One of the toys I had when I was a kid was called Baby Alive — a realistic baby you could feed fruit-flavored powder once you mixed it with water, and it would poop it out. It was really pretty ugly looking and I never fed the doll. My younger cousin was four or something at the time, so I fed the food to her instead. (I made her play a baby, it was great.) Haven’t thought of that toy in ages, till I read about this photographer’s work on people who collect mega-real dolls to cuddle like real babies. The photographer is Rebecca Martinez and the photos, and this behavior, seem…mega-strange. When I saw the first photo without knowing it was a fake, part of me did respond with a “awwwww.” (I am someone who is into babies…at least at times. Good thing, since I have a kajillion roommates at the moment who are…babies).
I don’t have an explanation of these collections, no feel for the why. I would guess people are into this because that baby stage is fleeting and they miss it. I’m currently in that baby stage, and it can be very magical and amazing, but also incredibly gross, and they are forgetting that part — or maybe these dolls give them all the cute bits without the grossness.
Baby Alive was not really adorable, so once the food was gone, I lost track of her…oh lord, I can go on forever on the weird toys i had as kid.