I got some great responses to my last post about Blythe and finding dolls that are not White – thank you to everyone who responded! One awesome person, Deb, let me know that there’s another site kind of like ebay, Ali Express. I’ve heard of the site, but I didn’t realize how many Blythes are available there! Most seem to be factory/TBL/fakes, but as I mentioned in my last post about this, I am willing to make that compromise in order to find what I’m looking for, at least once. Once I get one, we’ll see how I feel about it. For now I’ve been window shopping online, and have found a few cuties!
I also don’t have any Blythes with non-stock bodies at this point, so I’m a bit intrigued by those that have jointed bodies.
Well! It’s been awhile since I rambled here, so let’s have at it. I’ve been thinking about how so many aspects of the life I lead center Whiteness. Most of the TV and movies I watch, many of the books I read, most of the news I see/read/hear, most of my colleagues, most of my profession, most of the people I know, even: they’re White and/or White people are at the center. This isn’t reflective of the world in general and yet it’s one of the ways in which I experience the world. This is something I think about a lot as I do my work – it’s a current topic of discussion for many librarians as we realize the many ways in which our collections and spaces are promoting a White-centered (and able- and cis- and male-centered, and on and on) worldview.
Thinking about this has led me to another area in my life that centers Whiteness, which is Blythe. Not getting into the collectors (most of those I personally know in the hobby are White, but I’ve not done the research to know generally in the hobby. I know there are many folks in Japan in the hobby, but that’s a generalization and I don’t have any numbers to back it up), the Blythes themselves made by Takara are mostly White. There are a few with skin tones that are slightly darker and maybe designed to be Asian? (I’ve never seen this specifically called out in a doll description – if it has and I missed it, please say so in the comments!), but no stock dolls are Black or overtly non-White. This has been weighing on my mind for awhile and I’ve been searching ebay and etsy and Dolly adoption looking for customs but there are so very few available and many are (rightfully, because they’re amazing) out of my price range. I would love to buy one of the gorgeous custom art dolls from My Delicious Bliss, but they are way out of the price range that I could convince myself to be in. So for now I’m monitoring the custom dolls that I could afford, most of which are going to be customs made from fake/TBL/factory Blythes (or a factory doll actually made with Black skin tone). I’m a little conflicted on that angle as well, as I generally don’t feel great about the factory girls, but if it’s the only way I can add a Black Blythe to my collection, then I it’s a compromise I’m probably willing to make. The knitting patterns I write and publish for Blythe all feature my own dolls as models – and right now, they’re all White. This needs to change, so I’m making a commitment to change it. If any of you spot any dolls available, please let me know! In the meantime I’ll continue to haunt the online sales places and set aside some knitting pattern money for this specific purpose.