ARTICLE - REBORN DOLLS : WHEN A HOBBY BECOMES AN OBSESSION
dolls: When a hobby becomes an obsession
Posted on September 4, 2012By Amanda Edwards
A rising number of women around the world are succumbing to the strange addiction of collecting and caring for dolls that look eerily like newborn babies.
The reborn dolls are made to feel just like a tiny baby in a person’s
arms and women of upper and lower classes are falling victim to their
desire to nurture these “babies” sometimes to the detriment of their
family dynamic. Why is this happening? When does a hobby become an
In the field of mental health, to summarize plainly,a hobby brings joy while an obsession brings destruction.
Painting is an example of a hobby that, for most, is enjoyable and
enriches a person’s life. Most of the time, painting (or engaging in any
other hobby) for a few hours a week would cause no harm to an
individual or those around them. Partaking in a hobby is a healthy way
of expressing self and individuality in a world where we’re often
defined by our career roles. A hobby becomes an obsession when the
damage done to a person, their family, or their existence outweighs the
enjoyment they gain from the experience.
Collecting dolls is absolutely an acceptable hobby,
one that dates back hundreds of years and provides work and fulfillment
for many people. The fascination with the reborn doll movement is that
it’s not simply about collecting and creating these dolls as a hobby,
it’s about providing care for them, nurturing them, and sometimes,
choosing them over family.
Alice started collecting dolls when her kitten and child fostering
didn’t fill the void that she felt upon accepting that she should have
no more children, as reported by the Telegraph. Her adolescent and adult children were no longer filling the void within her and she, like many women, felt the need to nurture something… anything…
A logical person may say this woman is crazy for spending thousands
of dollars and countless hours on her “babies” while her marriage fell
apart and her own children continued to grow. She doesn’t seem to think
so and neither do her supporters.
Some women start collecting the reborn dolls to replace a stillborn
child or lost pregnancy. For a woman who goes to the hospital, expecting
to bring home a bundle of joy and doesn’t get to, there is no “proper” way to grieve and mourn
and if a snuggle with a doll commemorating the short life of a lost
baby helps a family heal, they should not be judged. Alice is not one of
those mothers though. She has five children of her own already, her
obsession has damaged herself and her family and, while no one with
mental illness should be judged, she is putting her own children in
danger and that cannot be ignored.
The unreasonable obsession starts when that “baby” takes precedence over other important aspects of the mother’s life. Then, mental health treatment is absolutely necessary in order for the woman and her family to remain safe and stable, physically and emotionally.
Whether it’s reborn dolls or model cars, hobbies are healthy while obsessions are not. The reborn doll movement can be a cohesive network of women supporting one another and engaging in a joyful experience or it can spiral into a dependency on nurturing something that’s not living. Let us all be aware of the difference.