October 16, 2008

A Shout-Out

(Here's a "shout-out" to the myriads of "Deer Burfmudder" letters waiting out there...just a little something you might wanna consider)

Fake babies ease women's anxiety, sadness
Dr. Gail Saltz looks at the psychology of adults who "play" with reborn dolls

Can an inanimate doll — one so realistic as to look alive — really replace a baby? In many ways, such a notion feels like a page from the Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It’s a disturbing thought to have something un-real take the place of a real human — which is why such a concept is often the basis for fantasy or horror tales.
The reality, however, is that people often face sorrowful issues in their lives. In many cases, they use denial to cope with the loss and the resulting anxiety.
For those who don’t want to have a commitment, {or who can't have a "real" baby}, a doll baby is “better”. A doll baby comes with zero responsibility. It is an interesting transitional object — similar to the blankie a child drags around, or the stuffed animal she keeps in her backpack. It signifies a connectedness to home and to mother. In this case, the transition is between the real or imagined child they lost and the fact that life no longer contains that baby for them. For some women, such a transitional object eases them into ways of finding more external methods of dealing with their needs of caretaking and loving a being who loves them back. It is the concretized fantasy of getting unconditional love.
Unlike with a real baby, a lifelike doll comes with no real-world mess — no diapers, no smells, no feeding, no crying. These babies, unlike real ones, do not grow up into toddlers. And as soon as the toddler toddles away, there’s a whole different psychic dynamic. You now have a creature growing, changing, moving toward independence. It will, clearly, need you less and less. Entwined with a doll baby is the knowledge it will never grow up, never leave you, never disappoint you, never say ‘I hate you!” It will never be a complex being unto itself. In that way, you, the "mother," will never experience loss.
There’s something else about babies. For many women, whether or not they want children, a baby personifies their genital prowess. It symbolizes their femininity and female power.
If you walk around with a baby — or a doll that looks like a baby — everyone stops to admire it. The word “cute” was made for babies! So having one produces positive attention, which is often enjoyable, like when you are dressed up and people admire you. Exhibition is a part of all of us, so it is natural to want attention. For a woman who is struggling to feel good about herself, the baby can provide reassurances in the form of others admiring your “progeny.”
This kind of lifelike doll is not for everyone, of course. But, if someone feels bereft, it could be another tool that is oddly helpful. There are many ways a person may find to cope with loss, sadness and anxiety, and these reborn dolls offer one solution.

No comments: