Women buying and playing with fake babies

Now I’ve seen it all: foxnews.com/health/2011/06/28/fake-babies-fake-lives/?test=faces. :eek: Let’s not have real babies–no! They’re too messy and require we actually give our lives to something besides our own ambitions–as feeble as they may be. :ouch:

Those are primarily display dolls, not substitutes for real children! Collectors - including men!! - will spend big bucks on their collections.

Not for those women I saw interviewed when this story first broke a few years ago. They treated them as though they were live and they were substitute children. That’s what concerns the doctor who wrote that column.

Hi Della:

There is another possibility. Maybe some of these people are having “fake babies” because they are unable to have children of their own (for example, my wife and I are infertile, and cannot reproduce, no matter what we do). The article even says that “Some younger women claim the dolls satisfy their maternal needs”, so this is conceivable. If my wife wanted one of these to numb her pain and make things feel better, I don’t see what harm it could cause.

Jacques

While my initial reaction was :eek:, there are dads a-plenty who are obsessed with lots of ‘things’ that take time, energy, and money away from having and/or growing their families.

Like so much, the re-born babies are neither good nor bad. If a woman who can’t have children wants to channel her maternal energies into a doll, it’s a lot healthier than sinking into despondency. On the other hand, if a woman sees living babies and too inconvenient or she neglects her living her children over her re-born well, yeah, that’s a problem.

And of course, if someone starts thinking a re-born is a real baby… Well, it’s time for mental health intervention.

I think the main problem- as the good doctor in the article said- is that women who buy these dolls are not growing spiritually and psychologically. They are regressing or becoming stagnant in one state and not blossoming outwards as they should. It’s not healthy for anyone to become so wrapped up in ‘things’; whether it’s a doll baby or something else. I find it rather sad and piteous.:frowning:

I remember that story. I know there was at least one CAF thread about it too. I’ll see if I can find the old thread.

Here’s one old CAF thread, but there isn’t much to it. I’ll see if I can find another.

Baby Dolls are so real, they’re scary
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=254217

Here’s another old thread:

Not having children will impact more people then you think
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=129588

I understand how you feel–we too cannot have children. But, instead of getting a doll to ease pain, such couples need to turn to God in prayer. I say this as one who knows how it is to see everyone else with babies and you can’t have one. It’s only natural to want children. But if it’s not to be, then we have to seek out what God wants us to do. He may want us to accept it or adopt or get involved in ministry, etc. Whatever direction God leads, it’s better to come to accept reality than pining for what we can’t have. That is unhealthy and a doll won’t solve that problem. Our true happiness is in God not in other people, not even children. I will remember you both in my prayers.

And what about couples who feel God is helping them cope with childlessness through a doll?

I think everyone grieves in their own way and to tell other people how they should handle grief, and childlessness causes grief to those who are desperate for kids, is presumptuous.

I wasn’t trying to be presumptuous, and I do understand the feelings, as I said. Ultimately, the only true solace is in God. A doll might be a stop-gap measure but there’s a two-fold danger in using one that people should be made aware of. Firstly, a real dependency might develop for the thing–something to avoid if possible. And it could keep one from seeking out better, more long lasting help, such as counseling and trusting in God. Believe me, I know how it feels to be childless and I understand. I couldn’t use a doll–it would only remind me of what I don’t have and it would do me no real good except delay accepting the inevitable reality that we aren’t going to have natural children. In our case we couldn’t adopt, either–it cost way too much and takes far too long and I wasn’t getting any younger. I really can’t see it as all that helpful when better answers are out there for people in this situation.

Here’s an excerpt from an article referenced in the above thread:

"It’s not a doll. It’s a baby.

You don’t ‘buy’ a reborn. You adopt one.

ALEXANDRA SHIMO | March 26, 2008 |

Three-month-old Victoria has grey-blue eyes and auburn hair, just like her mother. She weighs five pounds and zero ounces, and is 18.5 inches long, the same as when she was first adopted. This morning, 26-year-old Mary Shallcross is dressing her.

“Do you want to get changed?” Mary asks in a quiet, soothing voice as she pulls out a pair of baby-pink dungarees with fuchsia-pink flowers. The question is rhetorical. Victoria will be dressed regardless of what she wants, and in any event her wishes would be extremely difficult to determine, since the lifelike creature lying in a wicker basket and being dressed is not a baby at all, but a special type of doll.

To understand why Shallcross, a Winnipegger and a history buff, is addressing a vinyl doll as if it were her child requires entering the growing world of reborning. Reborn dolls look, feel and smell just like real babies. They look so realistic, in fact, that they are often mistaken for the real thing. Every aspect of their anatomy has been carefully constructed to imitate the experience of looking at and holding a baby. The dolls are painted with the same slightly blotchy colouring noticeable on a very young infant. Their bodies are stuffed with sand or silicone so that their legs, fingers, head and hands have the same floppy weight as that of a small newborn baby. They even have the same neck-support issues, so that anyone picking one up will instinctively support the head.

