Why do humans like humanoid dolls?

lovedollshops
11 min readApr 29, 2021

BJD dolls, soldiers, figures, even inflatable dolls, silicone dolls are all classified as humanoid dolls, so why do humans need humanoid dolls? Do you even regard the doll as your lover? This psychological problem must start from childhood.

(If you are in a hurry, you can directly scroll down to the humanoid doll for adults)

Let us first imagine a scene where a friend’s child is celebrating his birthday. You come to the toy store to choose gifts. What would you choose? For a girl, buy a Barbie, and the boy will buy him a Transformer. Have all kinds of humanoid dolls become your first choice? I believe that everyone has at least one humanoid doll, but when you think about it carefully, since when did we start to show such a natural love for humanoid dolls, or take it for granted?

l Humanoid dolls for children

“The most primitive need is the need for relationships, and the caregiver is extremely important as the object of attachment during the growth of the child.-Fairburn”

In the theory of object relations, the mother, as an important object to get along with the baby, has a decisive factor in the formation of the baby’s personality, but the strict definition of “mother” is to assume the main role of the baby’s daily daily care work. This person may be the baby’s father, Grandparents, elder brothers and sisters, or babysitters may also be a mixture of several people, but considering that most of the time the mother is responsible for the tasks of gestation and breast milk, in general, the mother plays a decisive role.

Babies’ attachment to their mothers stems from their dependence on survival. Just like all newborn mammals, they do not have the “predator” skills and can only rely on their mothers to provide food. In addition to the threats from other creatures, babies need to be Rely on a reliable image to protect yourself when threatened. For human beings at the top of the food chain, at the level of safety, the image of a mother is more of empathy for the baby as a caregiver and a sense of security to help escape threats, thereby achieving psychological self-comfort.

However, the mother is also a human being. When the baby faces various threats, she may be restrained by various things and fail to respond to the baby’s protest. For example, the baby is being wrapped in a wet diaper and is very uncomfortable and crying, while the mother is cooking in the kitchen at this time, the cry is covered by the sound of the range hood, and the baby’s crying is not responded in time. At this time, the baby will have the negative emotion of being abandoned by the mother. This emotion makes the baby’s heart very painful. As a result, the baby will have a “bad” impression of the mother’s object image.

Before this, babies have formed a preliminary understanding of “good” and “bad”. For example, dry and soft diapers are good, and damp and hot diapers are bad. This “bad impression” caused the mother’s original perfect and idealized image to create cracks in the baby’s heart. When the cracks become deeper and deeper, that is, when there are more and more cases of “bad mothers”, the babies are brought to escape the cracks. The painful feeling of the “good mother” divides the image of the mother into two. The “good mother” continues to take on the role of a dependent person to provide comfort, while the “bad mother” who brings pain to herself is excluded from consciousness. , May become the cause of psychological problems in the future, this is division.

Of course, there are still the majority of competent mothers, but how can babies alleviate the mental pain caused by the image of “bad mothers”? The answer is imagination. When the mother is away, the baby begins to learn to form the image of the mother in his mind for comfort. This learning starts when the baby is one or two months old and becomes obvious when the baby is five or six months old. . This ability does not mature until the baby is three years old, so that when the mother is away, the mother’s impression can be called up and comforted. However, this learning process is a long time. During this time, the baby needs to find some way to make up for it. At this time, the humanoid doll appeared on the stage due to the negative influence in the heart. Many times, dolls are used as a kind of companionship. Many people buy realistic sex dolls because of loneliness.

In fact, to be precise, babies need a transitional object to replace the lack of comfort and security caused by the lack of object. Humanoid dolls are not the only objects that can be transitional objects.

“Objective Relations Psychotherapy: Theory, Practice and Cases” states that “from the infant’s point of view, it (transitional object) must be able to’provide warmth, or be mobile, or have structure, or be able to do something that appears to show that they have Things of vitality and realism’.”

