Friday, 29 June 2012

Getting your doll out in public!

I wasn't always this way, but after 4 and a bit years of carting dolls around everywhere with me, I have pretty much no shame whatsoever. And why should I? I probably look a little bit nuts, now and then, but it makes me happy. Shopping? My dolls like to dance to the music playing in the store. Pub? My dolls like to frolic amongst the beer. I play with their hair almost constantly, and sometimes give them a big, satisfying nuzzle (because mmmm, Kenners smell delicious!) and usually once an outing double check that they're wearing underwear. Sometimes, they like to just get their bum out.

Beth Shopping in Glasgow

I know that not everyone is like me, and I remember very vividly how worried I used to get about it, so I thought I'd share my experiences, and hopefully spur a few of you on to flaunt your dollies loud and proud!

Postcards from Blythe #2


 I've found that getting out and proud with dolls in public tends to results in one of the following:
  1. Maybe it's my stupid baby face, but sometimes people treat me like they think I'm much younger than I am, i.e., a little kid. Or maybe just that I'm 'not all there'. Sigh. (Because obviously, a 'normal' adult wouldn't play with dolls, right?) Gavin has on a few occasions been indulgently smiled at as if he was my carer/parent. I suppose at least this attitude is fairly kindly and friendly. A family once helped me look for a doll shoe that had fallen off. Completely patronising, but well-meant, I guess. 
  2. Complete indifference! An awful lot of people barely look up when they go about their day to day lives, never mind notice what I'm holding/taking photos of. 
  3. Politely bewildered curiosity. Particularly from the 'kindly old lady' demographic, who want to hold them, know their names, and get all the dirty details on the pricing so they can look politely shocked and shake their heads. Mostly very sweet, I find the best way to deal with them is just to ham up the 'collectable', 'hold their value' kind of stuff. Basically, the same thing you say to your friends/parents/significant other when you're justifying a cheeky purchase. 
  4. Straight-up delighted curiosity! Mostly from little girls who stare longingly at me like I'm the coolest person ever, and I love it. I like to make my dolls turn towards them and maybe give them a little wave, and if it's a Blythe, maybe an eye change. I've had a few adults, too, who think they're adorable or awesome and just want to hold them and coo. Not as often, but really cool. I especially love it when people recognise them.
  5. Mild distaste. I've never actually had anyone outright laugh at or mock me (this is Britain, for goodness' sake), but I've had plenty of withering looks. Mostly from my peers, because the 18-25 age range is all kinds of judgemental. (I can't wait to be old and batty.) This one used to bother me the most, but now, if someone looks at me funny, I just figure they're not a cool person and therefore not worth my time caring. It sucked quite a bit when people I knew from school or university saw me carrying a doll around and threw me a dirty look, but again, I suppose they're not worth my time. It's not like I'm carrying around a severed head. I find that outside the school/university demographic, people care a lot less, and are more willing to just let you do your thing, which is awesome.
Obligatory Tourist Shot #2


I have found the best way to carry a doll around to attract minimum attention is to just simply hold it firmly round the waist and carry it like you would a water bottle. Slightly more carefully, but essentially, just holding it without making any effort to hide it, and not paying an awful lot of attention to it. People will follow your lead. This works especially well with Blythe as she is so sturdy. Large BJDs are a whole other kettle of fish! Just cradle it, like it's no big deal. Like you're carrying around a cardigan or something. The more casual and confident you are about it, the more people just take it in their stride.

Meeeee!

If you're apprehensive about getting your doll out in public, here are a few (hopefully) helpful ideas:
  • Take photos! A camera legitimises all sorts of ridiculous things that are far more silly than a doll.  Planking, for a start. You're making art, guys. Art
  • Go somewhere quiet! A nice quiet walk somewhere, where you'll only bump into people every so often, to build up your confidence. Failing that, go somewhere you aren't likely to bump into people you know. Going on holiday is a great time to do this, as no one knows you, and they'll probably just think you're a pleasantly eccentric tourist. (Plus, doll holiday snaps are the cutest.)
  • Act like it's no big deal, and honestly, everyone will follow your lead. Be confident, and don't hesitate and half-hide the doll, which just draws more attention to you - just whip her out loud and proud. You have an awesome hobby. Everyone else is lame and boring. 
  • Don't go with negative people! My sister for example, lovely as she is, still acts mildly embarrassed when I break out the dolls in public. This is not encouraging, and she ends up making me wonder if I should feel stupid or embarrassed, and the whole experience just isn't as pleasant. Instead, go with someone who thinks it's cool and will stop and wait for you to take photos, and doesn't mind maybe holding the doll for you, or helping with set ups. (I refer to Gavin regularly as my 'doll-hanger'. He's the perfect example of a supportive companion on doll outings, if I say so myself. An excellent catch.)

Behold, Me!


Perhaps now, you too can have absolutely no shame. Life's too short! Get your dolls out loud and proud, and let's take pretty photos everywhere! ♥ Also, please do link me to some of your favourite 'dolls in public' shots, I'd love to see them! :)


alice xox

24 comments:

  1. I feel you!
    I used to take my dolls with me whenever I went.
    I got some dirty looks from people but I didn't care!
    These days, I'm carrying small bags so my girl doesn't fit and plus I don't any scratch on my doll's face in my purse, you know?
    thank you for sharing!

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    1. My dollies are probably the reason I end up carrying a massive bag around everywhere with me, heheh! :o)
      I think that's why I like the LPS petite Blythes - they are perfectly pocket sized!

