Jo Phillips writes:

A reborn doll is a vinyl doll that has been customised by a process of repainting and enhancement to resemble, as closely as possible, a real human baby. The process of doing this is called “reborning” – interesting in itself given the Christian connotations of the word.

Etymological interest aside, it is also, culturally, a fascinating phenomenon. Take a look at Oak Tree Nursery where you can see pictures of “available babies” and “adopt” your own. Clips from Channel 4’s recent My Fake Baby documentary inform us that for some “mothers” reborns are the perfect child because they “never grow out of their clothes or soil them”. For others they provide a child substitute once their own children have grown up and left home. Fake babies, fake mothers: with Mother’s Day still a fresh memory in this country I have to admit I find this blurring of virtual and real rather disturbing.

Image from Little Angels Nursery

6 thoughts on “Reborn in a strange world

  1. Fake babies says:

    Reborn dolls aren’t for everyone, some people love them, others hate them.

    I prefer to look at them as a very realistically crafted doll.

    A replication of a human baby is what a doll is created for. This Art is just pushing the limits of what can be done..

    Enjoying your blog

  2. Lenora says:

    These are, after all dolls. Little girls have been playing with dolls since almost forever. As we grow older we “collect” dolls. The art of “reborning” is just what the name suggests…taking a doll and “re” making her to look more realistic! In other words, for grown up ladies to “collect”. On another plane, dolls are known to comfort ladies in convalescent homes. So, we never get to old to play with dolls…

  3. Cath says:

    Reborns are a form of art, many hours of painstaking work go into creating them. Many are sold to collectors or to display in a pram as part of the decor.
    Would you not like a doll that looks lifelike rather than a stiff, plastic toy?

  4. Jerrie says:

    Reborn are the next step in the world off dolls. For years manufactorers have been trying to make plastic dolls look and act more realistically. This cannot be done as it would cost far to much to achieve for retail.

    Each Newborn goes through various artistic methods, It is a labour of love to take vinyl and turn it into a work of art. Next time you see a Newborn baby take a good look at it and appreciate all the hours of work that went into creating such and artisic piece of work. Then take a look at a plastic baby saying muma, I know which i’d rather have and so it would seem with all of the children that come into contact with them, and you know what they say out of the words of babes.

  5. The art of reborning (and it IS an art) is painstakinly slow, methodical and FUN. The general population have absolutely no idea the work that goes into making these beautiful dolls. Most of us budding artists have come through a terrible period of bad publicity, it seems we find the art is slowly beginning to be accepted as another form of art.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I like to know the difference between a real baby and a doll when I see a picture. Kinda scary to me.

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