Sometimes I like creating the closest approximation of what some of the characters in my stories look like.

So every now and again, I turn to online doll creators like dolldivine.com, and previously dollwizard.com which is not available at the moment apparently or has been shut down.

It’s criminal how heterosexist online dollmakers are. But maybe even more so, it’s ridiculously insulting and criminal how there seem to be

  1. ONLY TWO plus size doll creators that I’ve found
  2. both plus size doll makers are for “chubby” “cute” girls
  3. both doll creators have EXTREMELY limited wardrobes in comparison to their thinner counterparts
  4. both doll creators all have limited accessories and hair styles
  5. there are, like, less than seven male dollmakers with no variations in body type at all
  6. many doll creators are glamorously or racially themed, exotifying non-white bodies, (i.e. Savannah Fashion, Istanbul, Korean Queen, and Indian Bride on dolldivine.com’s “national and folk ‘costumes’” doll makers)
  7. many of the best doll makers confined to white Eurocentric time periods, like The Tudors and Roman Lady (dolldivine.com)
  8. ageism galore
  9. limited body types, limited defining characteristics
  10. it’s like feminism never happened
  11. their options for creating more complicated and diverse hair styles suck
  12. I could go on, trust me but I’ll leave it here, for now.

I wanted to create an avatar for a character of mine who was beautiful and chubby-fat growing up and is now an old woman with grandchildren. Couldn’t do it, so I had to approximate.

Though I think some of them are beautiful as well, I am sick of these wafer-like, supermodel, glamour-only, exotifying doll makers.

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5 thoughts on “In my own likeness: a reflection on struggling with images of validated beauty in digital doll makers

  1. Rinmaru Games has a good one. I dunno, it shouldn’t be so offensive, this obviously wasn’t their intention(…Or was it?) If you want I know that sites like Dolldivine and Rinmaru take suggestions towards their recent games for future inspiration. You had good points but they’re “dolls” for a reason. Not real. Very crucial point. It shouldn’t be idealistic, just fun, it would be cool to have plus sized dolls, but they aren’t really many demands for it as much as say “bald barbies for cancer.” Interesting stuff on this site though. Thanks for the insite

    1. First, thank you for reading and commenting. You at least get that.

      I’d just like to point out that you’re contradicting yourself. You’re saying I have valid points while saying my valid points are not valid at all because the subject doesn’t matter or shouldn’t be taken seriously. These dolls are human forms and created to represent people’s bodies, primarily women’s bodies. If not then why aren’t the clothes being put largely on stick figures, crayons, or little doggies? There needs be diversity, whether “plus size” dolls, etc. are on demand or not. As someone who is both Black and “plus sized”, I say so, and I am not the only one does. There absolutely has to be diversity or this is just yet another gimmick that plays into idea that everyone’s bodies look the same/should look the same/should look like this [insert typically thin white, blonde doll here].

      There’s nothing idealistic about what I’m saying, especially when these doll-making web sites are full of idealized/”socially acceptable” bodies and represent very specific standards of body and beauty types. These dolls makers make the mistake (intentional or unintentional is irrelevant) of broadcasting that these are the bodies that deserve to be dressed nicely and represented, these types of bodies, faces, hair, skin color, races, etc. are the ones chosen to be placed in front of you on the screen.

      There’s not a damn thing fun about an industry or even a digital doll maker that claims to be fun and good “for girls”, or whoever, that marginalizes people’s bodies and perspectives of who gets to be represented.

      Now that’s a very crucial point.

      Yours,
      Taviante Queens

  2. I didn’t say your points were idealistic, I meant some girls takes these dolls as the “ideal size,” whether it’s necessary or not. I wasn’t really contradicting myself, because I said you had good points, I didn’t even imply your points were wrong. Contradicting myself would’ve been me saying you’re points didn’t make sense while saying they were correct. Fact is that people are pretty ignorant, we are all born in different areas with different points of view, a good majority of these views are spread through media. I didn’t even imply that it wasn’t to be taken seriously either. It is a serious matter whether we like it or not because most of the time, these things can cause image issues, eating disorders etc. Being younger myself I may not “understand” as much as I should but I know reality, I know how our society intrigues kids like me to act a certain way. I write stories that include all types of body shapes, which drew me to your site/blog. Dolls are dolls regardless. The kids who play these games won’t really care about this during the time they play it (most of the time), but at the same time, with or without these games, they’ll find ways of knowing about the “standard beauty” either way.

    1. Bringing a “dolls are dolls” bit into it when you know all those things sounds contradictory to me. Of course we’re all just human but that hasn’t killed racism now has it? I can’t read your intention into your responses here. The moment we accept/think that “dolls are dolls” when there is so much room for change and educating people to shape the world we live in, that’s when its over and we leave people, children, to ignorance and biased intrigues. Its a problem that kids don’t care and are trained not to care that dolls are marketing tools for someone else’s ideal of the world, of what bodies “should” look like–the concept is called “nature versus nurture”. It has an affect on them whether they know it or not.

      I’m about social awakening and social change/revolution. Not pretentious sentiments of realism. So many people are brought up believing that the world is just the way that it is, that there is some “reality” that must be obeyed and adhered to, when the truth is they are simply complicit in reinforcing what has been taught to them instead of trying to change it.

      I will never say that dolls are just dolls, because my life is affected on multiple levels by how society views my body and idolizes and idealizes the bodies of others. They are not just dolls, they are used as tools of oppression.

      If you understand all that, then I’m just blowing air at you, then aren’t I. In that case, thanks for visiting Elias’s Diamonds, where I actually take what I say seriously and am just not sure if anyone else does.

      1. I agree with taviante queen, Doll divine put a gorges one in there called plus size dress up a while ago put when i tried to find it again it was gone.I really think that’s rude!

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