Mar 31 2008
Just stumbled across this article on “reborn babies”.
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.
To call this stuff disturbing is quite the understatement. The models whose eyes are closed look exactly like dead babies. (The ones that are meant to look “alive” don’t look much better to me; the internet is full of sites showcasing these things – here’s one I picked at random.) And what’s with calling them “reborn”? Somebody, please, explain this to me…