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The Paris Fashion Doll Festival

When I was a kid I would bury my neighbor Kirsten’s Barbie doll in the mud or grass. I had no interest in it, it was boring. My Star Wars action figures however were cool because Han Solo and Boba Fett just are cool as any boy in the 70's would tell you. But I didn’t really play with them that much. I preferred to play with Legos and other building materials. I grew up with zero interest in dolls. The same cannot be said for Tom. He grew up with three older sisters all of whom had old doll for him to play with. So when what he wanted for Christmas one year he responded that he wanted the Linda Carter Wonder Woman doll. Do you think his parents had any warning he was going to be gay?

When we started dating and we were heading to his place for the first time he had to warn me so I would be shocked by the site of all his dolls staring at me. It wasn’t something that was easy for my mind to grasp when he was telling me. Here is this butch man with a shaved head and rocker style telling me he has a wall of Barbie dolls. I didn’t get it. When we moved in together he was confused by repulsion to his collection. I would refuse to touch them. I think for a while he thought I was scared the dolls would affect my masculinity but in reality I remembered being a bugger picking child and have no desire to touch an old doll that may have been buried in dog poo. I didn’t have much of a problem with the new dolls but the used one are not to be touched by me.

My attitude started to warm for Tom’s collection when I started to reap the benefits from them. You all know I take many trips to London and Paris and most of them have been funded by attending the Paris Doll Festival. Once a doll take you across the Atlantic you can’t really give the cold shoulder.

When Tom and I first started to go to Paris he would attend the convention and I would explore the Louve. It worked well for me. But as the years progressed I have started to attend parts of the events with him. It started as morbid curiosity. What do these adults who collect dolls look like. I would hear stories like the excentric dominatrix who was working on a man who had a heart attack during one of their sessions. Instead of calling an ambulance she slapped him about the face. When that didn’t work she went home. Later the police came by to ask her some questions in the station. She turned to her gay roommate and said, “Gary, fetch me my silver fox” Isn’t that an episode of Will and Grace you would’ve like to seen?

The Language barrier is also quite amusing. I love to watch the head Parisian principal hit on a famous NYC Fossie choreographer because he obsessed with all things Gene (a type of doll) and the poor unwitting choreographer is named Gene. He gets flustered as why this man who he can’t understand is always touching him and saying his name. I love Gene.

There are always very weird clique which make me think of high school. My favorite is the Sybarite clique that is composed of stylish, meticulously groomed, precise queens. Any of them would look at home among the most plucked of the project runway queens. Whenever I talked to one of them, I always feel like I am being granted audience with royalty to keep the masses happy. Being a non-doll person I really don’t care about what anyone collects. I think I offend them with my unkempt facial hair. I’m sure if I sculpted, quaffed, and used lots of products I would be welcomed. No Thank you, please drive around. It’s so odd to think there is a doll collector caste system

Of course what convention would be complete without some sort of runway show? Definitely not a doll convention. The show normally lasts about half an hour of men, women and children dressed as their favorite doll outfits. The drag outfits are wonderful. There’s something about drag when it’s done not for laughs or necessity, but done for love of a doll. Nothing will ever make me feel more normal than attending a doll convention... And I really think I am a freak.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
mrhavisham
Apr. 9th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
morbid curiosity
How could you not have a morbid curiosity about those doll people?
I bet most of them are VERY scary! I mean Marie Osmond is a doll person.

Stand Back , Stand Back
misschinacola
Apr. 9th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
OMG this was the best story! You know I can't even believe I worked on barbie for almost 5 years. I love that gal now! Oh and I totally had the Wonder Woman doll as a kid.

Miss you!! xoxo
knowyermonkey
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
so funny..i was thinking of tom's dolls when i made my most recent post with photos of my pals doll collection...i remember seeing them all that one time i was over many moons ago.
singleentendre
Apr. 9th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
So when what he wanted for Christmas one year he responded that he wanted the Linda Carter Wonder Woman doll. Do you think his parents had any warning he was going to be gay?

I asked for Western Barbie (you pressed the button on her back, and she winked), as well as Madonna's Like a Virgin and True Blue on cassette, for birthday presents before I was in middle school. I also dressed up in my grandmother's many scarves to emulate Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeanie.

My gay warning signs were flashing, pink neon lights.
artkouros
Apr. 9th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
When I was a kid I would stage commando raids with my GI Joe on my sister's Barbie and Ken - beating Barbie senseless and driving off with ken in the Vette to have my way with him. He was such a fag.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )