Markets in everything (Reborn)

We live in a diverse world:

Reborn culture started around 1990, with people stripping the paint and hair off store-bought vinyl dolls and painstakingly reworking them to be more lifelike. Now some people use kits with doll parts that when assembled are weighted to feel like a real infant when held.

After discovering this movement, Ms. Martinez bought her own doll for research and started exploring the burgeoning subculture, attending conventions, photographing baby-beauty contests, baby showers, owners and artisans.

“In general, most of the women are Anglo, conservative, Christian and right-to-lifers,” Ms. Martinez said. “All of the things that I’m not.”

When Ms. Martinez travels, she will sometimes bring one of her own five reborn dolls to photograph people’s reactions. She prefers to carry them in open bags because she feels uneasy putting them into closed containers, and her suitcases are always searched by airport security if a doll shows up in a scan. This leads to unusual encounters — like when other people in line get upset thinking that a real baby is about to be harmed by X-rays as they pass through security.

The full story, interesting throughout, is here.



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