Doll Ethnicity and Disabilities in the Reborn Doll Community

Every day, there is an example of the evil and ill-will of others being demonstrated in the world. It is in every newspaper, every television broadcast and the most talked about topic on the radio airwaves. However, the reborn doll hobby is a place for me to come and have fun. To forget about pressing issues, if just for a moment. A community where I can chat with other individuals and be united by a common interest, no matter what my skin color is or what my religious and political stances are. So, I thought.

All around us it seems the world has divided. To be frank, the world has been divided. I won't get into the details of how the world became that way, but the issue is that over centuries of humans evolving and growing in technological advances, we as a human race, still have not learned anything in regards for loving one another. We are still divided and growing farther apart each year. I would have never guessed some of this ignorance worming it's way into the reborn doll community.  Nevertheless, there are instances where it happens. I think it happens more frequently than I care to admit, but recently I notice it happening to me and those doll collectors who I follow on social media, more.

Remember when I first had plans to bring my vision of Tehya Cassidy to "life"? It was just after an incident on social media where someone was parading around with photos of my dolls, supposedly for sale. My idea for Tehya was to capture uniqueness. Babies are such beautiful things and each one of them is unique. I wanted Tehya to have a special birthmark and thanks to my very talented doll artist (Markita Booker), so she did! Tehya came home with a port wine stain birthmark over her left eye and forehead area. It is one of the most distinguishing things about her and it sets her apart from a lot of other dolls made from Michelle Fagan's six month sized Elliot sculpt. My family and friends adored her and for the most part, followers on social media welcomed her into the community as well. BUT like with any "new" concept, there came plenty of questions. I was prepared for this. What I wasn't prepared for was the ugliness of the world to seep into such a happy-go-lucky hobby. There were a lot of people (and not just underaged kids on YouTube) who had such ugly things to say about something so simple as a doll. Why is not my doll appreciated for what it is? After all, there are real children born to look this way...I am only mimicking what God has allowed humans to be like? So what is so wrong with that?

My most recent, and definitely most baffling, incident in regards to reborn dolls is the concept of ethnicity or race. First of all, since when does a doll, an inanimate object, required to identify (like a human) with any particular ethnicity? Yes, it is always nice to have dolls that "look like you", but does that in fact make it the same ethnicity as you? No. It's a doll. It only is portrayed as one way or another, because of who owns the doll. With that concept in mind, I will outright say that all of the dolls in my collection are multiracial. This means, in my mind, they are any combination of Asian, Latina, European, Carribean or African decent! A commentator on one of my latest videos of Tabitha Mei-Ling was in regards to her name.

Why does she have a name if neither you or the doll is of Asian origin?

Is that really necessary? Let's take my name, TAMARA, for instance. With a bit of Google search you will find that is a name of Russian decent (as well as Hebrew). I am (to my knowledge) of African ethnicity and American nationality. Does that mean, I cannot have the name Tamara? Is it not a beautiful name for a black girl to have? Is it a name only reserved for Russian girls? Come on, people! And further more, who is to say that my portrayal of Tabitha isn't of Asian decent? Nobody asked...

A few months ago, I came across a video by Tori's Reborn Babies (featured at the top of this post!) In her video she explains her reasoning for wanting her doll to be portrayed as a blind child. Now, there are many, many types of role play that collectors do with their dolls. Some collectors even portray the arrival of their new reborn doll as actually being pregnant and although it isn't something I personally would do, I see no issue with it! It isn't harming anyone and it's purely for entertainment. Tori has a great reason for portraying her reborn toddler as a blind child, but even if she didn't have a reason..does she really need one? Are their not real blind toddlers in the world? My limits are reached at the point of role play when a doll may have a terminal illness, such as cancer. However, their freedom to role-play in that ways, is theirs! It is a depiction of real life. Maybe that person has experienced this and is using their doll role-play to heal an emotional wound. You cannot be so quick to judge and assume anything.

Why is the world so judgmental, rude, and exclusive of each other's cultures? I just don't get it.

My first handmade doll dress!

Happy weekend! If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I am a craft loving person! My latest endeavor since 2017 was learning how to sew. Thanks to my loving fiancé gifting me a sewing machine for Valentine's Day last year, I was able to make some of my crafting passions come true. Ultimately, I'd love to gain enough experience to make reborn baby doll clothing and sell them! For now, I am still learning and experimenting with different patterns/techniques. For awhile, I have been shying away. Sewing patterns intimidate me so much and seem so complicated, but recently I came across a dress design that I decided to give a try. I felt confident enough that yes, I could complete this successfully and I was right! This weekend, I made little Ling a pillowcase dress. If you're interested in creating one of your own, you can check out the tutorial I followed by Sew Like My Mom.

Welcome Home Tabitha Mei-Ling!

It is almost the weekend and I honestly can't wait! I hope to get a chance to bond and spend time playing with my newest little reborn toddler, Tabitha Mei-Ling! If you follow my doll gang on Instagram, you are already aware of the name choices I had selected. Although everyone was in favorite of Tia, I ultimately went with the runner up name Tabitha. I felt it went along best with my choice of Mei-Ling for a middle name. Welcome home, Tabitha Mei-Ling! I am so glad she is here with me and is definitely a forever baby for my collection. I am forever grateful for Ms. Billie's kind soul and generosity. Also, today is Ms. Billie's birthday...HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We love you lots!