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September 24, 2007

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Jenn

You know you want one. :) I find it odd that people find them so disturbing. It is 3-D art work at it's finest. :) If looking at them or even holding them brings a smile to someones face then what is disturbing about them?

saramin

do you remember ever seeing "reborned" baby dolls hanging off of trees/bldgs/wires in ann arbor around art fair time?

Dolly Oak

Have you seen the OOAK baby dolls, and the silicone baby dolls?

All are created by artists and some look alot more real than the reboens.

Robin

Personally I think there are some sick individuals whom will distort any thing they can to get attention! I have made some very happy people, whom otherwise would still be lacking in something to be happy! I make these babies to make others happy. If it does that then we have provided a great service. There is a lot of hard work put into this art form and seldom is it ever done for profit. Every reborn artist I know do it out of love and joy it brings to themselves and others. You don't like them sorry, don't look at them.Same as a tv you can turn it off.

Adora

I wonder why people are so scared by realism in art. Realism is a type of art that shows things exactly as they appear in life. It began in the 18th century, but the greatest Realist era was in the mid-19th century. Most Realist painters were from France (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec), but there were some famous American painters who were Realists also.
I find it completely stupid to be scared of realistic dolls in the third millenium.

Karen

How is reborning different than any other art that strives for realism? The more realistic a painted portrait is the better the artist. The more realistic the statue the better the sculptor. The more realist the reborn doll the better the artist. This is just another genre of an art form. And what's more even the reborns from the top artist are still affordable to collectors. Try to look at it that way.

Carmen

I've been told I am mentally ill because I am one of the people who truly enjoys "reborning" dolls to make them look like a real baby. What I feel in my soul, however, is not that I have a mental illness but rather fulfillment and enjoyment from working on the babies and pleasure seeing them look so beautiful. If I end up in the Psych. ward, please let me bring my dolls, my paints, supplies, an oven and last but not least, baby clothes and books.

Brenda

I think whoever start the whole article is sick. Are they bored with life that they have to make fun of art and people that enjoy it. How sad. I think they need a little spirituality in their life.

Bryan Alexander

Thank you for that pointer, Dolly Oak. I think a new post is in order.

Welcome to Infocult, Robin, Adora, Karen, and Carmen. I really appreciate your comments. And I do admire the craft shown in these dolls. I haven't been in the same room as one yet, but the skill involved in their creation is blazingly evident.

The uncanniness, the creepiness, the disturbing feelings some people experience in regards to these dolls should not, I think, be seen as artistic condemnation. It is quite the opposite, in fact, since the "uncanny valley" theory is predicated on precisely such skill. If the dolls were clumsily made, the effect would be different. If you haven't read up on that theory, I recommend start with the decent Wikipedia entry,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_Valley .

Adora, Karen, that's where the realism angle comes in. Not all realism (i.e., landscapes, buildings, etc), but specifically the representation of human children as dolls.

Carmen, I would never dream of describing your passion and work as pathological.

Jenn, it would be interesting to interview people and explore the divergence in responses!

saramin, I remember something like that.

Ceredwyn Alexander

I think its fair to point out that the Uncanny Valley starts in different places for different people. I've never seen dolls as a source of comfort myself, and I have known some people who couldn't bear them at all. That's part of what makes it uncanny--the lack of agreement. A doll that is *too* realistic is evocative of a (to be quite frank) corpse for many people, while for others its a sweet and cute reminder of childhood.

Have you noticed how many people are squicked out by cute things generally? Harmless cartoons can be seen as sinister in the right light and that lighting is where we find the Uncanny Valley. Rod Searling captured it completely in the old "Twilight Zone" episodes.

Melissa

Who can criticize such beautiful works of art? Again, if you don't like them, don't look.

Alexanria

i think the people who create these babies are truely talented, the more realistic the more talented in my opinion! i am currenlty looking to purchase a reborn but havent quite found what i'm after, well i did find it she was called emmylou but she sold before i had a chance :( i would like to congratulate all artists and say keep going because YES you are making alot of us very happy. and you are truely talented. i think the people who think this is scarey are the one who should be ashamed of themselves. every baby is a work of art.

christy

If all work is done in good taste it still upsets so many_do u feel as though a woman who adopted a infant from family friend should've made a reborn of the child after bsby died? Originally it was ruled SIDS reopened ruled as unknown death No would admitt to giving the lil girl benedryl found in her during autopsy only 2mos old benedryl?

christy

crispeewld1@hotmail.com reference of above comment

Dawn

I think they are great. My mom had cancer and can not have any more babies. And she wants one so bad she cries everynight. I was going to buy the baby annabel Doll and try to reborn it myself for her but i am not smart enough. i looked into it. and it is hard work i think those that do this for people who can afford it are great. Because she saw a reborn doll and fell in love with it. But we are not rich doctor bills are huge when you have cancer. Keep up the great work all you artist out there.

