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D is for Dolls
I’ve only recently fallen into the word of doll collecting, but let me tell you, it’s kind of all-consuming. I’ve always liked dolls. As a kid, I owned two huge bins worth of just Barbies. I had baby dolls, even though I’ve been adamant from a young age about not wanting any real babies of my own. Polly Pockets, Little Kiddles, Sky Dancers, Baby Alives, Spice Girls, you name a doll made in the 90s and I probably had it. For some reason, this did not translate into my adult years until recently. I guess I just didn’t think about dolls much after I hit middle school and closed those overstuffed bins for the last time. I thought it was, as the saying goes, time to put away childish things.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how much I still liked them. After watching through all the webisodes, TV specials and hour-long CGI movies from the Monster High franchise, I started haunting toy aisles again. And then came Ever After High. And I may also have a Barbie and Novi Star or two. I really love how fashion dolls have evolved since my childhood from a scant 20 years ago. Barbies were just Barbies. There weren’t really back stories, or even present day stories, to go with them. You were supposed to make that up. None of them had personalities – you made them up, too. But with today’s doll lines, it’s all about webisode tie-ins, cartoons and movies. Even Barbie has her YouTube show now, called “Life in the Dreamhouse.”
There’s also something I love about the simulacra of the stories, taking old monster movies or fairy tales that were already re-imaginings of older tales, and telling them again with modern themes for modern girls. I could go on and on about the meta, but I won’t, because that would take much more effort than I intended to put into this.
E is for Erik
He is my schmoopie and I love him.
F is for Fandom
When it comes to fandom as a whole, some people despise it, while other don’t even know what it is. Both of these are valid states of being, but me, I was basically raised by fandom. Almost as soon as my family got the internet in the late 90s/early 2000s, I stumbled into fan culture. As a kid, I had quickly learned that obsessing over things wasn’t something most people did, and I often lacked people to talk to about the things I was into. Finding out there were more people like me was surprising but eye opening. As I grew older and weirder and felt more disconnected from my (IRL) peers, I found solace joining with people just as strange as me in obsessing over things online.
Don’t get me wrong; fandom can also be awful, but I was lucky enough that most everyone I met through it were good people who enriched my life. These days, I mostly have fandom friends, even if we’re not in the same exact ones. Fandom isn’t my life, but it’s a very big part of it.