Doll

A doll is a model of a character, often used as a toy for children, and an artistic hobby for adults

A doll is a model of a human being, often used as a toy for children. Dolls have traditionally been used in magic and religious rituals throughout the world, and traditional dolls made of materials such as clay and wood are found in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.

QuotesEdit

 
When a 37-year-old director, whose childhood bedroom was littered with Transformers and Star Wars figures, steps up to direct the latest feature from Marvel, to what extend is he simply playing with action figures on a gigantic budget? To what extent is Chris Pratt a very expensive action figure, to be posed and moved around with the other toys? ~ Geoff Klock
 
For many Americans childhood imitations are not of weddings and festivals, but of things seen on screens, TV shows and movies, things also owned by that same handful of mega-corporations. The blockbuster film industry, with its endless parade of nostalgic heroes from childhood and an attendant emotional maturity, is the playground for 35-year-old- ticket buyers who are told they never have to leave these things behind. ~ Geoff Klock
 
It is a common belief in Japan that dolls are mirrors. The dolls show their owner’s true self. ~ Shin Takegi
 
Before Barbie, dolls were babies, to be fed and burped and bathed and wheeled around in prams and put down for naps. ~ Jill Lepore
 
To start, the most abject Happy Meal toy lost in the deepest layers of the toy bin still signifies the epitome of polysemic postmodern participatory commodity culture. At the same time, the expertly-graded, mint-in-blisterpack Star Wars rebel of Ideal Posin' Supergirl cocooned for eternity within its EcoStar PC50 Recycled PET acryllic clam shell against all possible risk, play, or abuse can command thousands of dollars on the collector/investor/speculator market. From garage sales and Goodwill fodder to certified collectibles and international Internet auction houses, the action figure circulates through complex aesthetic, psychological, and socio-economic conditions of unusual scope and power. ~ Daniel F. Yezbick
  • Narrated 'Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.)
  • In this connection we may refer to fornicatory acts effected with artificial imitations of the human body, or of individual parts of that body. There exist true Vaucansons in this province of pornographic technology, clever mechanics who, from rubber and other plastic materials, prepare entire male or female bodies, which, as hommes or dames de voyage, subserve fornicatory purposes. More especially are the genital organs represented in a manner true to nature. Even the secretion of Bartholin's glans is imitated, by means of a "pneumatic tube" filled with oil. Similarly, by means of fluid and suitable apparatus, the ejaculation of the semen is imitated. Such artificial human beings are actually offered for sale in the catalogue of certain manufacturers of "Parisian rubber articles."
  • We find in the story of the Sand-Man the other theme on which Jentsch lays stress, of a doll which appears to be alive. Jentsch believes that a particularly favourable condition for awakening uncanny feelings is created when there is intellectual uncertainty whether an object is alive or not, and when an inanimate object becomes too much like an animate one. Now, dolls are of course rather closely connected with childhood life. We remember that in their early games children do not distinguish at all sharply between living and inanimate objects, and that they are especially fond of treating their dolls like live people. In fact, I have occasionally heard a woman patient declare that even at the age of eight she had still been convinced that her dolls would be certain to come to life if she were to look at them in a particular, extremely concentrated, way. So that here, too, it is not difficult to discover a factor from childhood. But, curiously enough, while the Sand-Man story deals with the arousing of an early childhood fear, the idea of a ‘living doll’ excites no fear at all; children have no fear of their dolls coming to life, they may even desire it. The source of uncanny feelings would not, therefore, be an infantile fear in this case, but rather an infantile wish or even merely an infantile belief. There seems to be a contradiction here; but perhaps it is only a complication, which may be helpful to us later on.
  • The Toy Story movies are true to the toys they represent, as we learn from the movies the kind of lessons we learn in life, and work though emotionally and intellectually with action figures: learning our place in the scheme of the world through self-knowledge, the choice between protecting our hearts by isolating ourselves emotionally from others or risking heart-break, accepting abandonment, old age and death. My own realization of growing up came when I realized that my huge Lego diorama, much like the one the dad has in The Lego Movies was not something adults had, and that in growing up I would have to give it up.
    But in the modern world the toys we play with are not faceless dolls.
    The toys are G.I. Joe and Barbie, Pokemon, Batman and Superman, The X-Men and Spiderman and The Hulk, all owned by a handful of megacorporations. For many Americans childhood imitations are not of weddings and festivals, but of things seen on screens, TV shows and movies, things also owned by that same handful of mega-corporations. The blockbuster film industry, with its endless parade of nostalgic heroes from childhood and an attendant emotional maturity, is the playground for 35-year-old- ticket buyers who are told they never have to leave these things behind.
  • Wordsworth's child plays with his toys in a world unconcerned with brand power, and he tells his own stories, using public domain situations. Star Wars was not designed to sell toys, but Lucas was smart enough to keep the merchandising rights, and, with help from Kenner, a toy empire was founded. The story came first, but the merchandising threatened to takeover. In the case of Transformers, the action figures were absolutely primary, the show was made to drive toy sales. But as the generation raised on Star Wars and Transformers became filmmakers in their own right, the primary-secondary relationship became blurry. In an interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith, Paul Dini, who created the cartoon Young Justice among other, talked about a problem he had with the executives at the Cartoon Network. They cancelled his show, Tower Prep even though his audience was on the rise. The reason: the audience numbers were on the rise because girls were watching the show and that's a problem because girls don't buy the toys, and the money comes from the toys. Because the relationship between action figures and movies and television are symbiotic it is hard to know if this is a case of the tail wagging the dog.
    When a 37-year-old director, whose childhood bedroom was littered with Transformers and Star Wars figures, steps up to direct the latest feature from Marvel, to what extend is he simply playing with action figures on a gigantic budget? To what extent is Chris Pratt a very expensive action figure, to be posed and moved around with the other toys?
  • As Kozinski would write in his opinion in Mattel v. MGA, it’s possible to make dolls that don’t look like porn stars but “there’s not a big market for fashion dolls that look like Patty and Selma Bouvier”—a reference to Lisa Simpson’s big-nosed, wide-waisted, thick-ankled aunts.
  • Empowerment feminism is a cynical sham. As Margaret Talbot once noted in these pages, “To change a Bratz doll’s shoes, you have to snap off its feet at the ankles.” That is pretty much what girlhood feels like. In a 2014 study, girls between four and seven were asked about possible careers for boys and girls after playing with either Fashion Barbie, Doctor Barbie, or, as a control, Mrs. Potato Head. The girls who had played with Mrs. Potato Head were significantly more likely to answer yes to the question “Could you do this job when you grow up?” when shown a picture of the workplaces of a construction worker, a firefighter, a pilot, a doctor, and a police officer. The study had a tiny sample size, and, like most slightly nutty research in the field of social psychology, has never been replicated, or scaled up, except that, since nearly all American girls own a Barbie, the population of American girls has been the subject of the scaled-up version of that experiment for nearly six decades.
  • From my experience, kids are most interested in movie merchandise from about three to eight years old,” says Lisa Wragg, who worked in children’s licensing for many years. “At about eight, it tends to wane as they get more into music, artists and social media.
  • How exactly, in the last half decade, has the "action figure", in all of its myriad cross-marketed incarnations, captured the imaginations of children and adults? What "discrepancy" of scale, schema, sex, and spirit thus makes miniaturized men, women, and monsters of resin, plastic, lead, rubber, or wood so functionally prevalent in global commerce and individual fantasy?
    In Sherry Turkle's view, "evocative objects" such as action figures "bring philosophy down to Earth. When we focus on objects, physicians and philosophers, psychologists and designers, artists and engineers are able to find common ground in everyday experience" (Turkle 8). Applying Levi-Strauss' notion of the brinocoleur, or a "practioner of the science of the concrete" who"manipulates a closed set of materials to develop new thoughts" out of "bricolage" in tandem with Piaget's assessment of instructive play rooted in "close to the object thinking" meant to heighten awareness of the "number, space, time, causality, and life" of things, Turkle provides a profoundly simple perspective on how "object play-for adults as well as children-engaged the heart as well as the mind" (Turkle 308-309). How can we examine our unique attraction to miniature plastic effigies and their contexts?
  • To start, the most abject Happy Meal toy lost in the deepest layers of the toy bin still signifies the epitome of polysemic postmodern participatory commodity culture. At the same time, the expertly-graded, mint-in-blisterpack Star Wars rebel of Ideal Posin' Supergirl cocooned for eternity within its EcoStar PC50 Recycled PET acryllic clam shell against all possible risk, play, or abuse can command thousands of dollars on the collector/investor/speculator market. From garage sales and Goodwill fodder to certified collectibles and international Internet auction houses, the action figure circulates through complex aesthetic, psychological, and socio-economic conditions of unusual scope and power.
    Its defining characteristics seem obvious enough. An action figure is generally a manufactured personality or character built to a diminished scale. It is usually, though not necessarily humanoid, and often designed to encourage manipulation, posing, or play including movable body parts, interchanging costumes, accessories, weapons, prosthetics, and related apparatus. At times, these accoutrements can expand to include elaborate vehicles, carrying cases, and playsets so ingeniously and engineered that they are sometimes more engaging in their miniaturized discrepancy than the figured body or character itself. Certain bases, expanded worlds, and microcosmic mock-ups tend to develop their own specialized mythologies. Iconic examples include Shredder and Krang's Technodrome of mechanized evil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise and G.I. Joe's remarkably Space Shuttle Defiant. From the figures themselves to the gear, couture, and conveyances that enable and transport them, the action figure always signifies a larger spectacle well beyond its tiny idealized body.

Sarah Valverde, “THE MODERN SEX DOLL-OWNER: A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS”, Faculty of California State Polytechnic University, (2012)Edit

 
The modern sex doll may has a direct antecedent in the cotton sex doll created and used by sailors on long voyages, referred to as dames de voyage (Bloch, 1908; Ferguson, 2010; Wolf, 2010). These dolls were created by French and Spanish sailors during the height of their naval empires in the seventeenth century (Ferguson, 2010). The navies of Imperial Germany and Japan reportedly sanctioned the widespread use of dames de voyage, as preferable to homosexuality.
 
The Sex doll industry has been transformed by advances in computer generated images (CGI) and silicone technology. Hollywood special effects technicians began using advances in these technologies to create realistic corpses for films. (Ferguson, 2010). These mannequins were the beginnings of the realistic, functional sex doll.
 
For men, who may program their sexuality to rely on appearance via pornography, the appearance of the doll will become the key to the eroticism, rather than the (sometimes) emotional, playful, dynamic and interactive physicality of sex (Dr. Vincent Egan, personal communication, July, 2011).
  • The modern sex doll may has a direct antecedent in the cotton sex doll created and used by sailors on long voyages, referred to as dames de voyage (Bloch, 1908; Ferguson, 2010; Wolf, 2010). These dolls were created by French and Spanish sailors during the height of their naval empires in the seventeenth century (Ferguson, 2010). The navies of Imperial Germany and Japan reportedly sanctioned the widespread use of dames de voyage, as preferable to homosexuality. Both navies reportedly manufactured their own versions of the dames de voyage (Wolf, 2010).
  • A popular urban legend claims the German Navy became the first creator of the modern sex-doll, Model Borghild (Ferguson, 2010; Lenz, n.d.; Pulham, 2008; Wolf, 2010). According to rumor and urban myth, the doll was part of the Nazi’s “field-hygienic project,” initiated to counterbalance the sexual drive of storm troopers (Lenz, n.d.). However, the existence of the author, “Lenz”, and the reports on the so-called Borghild doll are unverifiable, and are possibly hoaxes (Ferguson, 2010; Schewe & Moreno, 2011). The Japanese had a version of a dames de voyage, called a do-ningyo. A description is cited from a Japanese work titled “The Art of Quickly Seducing a Novice” in Tabori’s book, The Humor and Technology of Sex (1969): A man who is forced to sleep alone can obtain pleasure with a do-ningyo. This is the body of a female doll, the image of a girl of thirteen or fourteen with a velvet vulva. But these dolls are only for people of high rank. (p. 337) Dolls and statues created and used for sexual purposes are cross-cultural phenomena in various forms for centuries. The absence of historical information about production, distribution, and sales, or customer satisfaction data on sex dolls leaves the history of sex dolls open to considerable speculation. Until the emergence of the modern sex dolls, records of sales are found only in rumored accounts of sex doll use, and antique advertisements, such as the one translated by Henry Carey from a Paris circular in 1902. It advertises the sale of a complete, custom sex doll made to fit customer specifications: “All moves, arms, legs, buttocks, head, eyes; a perfect likeness of the person whose photograph is sent...the complete apparatus, guaranteed against breakage, man or woman, 3000 francs” (Cary, 1922, p. 50).
    • p. 5
  • Pioneers in the field of sexology in the early 20th century such as Iwan Bloch, Havelock Ellis, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, and Magnus Hirschfeld, have referenced statue love in their research. A French journal dated March 4th, 1877 published a story which describes the case of a gardener who falls in love with a statue of Venus de Milo and was found attempting coitus with it (Krafft-Ebing, 1965/1978). Krafft-Ebing describes these types of acts: “Violation of statues...they always give the impression of being pathological...these cases stand in etiological relation with abnormally intense libido and defective virility or courage, or lack of opportunity for normal sexual gratification” (p. 351). Hirschfeld’s Sexual Pathology (1940) considers Pygmalionism as inclusive of more “primitive” human simulacra than statues: To be sure the nature of Pygmalionism does not exhaust itself in love of statues as such, but also in the artificial, and occasionally artistic, construction of a figure corresponding to the inner desire whose sight and contact, which may go so far as actions similar to cohabitation, bring about physical and psychic relief...I have seen dolls which a prisoner made as a substitute for a woman. We are justified only to a certain extent in speaking of hypereroticism in such makeshift intercourse. (p. 226) Hirschfeld goes on to differentiate between a type of “makeshift intercourse” and fetish: “hypererotic excitation is evoked usually not only through the similarity to humanity alone, but through some special property of the statue, much as the necrophile is attracted to the course by the cool skin...” (Hirschfeld, 1940, p. 227).
    • p. 6.
  • According to Orient Industry, the company sells approximately 50-80 dolls per month and estimates there are over 20,000 doll-owners in Japan alone (Galbraith, 2008; Maeda, 2007). A spokesman for Orient Industry reports that nearly all of the people who buy these dolls are single men and about 60 percent of them are over the age of 40 (Maeda, 2007). "Nowadays, women are sometimes more dominant than men in the real world, and they don't always pay attention to men," said Hideo Tsuchiya, the company's president. "More and more men are finding themselves miserable so we're making these dolls partly in support of men" (Maeda, 2007). Since the 1950’s the Japanese government began using sex dolls to enhance the lives of its workers in remote outposts such as the South Pole (Galbraith, 2008).
    • p. 9.
  • The media has tracked the new millennium dolls with great interest, showcasing them on U.S. television shows such as Nip/Tuck. A doll is a protagonist of the feature length film Lars and the Real Girl, which premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. The film highlights the psychological connection between a man and his doll. The synopsis of the film found on the film’s packaging reads: ...instead of seeing a sex object, Lars sees in this doll a potential life partner and the only kind of social "peer" he can relate to. So Lars orders a doll, whom he names Bianca, and begins treating her with utmost gentlemanly respect -- and as though she's his real-life, flesh-and-blood girlfriend. As he begins bringing Bianca with him everywhere he goes, the townspeople have to find just the right balance between supporting Lars' unusual romance and trying to introduce him to a more conventional partner. (Gillespe, 20).
    • p. 16-17.
  • Political fascism in Europe, beginning in the 21 1930’s, affected German and Austrian sex researchers, forcing many to shut down research and development institutes and flee their countries. The Berlin Institute for Sexual Science was destroyed by fascist gangs in 1933 (Meyenburg & Sigusch, 1977). The psychological community has contributed little to literature on the sex-doll phenomenon. The sex research at the turn of the 20th century described the use of sex dolls and statues as a pathology, without supporting empirical evidence (Schewe & Moreno, 2011). Iwan Bloch and Havelock Ellis likened statue love to necrophilia: “Closely allied to these necrophilist tendencies is the remarkable ‘Venus statuaria’...apart from certain aesthetic motives...we have to do, for the most part, with the same motives that give rise to necrophilia—sadistic, masochistic, and fetishistic” (Bloch, 1908. p. 467)
    • p. 20-21.
  • In an interview by Scott for Metro Online, forensic psychologist and Leicester University lecturer Vincent Egan commented on doll-owners: “They need to think more about their relationships with the people they say they find sexually exciting,” he says. “Perhaps they can't fantasize easily themselves and the dolls help.” When contacted via email by this author to clarify his statements Dr. Egan said: Any prosthesis is an adaptation to a problem (or perceived problem). Some people may use sex dolls due to disturbed attachments; others may simply not have attachments to start... For men, who may program their sexuality to rely on appearance via pornography, the appearance of the doll will become the key to the eroticism, rather than the (sometimes) emotional, playful, dynamic and interactive physicality of sex (Dr. Vincent Egan, personal communication, July, 2011).
    • p. 21.
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