The time was when a doll under the Christmas tree was the fervent Christmas wish. Even for boys. A G.I. Joe was a highly coveted item, aside from the A Christmas Story kid who wanted a BB gun. But would you want to see your own face peering out from beneath the branches?
Judging by the emerging popularity of look-alike dolls, plenty of people would, and do.
The other night I got out my old dolls — which have been safely stowed away in a closet for years — because a little girl was visiting. I vividly remember the Christmas all my family chipped in to spruce up the family dolls (passed down from another generation): my mother had them re-haired; one grandma made matching outfits for them; another made sheets, pillowcases and blankets for their bunk beds. Even my dad, who was a dentist, made little shoes for them out of denture material!
But, perhaps it's the advent of reality shows that has spawned so many dolls after actual people. As in celebrity dolls.
All of which made me think: Would you want a look-alike doll? Dolls that look like you?
I bought two adorable old American dolls at a craft fair some years ago because they looked like my grandmother and her sister, my great Aunt CoCo. But she was older by then and for some reason they scared her.
A recent story by fashion critic Robin Givhan on Callista Gingrich, Newt Gingrich's third wife, tickled my fancy I have to admit. Givhan wrote:
A constant presence by her husband's side as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Callista Gingrich is distinguished by her style—by every aspect of her appearance over which she can exert control."
She's so coiffed and put together, she almost looks like a doll already. But as this style evolution of Callista Gingrich points out, that wasn't always the case.
A colleague of exclaimed,
I [was] looking at these photos of her, thinking 'Wow, she looks amazing for 60-ish!' You know, because Newt is in his late 60s, so naturally I'm assuming she's in her late 50s/early 60s. Did you know she's only 45?! She was born in 1966! Yikes!"
It's true, she is his third wife; he seems to switch them up every 19 years, so this is presumably his last wife. Anyway, maybe you're more predisposed to looking like a doll if you're younger. Or maybe that's when you'd want yourself "immortalized".
Then I thought: Are look-alike dolls the 21st century equivalent of painted portraits?!
That makes sense to me.
Maybe in addition to film characters (like Princess Leia from Star Wars) and pop culture (Pippa Middleton), political figures will start appearing on the scene more regularly. Although Michelle Obama quickly nixed the Malia and Sasha dolls.
Personally, as the trend of making dolls of people goes, I love the JK Rowling Barbie doll (above left). That's a doll you can get behind, as I've said.
But overall, would you rather have dolls that look like you, or have your portrait painted? I'd rather have a doll, I think.