There is a small but growing and some would say disturbing trend involving the concept known as “reborn dolls”.
For years, as millions of parents have struggled with getting pregnant and having their own children, many would turn to artificial insemination processes, surrogates or adoption.
But now a new, albeit small, percentage of these families are turning to reborn dolls. A reborn doll is an amazingly realistic portrayal, in doll form, of a newborn baby. Women will buy a reborn doll not for decoration, per se, but rather to have, hold and care for as they would an actual newborn baby.
The mothers say it provides a way to fill what they believe is a hole in their lives. Many enjoy the attention that they attract from others on the street and public places. Unwitting strangers will, as people often do, will walk over the reborn doll thinking it is an actual baby. They will ‘fuss’ and ‘coo’ over the reborn doll. Some will obviously figure out that this is not an actual baby, but a reborn doll.
The website www.babylovereborns.com is one place to learn about and purchase reborn dolls.
Reborns can cost between $1500 and $2000 each. Obviously, reborn dolls are far less expensive than the real thing; but then, what is the psychological cost?
Now, it’s clear that people buying and caring for reborn dolls are not actually hurting anybody…or is it?
There are several examples of families who have put their reborn dolls in a room with actual children. They throw birthday parties for them (I have to assume it’s the same birthday every year), take them to the playground, and invite friends over for baby showers.
While it’s easy to make fun of people doing these sorts of things, I realize that there can often be chemical or hormonal imbalances leading to this sort of behavior. To use a doll, or any inanimate object to fulfill some sort of fantasy or for experimentation is one thing. But to truly convince yourself that you ‘love’ this reborn doll the way you would love an actual child is, I’m sorry, disturbing and bizarre.
It is of course very sad that some people cannot have their own biological children. And certainly, using a reborn doll is a relatively harmless way, perhaps, to compensate for this sense of emptiness and loss.
But to purposely mislead people on the street to the point where they compliment you on your reborn doll thinking it is an actual baby, is a bit manipulative. And to bring other children into the picture, where they actually celebrate birthday parties with reborn dolls under the pretense of this somehow being something other than just like any other doll (just far more realistic looking), is, well, bizarre.
I hope the people relying on reborn dolls and spending a great deal of money on them can somehow find a way to fill the void. I suspect that in the long term a reborn doll will not help much.