Channel 4 has a documentary series called Living Doll: My Fake Baby, about women who keep ultra-realistic dolls, known as reborns. They dress them up and take them out shopping and for walks in strollers.
In the comments section, Fee provided a very nice summary of the documentary:
There were a few women featured in the documentary. One was very sad, someone who had looked after her grandchild as a baby due to his mother's illness, and then had lost him because her daughter recovered and went off to New Zealand with the baby. I could understand why she wanted a grandson subsstitute, but it made me sad that there are so many families around who could do with an adopted granny with real children that she could hug, and instead of finding them she found a rubber baby.
Link (Thanks, Phil!)
One of the women was as mad as a box of fish, and had multiple fake babies because the real thing might make a noise or ruin its clothes. She made me very glad that she could have rubber babies and not the real thing. While most real parents hate that whole lugging around the pram and bottle and nappy bags thing, she loved all that - for a pretend baby. I think the truth is she is still a little girl at heart, and couldn't bear not to be the focus of everyone attention. If she takes her fantasy too much further she may find herself the centre of everyone attention - down at the local psychiatric ward.
Another woman who briefly appeared seemed to have a toy show in her house, hundreds of babies in cots crammed into a room. That seemed a bit obsessive compulsive really.
I think some of them are fantastics works of art in the realism, but I agree with others that the more real they are, the more creepy. In general, although I am a woman, I found the men's reactions to them most normal... nearly all regarded them as disturbing and macabre.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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