Kristen

Hi
I am who wrote the first one posted by dawn i did not know i could get a account on my own. So after i did i reposted this in the right name. Sorry if that is stupid.
I think they are great. My mom had cancer and can not have any more babies. And she wants one so bad she cries everynight. I was going to buy the baby annabel Doll and try to reborn it myself for her but i am not smart enough. i looked into it. and it is hard work i think those that do this for people who can afford it are great. Because she saw a reborn doll and fell in love with it. But we are not rich doctor bills are huge when you have cancer. Keep up the great work all you artist out there.

Costume Doll

Well that seems cute and it is truly a work of art. These reborn baby dolls are fascinating.

Kris

Michelle

I know a person who treats her dolls as if they are human. This person does perceive these dolls as humans. Does anyone know if there is a medical term for this?

Lorry

Infocult!? Hmmm.....the name alone tells you about the attitude. If you read between the words, they tell a completely story. We call these dolls "reborns" because they are. We address them as he/she because there has been a tremendous amount of time and work that has gone into these pieces of "art". If you took as much care with your words, your work might be regarded as the same one day.

Kathy

I think reborning is better than killing animals and then trying to bring them back to life by having them mounted! How sick is that? I can't stand people who have dead animals hanging all over there walls. I will say this, I do not like the "Goth babies". That is a bit macabe.

Kathy

I think reborning is better than killing animals and then trying to bring them back to life by having them mounted! How sick is that? I can't stand people who have dead animals hanging all over there walls. I will say this, I do not like the "Goth babies". That is a bit macabe.

DollyDearest

Dolls; the ooaks, silicones, and reborns are decorations in my house. I change the clothing to suit the season or holidays.

Michelle,the term for what you describe is hobby.

Kathy, you are RIGHT. Dolls are a much more pleasant than hunting for, and stuffing dead animals. Also, it is safer to collect dolls than stuffed animals.

Carmen, you are not mentally ill. You are an artist with talent.

cathy

I have read a lot of negative comments about reborning made by uninformed people with closed minds, but this one has made me laugh out loud.

You describe the violent acts involved in creating a reborn doll, but if the methods involved in this art are so violent, then what about a doll carved out of wood, is the artist involved in a frenzied knife attack? What about porcelain dolls that are cruelly fired in a hot kiln?
Teddy bear making is equally evil, surely, as the bears are repeatedly stabbed with a sharp needle as they are sewn up.

Do you suggest I give up my doll and bear artistry and concentrate on something that is more socially acceptable these days, like simulating murder on a computer game or drinking till I am sick down at my local?

On a different note, I have just come across the uncanny valley theory and I find it very interesting. It certainly explains why some people enjoy dolls and some people find them creepy.

If you don't like reborn dolls, the answer is simple. Don't buy one.

Cathy

reborn dolls

Not only are the reborn babies fun to collect but they can be very theraputic, especially for women. Studies have shown that holding and cuddling a baby, whether a real baby or a realistic baby, releases hormones in the body that promotes emotional well being.

reborner

Hi,
Any hobbyist or collector will tell you that the best collectibles are those which are the most realistic. Reborn dolls are no different.
Like any other hobbyists, reborn doll enthusiasts marvel at the quality of specialist materials which go into producing realistic collectible dolls, the incredibly high level of craftsmanship and then finally, the amazing life-like look of the finished product.

If you havem't seen a reborn doll close-up, then you might be surprised when you finally do - they REALLY do look like babies. Nothing wrong with that - isn't a doll supposed to look like a baby?

Bryan Alexander

reborner, I don't think there's any question that reborn dolls demonstrate superb craft, in terms of accurately representing human babies.

What interests me, and this blog, is the flip side, the sense of creepiness that such fidelity to the human form represents.

Now, after exploring this "uncanny valley" topic for some years, I'm also interested in how defensive bringing it up can make people. Perhaps it's a coin with two sides: on the one, creepiness; on the other, lifestyle.

leslie

No a doll is supposed to look like a doll, not a baby.

You can make it realistic. Which is cool.

But if you made it realistic for people to treat it like a baby, then you are assisting the crazy.

Whatever, reborn baby owners that treat them like real babies (with b-day parties and what nots) are stark raving bonkers.

Buy Reborn Doll

This is the new evolution of the dolls industry, the life-like dolls. There's is no wrong of collecting them and using them as a therapy to those people who've lost their siblings, grandmothers who misses their grand siblings. But too much is never good, that's why they have to put in their mind that this is isn't real and that reborns are just a product of art.

Kate W.

I don't understand why these dolls cause so much reaction. Artists have recreated the human form all throught the ages. As well, I don't understand why many people are so judgemental about people "playing" with the dolls. What is the harm in indulging in a little fantasy. My family are medieval reenactors and "play" at being in the Middle Ages on weekends. We know it isn't real. We do it for pleasure. My son loves video games. He "pretends" to fly a plane and shoot soldiers after school. He knows that it is fantasy. Many people play sports...games with complex rules. I did a little reaserch, and found that they are actually quite beneficial as therapy dolls, in certain cases. Leslie, I think you need to loosen up and stop assuming people who indulge in this passtime are "Crazy". If they do actually have a mental illness, then they need your understanding, not your condemnation. Most appear to just enjoy "playing". It's not hurting you, is it? Maybe you need a little fantasy in your life. Do you never lose yourselve in a book? Get involved in a TV show? Play a video game? Play a sport? Play monopoly? Daydream? I think it is sad that society has decided what to put a taboo on. Playing with dolls is unaceptable, but playing with balls and bikes are? Think about it...