“My daughter, who is a neonatal nurse, finds them eerie, scary because they are too lifelike,” says Martha Englishman, who is retired and has five reborns, partly because she has always collected dolls, but also to compensate for not having any grandchildren. “It sounds crazy, but I love them. They are the next best thing to having a baby.” …

Entire article: macleans.ca/culture/lifestyle/article.jsp?content=20080326_14179_14179

Men can have it just as bad; just in different ways. Remember the saying “Big boys have big toys”? Well, if you look around, you’ll see that men have a tendency to adopt bigger versions of the toys they played with as children.

I plead guilty to it myself. I have a big skid-steer, a Bobcat, with all kinds of attachments. I don’t absolutely have to have it, and I enjoy it a lot…a lot. Is it a toy to me in the same sort of way a rubber baby might be to a grown woman? In some ways, yes. I excuse myself at least somewhat because I actually use it in forestry improvement and landscaping. But is that entirely different from going out and buying some drop-dead beautiful Harley or a Corvette or the finest golf clubs money can buy? Well, to a degree it is, but not entirely. In each case, a childhood impulse to do adult things is carried into adulthood with the same kinds of objects. But there is a difference. A child plays with toys as a sort of imitation of purposeful adult activity because he can’t actually engage in teh useful adult activity he imitates. An adult should at least channel the “toy” activity into something that’s actually useful and purposeful on an adult level. (Am I ever going to catch it from Harley enthusiasts and golfers! :eek:)

As with the fake babies, it seems these women could find a more useful, adult outlet for whatever compels them to care for and cuddle a fake baby. There are real babies and children out there which a person, even a childless one, could nourish in some way. There are even adults one could nourish, even cuddle. Lots of them in nursing homes, for instance.

Since this older thread isn’t very long, I’m just going to add this slideshow link and description here:

"Reborn again

That silky hair … those delicate veins … at first glance, these sweetly sleeping, bonnet-and-bib clad infants could pass for the real thing. Called “reborn babies,” the disconcertingly lifelike dolls are crafted in vinyl or made from a silicone material and have become popular acquisitions for doll collectors. The babies are also coveted by those who seek to fill a more emotional need: nostalgic grandparents, grieving parents, childless women."…

Link: today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46924425

As someone who is happily childfree with no maternal instinct to speak of, this phenomenon kind of baffles me, but to each their own, I guess. I personally would rather spend the money on my dog, or on getting another lizard. At least pets are, well, alive…

But I guess if you’re allergic to dogs, freaked out by reptiles, and really want to nurture something. Hey, maybe a doll can help? I’m getting kind of an uncanny valley vibe from them, though.

I think it’s a part of the way we structure our society. We’ve made it so that children are expensive and that by the time a family can afford kids, it’s almost too late. So people who want kids but can’t afford them go to these stupid dolls.

It’s equivalent of porn or sex dolls for men. Women have maternal needs, while men have more carnal desires. Now there is an industry to support both.

I know a lot of people prefer animals to people for the reason that animals show their gratitude or attachment. But that for me, together with this doll collecting thing (and guys do this thing too, except the dolls are life size female adult versions) reeks of self satisfaction. “I won’t invest in a relationship with a human being 'cos they’re mean and can betray me, but a dog will respond in kind and satisfy my brain pleasure centres”. I know Catholics who are like this too. (Note that this is not about you, just your mention of animals brought this up.) It seems to me that some people really need that positive reinforcement an animal shows the way some people need to be constantly thanked or greeted and if you forget to greet them, they hate you for it. It’s as if human relations are a pure business transaction. What can I get out of having a baby? I can feel pleasure. OK, but it costs too much and requires 24/7 care, so I’ll get a fake baby and keep the pleasure but forget the downsides.

The doll thing is sad. In Asia many guys who can’t get dates turn to dating sims and “raising” dolls (as above) because they can’t get women, but that to some degree I can understand, they would like to have a real person, they just can’t get one because the expectations of women are too high or women prefer to not have partners. There are also games where the player raises a young female android, instead of raising a real child.

It’s pure hedonism.

This is so true for many these days. Of course, there are people who can’t support children or can’t have them and can’t adopt for whom a pet is companionship. At least, as someone in the thread wrote, it’s a living creature that requires attention and care. But dolls for women borders on the macabre. I can see a doll being used for emotional comfort after the loss of a child/loved one, but even that should be limited and not depended upon forever. I think those who hang on to dolls instead of living real lives invested in others are in need of professional help.

The doll thing is sad. In Asia many guys who can’t get dates turn to dating sims and “raising” dolls (as above) because they can’t get women, but that to some degree I can understand, they would like to have a real person, they just can’t get one because the expectations of women are too high or women prefer to not have partners. There are also games where the player raises a young female android, instead of raising a real child.

The other thing driving the Asian male need for dolls is the lack of females available due to selective abortions. Males are favored, especially as firstborn children or in the case of China as their only child allowed. The inevitable result is a lack of females for wives. Another devil-driven man-made dilemma that didn’t have to happen of the thousands we human beings have created for ourselves.

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