Photographing hyperrealistic babydolls and their adult companions


Jesus Christ, that is creepy.

Reminds me of the common and never out of fashion telenovela trope of the woman who lost her baby (dead or kidnapped) and uses a very cheap plastic doll to act out mother fantasies. The scenes are usually scored with music out of a Hammer Film production and shot in dark rooms.

Born in the 1990s, the fad has blossomed into a healthy subculture, albeit a widely misunderstood one.

What an unusual way to use the word “healthy.”


I question the negativity of the responses here. Objectively speaking, exactly what is wrong with playing with realistic dolls?


Well… I guess we all need a hobby.

I agree. Why is it ok to ridicule, insult or marginalize some things seen as different from the norm, but not others? Easy laugh? Novelty?

I do “get” the response, as it’s hard not to have a knee jerk “creepy” reaction just due to the uncanny valley-ness of hyper-realistic dolls, which seems amplified when applied to babies for some reason. That, along with the (unfair) tendency to accept it as normal when someone develops an emotional attachment to an inanimate object (phone, car, model train, etc.) EXCEPT when it resembles a human (or if their particular mode of expression isn’t within our idea of what it “should” be). But…that initial response is really no excuse for not trying to do better.

Thank you Daneyul and Starrygordon. I had a minor reaction when I read this article, but the woman in the red dress struck a cord in me somewhere. I did some research, and it appears many of the owners or “Adopters” of these types of dolls are dealing with some past trauma, loss of a child or a sibling.

These dolls aren’t toys, they’re therapy tools. The people featured in these photos don’t need our scorn, they need our sympathy.


As this subculture has grown so has the prevalence of emergency responders breaking windows to rescue what appear to be real babies trapped in overheated cars. Some people have (I think unfairly) mocked the police for making these mistakes, but c’mon—what should a responsible person do in that situation?

I guess the moral is that if you’re into this sort of thing then don’t go for half measures. Either take the doll into the store with you or lock it in the trunk so people don’t get the wrong idea.

That, too, is a negative response, however. Let’s suppose instead that these women are practicing an art or craft. Maybe they just like the aesthetics of babies, at least really cute ones, even if many of the rest of us do not. I trust you all are aware that many, many people who may or may not have Problems have practiced doll-making and -curation as an art, including dramatization of the dolls in public spaces. Sometimes it’s therapeutic (Hogancamp, Lankton) sometimes it’s not (Feininger). Let us give our ignorance due respect.


I think that the notion of replacing the subject of an unfortunate loss with an object may be the source of unease.

We should understand that people mourn/cope in many various ways and if these things bring so much as a modicum of comfort to the afflicted they are more than worthwhile.

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