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Reborn Dolls: For and Against.

Ok, it's stupid O'clock and I'm spitting mad. there I was on Google, just minding my own
business, doing some research about how common it was to have voice boxes in reborn baby
dolls because I had seen a tweet about one earlier in the day. As anyone who has known me
for longer than five minutes knows by now, I collect reborns, lifelike baby and toddler
dolls, I have three and I wouldn't be without them. It's an expensive but perfectly
harmless hobby which hurts no one, but oh my goodness! Doesn't it ever make some of the
quote normal women, unquote, put on their judgmental caps!

So, there I was on Google and I came across this. I
really do wish I hadn't as it made me see scarlet. There were forty comments, some of them
absolutely heartbreaking. I added my own, which I will paste in below the blog entry, which
I have copied here for your convenience, but as you see I have also linked to it.

OMG

Reborn Dolls Are Treated Like Real Babies but (Alas) They’re Still Fake

Posted by Janelle Harris on April 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

There’s awkward and then there’s weird. Awkward is when you ask someone how their sweetie
pie is doing and unceremoniously discover they’ve detoured in Splitsville. Awkward is going
out to eat with your co-workers and having the waiter come back to the table because your
card’s been declined. Awkward is when you excitedly touch another woman’s tummy only to
learn—maybe through a choice set of words—that she is actually not pregnant.

Weird, on the other hand, is a grown lady carrying around a baby doll and seriously
pretending that that hodge podge of plastic is a real infant. That’s when awkward graduates
into straight up strange. Bonus points for toting fake baby in a carrier and (yikes)
shooshing someone while fake baby takes a nap. Silly as it seems, Reborn Dolls are bypassing
the quirkiness of a few oddball women to be a full-blown international movement involving
thousands who find comfort in cuddling a faux newborn.
Some even have electronic devices implanted that mimic a heartbeat or simulate breathing.
Now that’s freaky.

Like the folks highlighted on “My Strange Addiction,” the gals who mother Reborns don’t see
anything out of the ordinary about their little hobby. One mother of two named Becky,
saddened because she couldn’t have any more children, got a Reborn as a Christmas gift and
now hauls it around in an infant car seat, only admitting it’s a doll if people ask.
Otherwise, the un-born child, one of 10 Becky has “adopted”—because you don’t buy them, you
adopt them, like Cabbage Patch Kids minus the yarn hair and fabric bodies—is passed off as
real.

At anywhere from $50 to $4,000, they’re pricey for a doll but a heck of a lot cheaper than a
real kid. Plus, they never grow out of their brand new sneakers, spill grape juice on the
living room carpet, or need money for college tuition.

Some women, who’ve gone so far as to build nurseries for their collections, claim having and
holding the babies is therapeutic. Far be it from me to knock anyone in their process of
healing, sometimes from losing a child, sometimes from not being able to have a child at
all. But it’s when that period extends past a progressive course of action into a full-out
alternative lifestyle that it becomes a little (or a lotta) strange.
I hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but I must confess I don’t know if I could adjust
my facial expression into a socially appropriate response if some woman revealed that the
“baby” she was carrying was indeed fake. In scouring pics of them, not a one made me want to
cuddle, nuzzle, or hug them. Meanwhile, there are plenty of real-life, flesh-and-blood
babies and children in desperate need of the kind of love and attention showered on these
faux little people. I’m just saying.
Are you weirded out by Reborn dolls?

My Comment.

I have an enormous amount of sympathy with the lady who suffered a still birth. I have two
reborn babies and one toddler and I cannot over-empasize the help they have given me and
still give me every day.
I have suffered from poor health throughout my adult life which has made me unable to have a
child of my own. I think losing a child must be a thousand times worse, but never being
able to experience motherhood when you are maternally inclined leaves a huge gaping hole
inside you that nothing can fill, or at least that was true in my case.
I found out about life like baby dolls by accident in 2005 and they have helped me such a
lot.

I know very well my reborns are not real, but I cannot argue with the fact that they have
changed my life for the better. they make me feel happy, reduce my pain levels on bad days,
take me out of myself if I get worried about things. I've heard it said that this is a
morbid obsession, that I am irrational, weird, not normal. I would respectfully submit that
we all have our ways of coping with what life throws at us. this is mine, and no one, no.
one. has any right to judge me for it. I am not abnormal, I am just me.

(End of comment.)

So, I got called an oddball, quirky, silly, freaky, strange, weird, all in the space of one
article. I suppose I can cope with that, even though, just for the record, I do not feel
the need to take my reborns out of the house unless someone has asked to see them or I've
been asked to talk about them.

The thing which really fills me with a mixture of sadness and gibbering rage is something
else I keep hearing. One of the comments left on that page said that having reborns wasn't
therapeutic, it was the reverse, a morbid obsession, especially for childless people, it
must be crule to taunt them with what they could never experience. This kind of
generalisation is insane! as I said in my comment, having the reborns really helped me to
come to terms with the no children thing, and if I had a pound and a chocolate muffin for
every story I've heard of reborns helping someone I would be a richer and a fatter woman
than I am now. People have reborns for all kinds of reasons, and for heaven's sake, who
says it's always got to be to fill a hole, heal a loss or fulfill some aching womanly
need! I know loads of people who have them because they're gorgeous things and they just
love babies, end of!

I think what gets people is that Mr Jones might have a basement full of model railway
equipment, tinker with it all weekend and every spare evening, then Mr Smith might have six
old Jukeboxes, a huge number of vinyl records and spend every weekend at car boot sales and
audio fairs getting more, while Mrs Brown haunts antiques fairs collecting old china but you
don't really see that. Some women commit the terrible crime of letting the reborn baby be
seen! Outrageous! Really not done, especially in this country.

In the end, whatever you think, who is it really hurting? I get so hot under the collar
about this because I find judgments about the way other people live difficult. Why can't we
respect that we're all different, we all have our own ways of doing things, our own likes
and dislikes, our own views. I, in my turn, respect janelle Harris's right to feel, as she
puts it, weirded out by seeing women with reborn baby dolls, but what really got to me was
her judgmental tone. She has said that the dolls did not appeal to her, even though she only saw pictures, so how can she possibly hope to understand? She said far be it from her to knock the way people healed or lived when she had spent the whole article doing just that!

When you come right down to it, what I really, really find intolerable is intolerance.

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