Friday, February 27, 2009

Dolls and attitude problems.

I've recently decided to branch out the scope of my narrow collection of 16" Tonner dolls to include some dolls by Integrity as well. They are of a completely different caliper than the dolls I have collected so far, and do not fit in with the scale or theme of my current collection. Upon further thought, I wanted to put into words what attracted me to the Integrity line in the first place, and I believe I can sum up the attraction in a single word: attitude.
Using the Avant Guarde doll Androgyny as my example, I'll explain. This doll won't be released until later this year, and yet they have already sold out everywhere. Let's compare this doll to the original baby doll as she was most likely intended.
Baby doll:
  • Soft, easy to carry
  • baby face
  • used for feeding and nurturing
  • helped to "train" young girls to care for their young and place in society (what?)
  • Nothing soft of this girl--she's even got her soft hair pulled back into an ultra-sleek ponytail
  • Her outfit is a complete power suit--almost masculine cut, except for the deep V, she's playing with gender roles
  • She's not welcoming or warm--her spiked heels and mask covering her face offer a stand-offish stance, and her makeup is almost icy
  • Her storyline: She's a super-thin supermodel who makes money off her looks. (She's super articulated with fingers and toes, even, which make for best posing.)
Some would argue that Androgyny is too thin to be realistic. I don't think she's meant to be realistic--she's a doll, and merely a representation of what we think of as beauty. And I, for one, am thrilled that her creator dares to cross the gender boundary a little bit. I'm only sorry I didn't jump on the boat sooner--before she sold out. 
In the meantime, I'll be happy with the new Integrity models I am adding to diversify my collection. I'm thrilled with the ones on their way--I already found one of the (retired) dolls on Ebay for more than twice what I paid. I'll be sure to post photos as they arrive, as well!

In reference to this blog post, check out the cool Wikipedia entry on Dolls.

Note: I found a copyright notice on Integrity's website about using their photos, permitting only authorized retailers to use their product photos. Therefore, until I get permission to use their product photos, I don't feel like I can post their photos in this blog.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

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