Reborn dolls or newborn baby dolls (these terms can be used interchangeably and refer to the same type of dolls) are a specific type of plastic baby dolls that are crafted to look just like real babies. This crafting is done by artists that are referred to as “reborners”. The process of creating these dolls is referred to as “reborning”. Recently these dolls have gained quite a bit of popularity in the mainstream media. The focus of these media stories often revolves around the question of whether reborning is just a hobby, or if it is an unhealthy obsession. This article examines that question.
Some people who have labeled reborning as an obsession often point to extreme cases of those who collect reborns. In some of these cases the collectors treat their reborn dolls as if they were real babies, holding and cuddling them, or taking them places in car seats or strollers. They may also point to the fact that reborners often go to great lengths to make the dolls ultra-realistic, using things such as heating elements, synthetic “fat”, and devices designed to mimic the breathing and other sounds of real infants. Often times, derogatory phrases like “weird” or “creepy” are used in reference to the dolls. Do all of these things prove that reborning is an unhealthy obsession? Let’s take a second to examine the facts presented above. I’ll start with the last statement first.
Does the fact that some people find the dolls to be weird or creepy, give a basis for them to be referred to as an obsession?
I think that most anyone would agree the answer to this question is “no”. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Yes there are a lot of people who find the dolls disturbing because of how life-like they are. However, there are also a lot of people who see them as expertly crafted, beautiful pieces of art. Neither of these groups is right or wrong. They are just different people with different tastes and opinions, and having an opinion is certainly not the same as having an obsession.
What about those who say that the reborners go too far to make the dolls realistic?
There is a popular saying that “Art imitates life”. Evidence of this can be seen in many forms of art. Painters who make extremely like-like portraits are hailed as being masters of their craft. The same holds true for sculptors, model makers, and other artists. In fact, a goal of many books and learning courses is to teach students to become better at capturing what they see. Should the same rules not apply to all artists and crafters, including reborners?
But what about reborn collectors who treat reborns as if they were real infants? Surely that constitutes obsession.
As with any hobby, there are people who take reborning too far. Anything that begins to interfere with your daily responsibilities and interactions with other humans is not healthy and should be taken a step back from. However, just because there are those who take the hobby too far doesn’t mean that reborning and reborn dolls as a whole are an obsession. As mentioned before, there are people who can be pointed at as extremists in any hobby: sports, video games, music, you name it. But when kept in check, all of these things can be a relaxing diversion from everyday tasks, just like reborning.
I hope Aoridolls has helped you to see the hobby of reborning in a fair and objective light.