Ceredwyn

Actually, Kate, I'm not sure we're talking about "harm" so much as that strange visceral reaction some of us have to dolls. I find almost all dolls that look nearly human to be creepy--hence the uncanny valley thing. I also find it equally creepy when people treat non human pets like children.

Re: your chosen fantasy pastimes: any pastime can become creepy when it takes over one's life. Weekend reenacting is fun when one has the time and resources to indulge their hobby. Pathological when one spends money one doesn't have and it negatively impacts both material life and family relations.

I find it interesting that you assume the people who comment negatively to be non imaginative with no fantasy lives of their own. Leslie gave no indication of any of that (and who knows? Might in fact spend their own weekends at Sci-Fi Cons and SCA events). Rather they merely stated that they find human-like dolls creepy and that treating them like they were human doubly so. I agree. And I think it has less to do with my "lack of imagination" and much more to do with a a very real visceral reaction that some people have. These dolls do just look like corpses to me. And before you ask, yes I've seen several corpses.


David Neoterik

I wouldn't call this a fad, but there is definitely something strong going on with collecting reborn baby dolls, and classic dolls like these in general. This is interesting, considering how these realistic dolls earned their name.

Reborn Babies

Reborning is the art of transforming a vinyl doll (either whole doll or kit) into a realistic looking baby doll (usually of a human baby- but sometimes elves or chimpanzees may be made). The person who makes this transformation is called a 'reborner" or reborn artist. The more realistic looking the doll is the more successful the artist is considered. Once completed the doll is called a 'reborn', 'reborn doll', 'reborn baby"or 'fake baby'.

Reborn Babies

Reborning is the art of transforming a vinyl doll (either whole doll or kit) into a realistic looking baby doll (usually of a human baby- but sometimes elves or chimpanzees may be made). The person who makes this transformation is called a 'reborner" or reborn artist. The more realistic looking the doll is the more successful the artist is considered. Once completed the doll is called a 'reborn', 'reborn doll', 'reborn baby"or 'fake baby'.

Reborn Babies

Reborning is the art of transforming a vinyl doll (either whole doll or kit) into a realistic looking baby doll (usually of a human baby- but sometimes elves or chimpanzees may be made). The person who makes this transformation is called a 'reborner" or reborn artist. The more realistic looking the doll is the more successful the artist is considered. Once completed the doll is called a 'reborn', 'reborn doll', 'reborn baby"or 'fake baby'.

Real Baby Dolls

Reborn Berenguer dolls are pampered and treated like members of the family by many owners. This can cause issues as people have called the police because of "babies" being left in cars. Police have broken windows to rescue these children or pulled drivers over for not having the proper safety seating for their child.

front porch babies

wow are these dolls? I think it's not. they really look like real babies. I would love to have one of those.

Reborn doll

these are the cutest dolls that I've ever seen. wow their so stunning.

Real Reborn Dolls

wow, reborn dolls are beautiful, I can't believe that they are dolls and not real babies.

Lia

Personally, I have an aversion to dolls in general, but I get why people would like these. There are, however, two things that bother me:

One, I knew someone who lost a child and got one of these made to replace it, but treated it as a real child, "feeding" and "burping" it and putting it down for naps and she had a car seat for it in the car. When her 4 year old told her that it was a doll, she yelled at him and spanked him and told him never to insult his sister like that again. She began to neglect her other two children in favor of this doll (whatever other special name they have, it's still a type of doll) that she treated, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as a real child. Whether a little fantasy is healthy or not, this wasn't a little fantasy. She really could not comprehend, on the outermost level at least, that it wasn't a real child. Her husband finally convinced her to go to a phychologist, where she was diagnosed with PTSD and some kind of delusions. She spent 18 months in a mental care facility recovering. Using one of these to help the grieving process is one thing, but using one to forego the grieving process (and reality) is another, and it's not healthy.

The other second small thing that bothers me about these is that the people who sell them use the term "adopt." As an adoptee, it just rubs me the wrong way a little. Adoption of a living child is something of a mixed goodness and tragedy that can hardly be matched or put into words. I think it's because of the inherent tragedy and pain in it that it rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's because it almost seems to equate these dolls with adopted children. And from what I hear, some people who can't have children turn to these instead of adoption, maybe that's part of it too.

Either way, most even semi-lifelike dolls fall into uncanny valley for me, but I respect this as art, as long as people don't take it too far.

Brittanie

umm i dont think its the realism of the doll that people find creepy. its when you dedicate a whole room to be a nursery and check on it and have nightly feeding and bathing routines that people think you have a mental disorder. and i concur.

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