In addition to humanoid dolls, ordinary dolls (any image), blankets, pillows, etc. can assume the function of transitional objects, but humanoid dolls are closer to humans and mothers in appearance, and are more generally favored by babies. . Barbie doll is the best representative. In addition to the role of replacing mothers to bring children a sense of dependence and security, as a beautiful and perfect appearance image, that is, a “good” image, it is helpful for girls to recognize their own gender. effect.

In addition, the transitional object can not only be replaced by the child as the mother object, it also performs the function of division. Children are not only confused about the “good” and “bad” sides of their mothers, but also need to recognize their own “good” and “bad” emotions or behaviors. We can observe that children sometimes treat their toys with care and care, but sometimes they beat the toys even more cruel behavior. Winnicott said: “The object is embraced affectionately, but also damaged by excitement.” Transitional objects can provide an opportunity for children to express their inner conflicts in specific ways when children recognize self-separation.

It is worth mentioning that although fairy tales do not provide as many functions to children as transitional objects, they play a pivotal role in the recognition of “good” and “bad” images. In fairy tales like “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” and “Jack and the Pea”, each image has its own personality, but it is often either good or bad, with clear boundaries. These stories help children distinguish between good and evil, but More complex stories can help children balance and blend concepts of good and bad.

“Object Relationship Psychotherapy: Theory, Practice, and Cases” mentions “Girl Vasilisa” and “The Wizard of Oz”. The former has a witch who integrates good and evil and is also a rare story with transitional objects. The latter It’s more complicated. The three characters who walk with the protagonist Dorothy are the scarecrow who lacks the mind, the tin man who lacks the heart, and the lion lacking courage. In fact, these three roles are part of Dorothy’s inner world, and they are also part of Dorothy’s inner world. Part of the heart of most children, they will think that they lack the brain, heart and courage to be bad and undesirable. Children need to live in peace with their shortcomings, just like Dorothy, that is to say, they need to accept their “bad” side. Just like the end of the story, Dorothy and her team finally found out at the magician’s order that the things they were looking for were always in their hearts. The children should also understand that the root of the bad is not outside, but inside. If To overcome one’s own shortcomings and one’s “bad” side, one must look for it in the heart.

In general, as a transitional object, humanoid dolls play an important role in the process of children’s psychological growth, helping children to complete the cognition of “good” and “bad” in the process of object division and self-splitting, and then Learn to accept the combination of good and bad.

l Humanoid dolls to adults

For adults, the existence of transitional objects is, in a sense, a normal and safe way to express the “Oedipus complex” and “over-dependence”.

Here are some interesting points:

1. Missing object

For children, the absence of objects means the absence of the mother, but for adults, important objects are not limited to the mother or the childhood caregiver who replaces the mother, but also lovers and very important friends. The absence of these objects will also affect the mother. It causes intense pain by itself. Under such circumstances, the humanoid doll becomes a transitional object for adults to relieve the pain in the heart.

The BJD doll (Ball Joint Doll), which is popular all over the world, is one of the most representative humanoid dolls. This expensive doll not only resembles a real person in size and appearance, but because of its well-made joints, it can be displayed in a variety of ways. All kinds of postures are simply handsome and beautiful women who jump out of the second dimension. The simulation is extremely high, which is called the perfect combination of dolls and art. It originated from ancient European aristocratic toys. At that time, most of these dolls were made of magnets, just like the protagonist Edward in the story of “Edward’s Fantasy Journey”. It is an expensive porcelain rabbit, now a BJD doll. There are also animal prototypes, but they have also been anthropomorphized. The owners of these dolls are mostly young women from first- and second-tier cities. They are often highly educated and have a certain financial strength. They call themselves “babies”, have their own websites and communication platforms, and often organize lines. The next party is held almost every week in the first-tier cities. They let the dolls face and blind date, and even hold a grand wedding for the dolls. Babies believe that BJD dolls are “children born because of your needs” and believe that each doll has its own independent personality. Therefore, many players regard BJD as the hidden self or their own children and friends in their hearts. ,companion. Especially the entity dolls that are very popular recently. They can accompany us either as our sex partners or our good friends. She has many types and styles. If you are a woman, you can choose a male sex doll. If you are a man then you can choose a mature sex doll or a curvy sex doll.

