are that as these people get older that many of them may change and embrace some of the more sexual and deeper philosophical themes as those aspects become more important in their adult lives. I think dolls lend themselves to a certain archetypal fetishization and while it will change I think the idea that these people will just some day “grow up” is overly simplistic.

    I think the desire to be other than we are (and to imagine interactions from others in ways that they don’t) is a natural part of what we are. Since we use tools and create waste (make things we don’t need) we are definitely outside of nature and it’s these qualities that likely make us connected to automatons.

    There’s a lot to all this and it’s interesting to read people such as yourself that are taking up the discussion and pushing it forward.

    August 7, 2012 at 9:15 PM

  7. Tanya

    Hi, I personally haven’t been involved with the BJD community for all that long but I thought I might post here about the BJD hobby as I have experienced it. Your essay/post really interested me with the way you have drawn together so many different threads interwoven into today’s different versions of society and then centred them into an intellectual blame/hate rant seemingly aimed at the bjd community .
    The fact is the bjd fans/hobbyists don’t just go “OMG! look at my bjd squishy bits! now show me your bjd squishy bits?” (it may in fact happen somewhere but that is not what the bjd hobby is about). Yes they often have realistic genitalia and more realistic forms than most of the dolls from the past but that is just a progression of art imitating real life and becoming more realistic to meet the expectations of humanity in general. For the people who work on creating bjd professionally, it is a matter of pride and skill being able to express their talents and hard-earned experience by mastering physical proportions in such a way as to amaze their customers and the general public with their artistic creations. It is understandable that someone would see photos of the bjd anatomy and think ‘Too far perhaps’ but the thing about these dolls is that they are “customisable” which is their main draw point. Interchangeable eyes, wigs and the ability to easily change a look or create a unique character out of a standard bjd is the main reason why people become a part of this hobby. Not everyone can make a bjd yet with the availability of kits and blank bjd for sale it is possible for owners to create unique characters all of their own without being experts at constructing detailed miniature forms themselves. The fact that someone would compare bjd to porn and sex dolls is just a disappointment. It shows a general lack of understanding in the hobby and perhaps a somewhat twisted perspective of the bjd world in general. Did you look at any of the positive attributes related to bjd and how they assist in the everyday lives of their owners? Or perhaps (and I presume to assume here) you went out and gathered negative points of view about currently occurring phenomena and linked them all together to write an essay styled rant.
    As for dolls being appropriate to children only, there are presidents for the fact that bjd are aimed at adults and not children. Just look back at historical examples of the figure dolls of both Mary and Jesus owned by nunneries, convents and religious orders which were styled and dressed by the women of those times. Also the dolls from the East both religious or not which were clearly not aimed at children and also far preceded the Victorian age. Then there were French and European fashion dolls that were pre Victorian too. After the Victorian age there were the fashion dolls of the early 1900s to 1940s aimed at a clearly grown up female audience. All of those were aimed at adults and preceded the modern bjd by many years and decades thus setting a clear president by their existence alone. Quite simply BJD are made for a grown up market and not for little children to play with. They are made out of resins that can be damaged somewhat easily and are harmful to health if inhaled or swallowed. Therefore they are not child compatible due to the fact that children are mostly hard wearing on their toys and often put toys in their mouths to chew.
    Some of your points are valid and I have to agree about the fact that some people go too far in imitating forms of dress which are clearly unappropriated to their age group and will continue being so the older they get , it makes me wonder where are the parents while this is all happening? But on the whole I was offended by the way you have portrayed your comments about the bjd hobby. BJD are forms of artistic expression and not part of the porn industry in any way, seeing someone making semi lewd comments about them would make most people in this hobby offended by the comments. Two completely different things please try and understand that.

    September 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

  8. Thanks Tanya for the thoughtful comment. I really don’t think of the BJD scene as being a gateway to porn. And I certainly see the value in the art of doll making. One thing you should know is that I am a puppeteer. And as such have often used dolls in my rather eclectic art. I understand the value of homunculi quite deeply. Nevertheless that doesn’t mean I give a blanket approval to any puppet or doll. I have very deep misgivings about Muppets for instance. And while having such I don’t feel that I must make a positive qualification at the moment. I’m just going to let my critique stand as is for a while. I do have other thoughts but by and large I’m content to let the negative stand as is. Likewise I certainly do see the value of BJD and many other dolls. But the point of my essay was to make a point about the larger society and it’s desire to cross the line between fantasy and reality between the human and the man-made object.

    I do believe that many of those in the BJD community are incredibly talented and creative, a very good thing. Yet sometimes they seem to have no responsibility for the strange ways their works might be seen. I have had thousands of people stop on the essay. And I really wish I had far less. Because many of them are coming with the following kinds of search phrases: “BJD teen porn”. “BJD nipples” “BJD sex” “hardcore BJD” etc etc etc. I mean I could list hundreds of such phrases. Now the question I want to ask you Tanya is where is this coming from? And does the BJD community take any responsibility for this sort of thing? I understand the argument that an artist can’t really be blamed for how the outside world sees their art. And I don’t believe these search phrases are coming from the doll community itself. But something is going on. I purposely haven’t written a doll follow up yet because the sheer volume and and the bizarre search words have left a much weirder taste in my mouth than I was expecting. “Doll porn” searches appear in my ‘statistics’ practically daily. I think the problem here is that I pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    But to be clear. Doll making, including BJD is a fantastic art. I love many of the objects and images. But frankly my own evidence reconfirms my suspicions in spades. Something else is going on here.

    But Tanya do feel free to reply and correct my notions. Thanks for taking the time and passion to write to me.

    PS. Dirty Wretch thanks for making the Hans Bellmer Surrealist connection. I appreciated your remarks and found them to add a lot to the discussion.

    September 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM

  9. judy

    they look like the future android, a little more developing, they would be great

    September 21, 2013 at 6:19 PM

  10. That’s a very subjective view of the whole doll/human relationship thing, which is probably not very surprising, given that you are a puppeteer. But you also seem quite judgmental towards the areas of the BJD hobby (or doll interest in general) that you don’t understand or don’t like. Life can be boring or full of misery and everyone has some kind of a hobby to make them feel better whenever they need to. I don’t think dolls pose any kind of danger to humanity or its sanity. If you research other kind of hobbies, I’m sure you will find something disturbing in every single one of them, but is there really a point in this?

    Two years down the line and the whole look like a doll obsession is still limited to very few people, but I’m sure there are thousands of new BJD collectors who caught the bug and appreciate dolls as objects of art and creation…

    Do you want to know what my search words were? “Native American BJD doll”… And I was very disappointed that I didn’t find any on this page… :D

    (no, I’m not a native English speaker, so it all probably makes little sense, but I do love dolls, albeit in a very non-sexual way).

    June 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    • Ruda, Thanks for your comment. I’ve let it sit here a while so that it could just exist without my commentary. But now it’s time to address your remarks.

      First of all, on one level all statements, and certainly the ones in your comment, are personal or subjective. It is impossible to really make an objective statement. So I take full responsibility for my ideas as being personal and yet I hope fair.

      It was never my intention to denigrate (English is my first language) BJDs or to say that the doll girl fad would become a major trend. (I did just read today about a guy who spent over $50,000 to make himself look like a Ken doll.) As I have said in different responses here, there is a lot of artistry in the BJD world. But… and this is a big but, to deny the odd sexual nature of some of the dolls is naive. Just today I had people landing on my site with phrases like ‘sex with BJD’ and I have had literally hundreds of people find this article with strange sexual words and dolls. So something is going on. I didn’t invent this idea subjectively.

      Nevertheless the BJD hobby seems fine to me. Enjoy it. But just keep in mind nothing on this earth is 100% innocent. That is what I am pointing out. And the uses of the doll and desire will indeed increase as the technology behind the doll moves into the android.

      August 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM

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