The vote was close this time around, but ultimately, something a little girl might play with won out. I used “might” to avoid any gender issues, as it’s equally okay if a little boy wanted to play with this doll and a little girl had no interest whatsoever. This is a doodlewash of a little Ribbon Candy Ballerina doll from Madame Alexander. This little vixen was part of the holiday collection around four years ago. I don’t own one of these, but was very aware of Madame Alexander growing up because my mother was a doll collector.
After my sister, who’s 12 years older, moved out of the house, my mother used her room to house her doll collection. I was hoping to get that room as it was larger than mine, but the dolls won instead. Some of the coolest dolls in her collection are a series of ordinary Barbies that she made awesome with intricately crocheted outfits. There’s every version you can imagine right down to Scartlett O’Hara from Gone With The Wind.
She, of course, has the “big head” dolls, or dolls made to look “cuter” by exaggerating the head size. For some reason these creep me out. Maybe it’s one too many horror movies, but the larger the head gets the more terrifying they become. When I went to Texas several years ago to stay in the room I always stay in, I discovered my mother had remodeled and I suddenly found myself sharing a room with only big head dolls. While I can usually handle the sight of one, I instead was left alone with 50 oversized heads starting at me with gigantic dead eyes just waiting for me to sleep so they could attack. Okay… that’s a little dramatic, but it perfectly illustrates my neurosis.
So I never really played with dolls. I preferred teddy bears or plush animals of any kind. I even loved the little rubber figurines of animals that you could get to create your own miniature zoo (I liked the fat ones because they seemed more sturdy and valuable so the elephants and the hippos were always my favorites). Looking back, this preference for animals was probably a bit of foreshadowing for my fear of large parties and lack of interest in human portrait drawing. I just really love animals and, best of all, they don’t require you to remember their birthdays or get miffed if you neglect to post something on Facebook about it.
But if, like my mother, you’re someone who loves dolls regardless of the size of their head, then that’s awesome! Maybe Santa will put one under the tree for you this year (if you’ve managed to avoid being naughty of course!). And although I didn’t share my mother’s love of dolls, I loved watching my mother delight in them. In all these years, she never once lost her inner child, and quite thankfully, that is something I’ve inherited.