Another interesting thing is that there is a well-known “Doll Forest” next to Mexico City. People put some dolls in the forest based on the feelings of nostalgia for their loved ones. Horror civilization, you can find many photos of dismembered dolls hanging on trees from the Internet. People naturally think of another culture — sacrifice. Long ago, offering sacrifices to living people was a tradition, but then people came up with a way to replace living people with human figures in order to escape. In our country, there are also many minority names. The clan has a tradition of “tree burial”, which may be the origin of the terrorist elements. However, the violent behavior of dismembering a doll, I think, is no different from the reason why a child treats his toy violently.

2. Adult’s “hidden” transitional object

If adults still need “transitional objects”, isn’t it not called transition? In fact, adults with a healthy mental state cannot completely forget these objects.

Except for the obvious objects such as humanoid dolls, in fact, the rooms we are familiar with, or some homelike decorations, are all used as specific reminders to provide a sense of security for the family. In addition, money is also an important transitional object. Just like the peace of mind when a baby sleeps with a doll, many adults will feel the same sense of security just by touching money. For them, money is a right. And a symbol of independence. In addition to the function of money itself as currency, it also often plays an instrumental role in filling emotional needs.

3. Adult’s split

For children, dolls can help them to recognize good and bad and relieve the pain of self-division. For adults, just like children love to watch fairy tales, they will also habitually love stories that distinguish good and evil. This is why traditional hero stories like Marvel have become popular as adult fairy tales worldwide. Adults can get the pleasure of division from such a clear image of good and evil, and escape the pain of facing their own division. I guess this is also the reason why they are willing to buy and collect hero figures, and make these “good” entities. With the “bad” image on the table, you can always share the pressure of your own division.

However, if this division cannot be dealt with properly, a series of psychological problems will arise. There are not a few movies that reflect these problems, such as “Birdman”, “Black Swan”, “Twin Flower”, etc., and many thrillers will be alone. There are more than a dozen or even twenty personalities. Let’s not say that it is complicated. The initial reason for the split personality must be the second personality formed by the self unable to accept the “bad” image and weed out him. Allan Poe’s “William Wilson” touched on this issue very early, and can be called the originator of such stories.

Interestingly, this kind of story often ends when the “good” personality defeats the “bad” personality and also kills oneself.

4. The pathological phenomenon of “partial object” dependence

In the part of children, we said that when babies cannot recognize the complete object image of “mother”, they will choose a better understanding, such as the food source on which they live-”breast” as the initial understanding of “part of the object” “.

Just like the cognition of the whole object, the attachment relationship with part of the object tends to continue into adulthood, that is, to show excessive excitement to a certain part of the body, such as breasts, hair and feet. This kind of psychology itself is a harmless early life. The memory of the stage remains. When this kind of attachment affects the individual’s interaction with other objects, that is, the individual’s interpersonal relationship with others after adulthood, it will evolve into fetishes. For example, there are many “foot fetishes” nowadays. The same is true for excessive attachment to transitional objects. Of course, This habit is harmless in most cases.

There is an extreme example in the movie “Traitor”. The emperor often has to suck the queen’s breasts to sleep. When his heart is hit and feels insecure, he will also rely on this action to restore inner peace. At the same time, he was addicted to beauty, and when he was in poor health, he believed that the world’s famous prostitutes would save him. This somewhat pathological mentality showed his history of lack of mother’s care from the side.

In summary, there is an answer to why humans need human-shaped dolls. As for when people’s needs for human-shaped dolls have become so natural? I think everyone knows it when they cry for the first time, and people’s needs for human figures have evolved into a tacit understanding.

As for why people are afraid of humanoid dolls, this is probably more complicated. At present, I can consider the following points. Treat dolls as a substitute for the object of fear; separate fear; replace fear. Perhaps if we figure this out, we can figure out the curiosity and fear of human beings towards aliens and robots.

Related interests: Non-psychological major, because I am engaged in screenwriting work and like dolls, so I have studied this issue, and professionals are welcome to discuss and correct errors.

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lovedollshops

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