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  2. Alice I thank you for this post, I love it! It's been such an enjoyable read and has given this "old and batty" Blythaholic more confidence to photograph them out and about. :) These are probably the most adventurous photos I have taken in public . . .
    http://theblytheghost.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/eat-cake.html#comment-form

    Thanks for a great post,
    Sandi

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    1. Thanks Sandi! ^__^ Blythe + Cake = perfect combination! :D

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  3. I love to take my dolls out with me! Luckily I have a partner who supports my craziness and often offers to block the sun when my camera starts to act up from too much sunlight in front of my dolls's faces! Heehee!

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    1. Heheh awesome! I have used Gavin as a sunblock from time to time to stop the sun shining on my dolls too! Very useful camera accessory, the supportive partner ;) they should sell them in shops!

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  4. :) I really enjoyed this post, and I hope more people feel inspired! My husband & family are really supportive when it comes to toy photos, thankfully! I don't often take my pullips out (too big) but dals often travel with us, and I always have a tiny treeson ready for a good photo!

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    1. Thank you! <3 It's always good to have family who support a little bit of toy nuttiness :) Pullips I find quite tricky to travel with because they're so bendy and jointed, whereas Blythes are far more rigid. Pocket toys are always fun too! I'm rather enjoying tucking a lalaloopsy mini in my pocket these days :)

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  5. Alice- thank you! I am a new collector/enthusiast/hobbiest :) I have a supportive BFF and my guy is slowly but surely trying to "get" my new doll hobby. However, that said, I haven't been brave enough to take my girls out in public yet. Not only was this post fun to read but I felt an automatic boost in confidence! I especially love your advice about being casual :) I'm a longtime knitter/crocheter and I remember a time when I was too embarrassed to do that in public, but now I couldn't imagine going anywhere without it. Hopefully with patience and confidence I can develop the same attitude towards bringing my dollies out in public too :)

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    1. Thanks so much Elise, I'm so glad you find it helpful! I think it's really similar with knitting/crocheting in public (although I still have trouble with that, as I'm very much a 'limbs akimbo' knitter and I tend to elbow my neighbour a bit too much for it to be polite!) Good luck and happy doll outings! :) xox

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  6. "You have an awesome hobby. Everyone else is lame and boring." THIS!

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  7. I love this post! It was so wonderful!

    I linked back to it on my blog, and also posted some of my "out in public" pics in the post where I link back to you:

    http://majokkoshop.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-wonderful-post-from-my-plastic-fantasy.html

    Thanks for a great read!

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    1. Thanks so much Heather! Nice to see you getting your dolls out loud and proud, hehe :o)

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  8. I read about your post on Heather's blog. Thanks for sharing these tips. My favorite is to find somewhere quiet. I have gone to a local park around 11:00 a.m. and done some nice shots there. Cars were going past, but my back was to them.

    I like the LPS Blythes - incredibly cute, aren't they? I'll be following your blog.

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    1. Thanks! :D Cool shots - I like when no one is around because the background of your photos (like yours) are free of people. Almost like the dolls are human sized and just enjoying the park!

      LPS Blythes are SUPER cute. I used to find them a bit scary-looking because they're so stare-y, but now I just think they're super enthusiastic and just excited to be here, lol

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  9. I too found your blog via Heather's blog! I think I definitely need to start taking a doll out to see the world!

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    1. Definitely! :) I hear they like to travel ;)
      Good luck!

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  10. Hi Alice :)
    As D7ana and DLSarmywife I found your blog thanks to Heather

    You are a big source of inspiration and hope for me, actually I have a lot of difficulties with people, my family especially, about my dolls.

    They think it's weird for a man collecting dolls and are embarrassed that I want to expose and share this hobby with others.

    I follow your tips, my dolls want to see the world!

    LPS Blythes are too cute!! I'd like to have one!!

    Hugs from Italy :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment! :)

      I often think that it must be difficult to be male and collect dolls - I don't think that my doll collecting has ANYTHING to do with being female, but at least it's seen as a sort-of female-ish thing to do, and so it can be seen as slightly less unusual sometimes. It's a shame that the world feels the need to divide things into male/female categories. :(

      You are obviously (like all of us, hehe) very awesome for having such a cool hobby! I hope that your friends and family learn to see that :) xx

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  11. I love your pictures. I, too, found you on Heather's blog. I don't take dolls with me on a regular basis, but I love going to the park, sprawling on the grass and taking pictures of dolls when the need arises. I am drawn to posts where people take shots of dolls like yours above.

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  12. Excellent! I almost always have a blythe in my bag and I really don t care what people say when I photography them..... I even sometimes ask pople if they would pose with my doll and no one ever says no ;-)

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  13. Hi Alice. I just felt the need to give you my appreciation for your effort to express your struggles and how you overcame the fear of taking your dolls out into the public. It has really helped me out and has eased my anxieties knowing that I am not alone in this. I do have to let you know that speaking as a 36 year old guy, you would imagine that it makes things even more "odd' and complicated. *sigh* .. And what makes it even more odd is I have a toddler sized doll around 4 and a half feet high. Here is a picture. http://www.flickr.com/photos/93556699@N06/8506696420/in/photostream and http://www.flickr.com/photos/93556699@N06/8505591761/in/photostream As a person who has always loved dolls and especially children, how can I resist not taking him out (once in awile). He is like my own child... I have adopted him into my heart :)

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  14. Loud and proud, I'm a doll lover! :-D Loved every word of this, nicely phrased, and it SERIOUSLY brought tears to my eyes. I deal with bigger dolls (18") and it really feels uncomfortable to carry one around, because I am afraid what others would think of a "perfectly mature" 12 year old carrying something usually associated with younger girls. I feel angry, sad, and indignant that some doll lovers are suffering something likewise to discrimination JUST BECAUSE they carry a doll around. Thank you for acknowledging this serious problem and helping me to feel better about taking dolls out in public. Oh my, I'm going to go cry again...

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