The Trouble with Overthinking

Who knew my next post would come so soon?

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about combining my design background with paper cutting by making paper dolls. Remember those? I played with those back in the day, even though I had 3-D Barbie dolls. I think the attraction laid in the details of the dress and faces of paper dolls. The downside was that the disproportionally large head made the neck extra frail and it wasn’t long before the dolls tattered.

ImageNot unlike what I had as a kid

I did some research on dolls today, cloth and paper, and found that there is still a huge demand for them, mostly for women in generation who remember playing with actual dolls, not digital ones on an iPad. I’m not a seamstress, but I’d love to design little paper dresses, give each doll a name, and maybe write brief stories about them. That would take care of my three loves: fashion, craft, and writing. When I sat down to do actual sketches, however, the sociological concerns surfaced and I found myself asking what kind of doll would be a good example for little girls? Everyone seems to be in favour of the doe-eyed, sweet, maybe creepy, dolls, and that was my first instinct. But what would I be projecting? Would making blushing, silent beauties be another way of imposing the image of the ideal woman someone who is only known for her looks and submissive behaviour? Is it still my social responsibility to create a more balanced view of a woman if these dolls would be targeted at women in their 20s and 30s?


photo from greasepuppy

Despite the progress women have made in the past decade or so in battling with repression and gender inequalities, why do we keep going back to playing with dolls, cosmetic enhancements, using sexuality to gain success, camera-whoring online, and the undying notion of marrying for money (or NOT marrying for NO money)?

I’m getting a little off topic. I love dolls, and even though I am all for being financially independent and not having kids because I feel like I have to, I also appreciate chivalry. It IS nice to have someone with a good pair of shoulders that you can depend on when things get rough. So maybe, I’m looking at the situation too monochromatically. The women movement should be about knowing what you want and not apologizing for it, no matter what it is.

We shall see what kind of ideal woman will be reflected in my dolls.

ps. How would I even draw a face that reflects a strong personality, intelligence, and passions besides creating the perfect ensemble?


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