When I decided to make dolls, the design of each character is based around what I was feeling or experiencing at the time. I planned for each character to represent a different aspect of emotion, feeling or personal failings.
Miss Passive-Aggressive was my first doll, I created her at a point where I was unable to look at social media, face my peers or read my emails without saying “Oh you only talk to me to make me feel about myself, that’s fine”. She is a beauty / pageant queen to represent the validation people(I) seek from awards and public success to try and combat the struggle with confidence, impostor syndrome, self-criticism and doubt. These were the points where I felt like Queen Passive Aggressive.
Definition of passive-aggressive
(ˈpæsɪvəˈgrɛsɪv ; pasˈivəgresˈiv)
Designating or of a personality, a person, or behaviours characterized by disguised resistance to the demands of expectations of others, that is expressed in hindering progress, as by procrastination, stubbornness or inefficiency.
When seeking this type of Reward / Award system, a person is exposed to further criticism, possible public humiliation as well as the risk of losing; this can be catastrophic to an already fragile state of mind. As a loser you are forced to sit, watch and grind your teeth while outwardly wishing the winners well while internally dying a small death. This award-validation seeking, I realise now, is entirely counterproductive. In applying for these awards I lay my heart on a page of a proposal for others scrutiny, when in reality I was looking for a kind voice to reassure me I was doing well or replacing a supportive parental voice which would never come.
The irony of award seeking is when I would actually win an award; upon winning I would be elated and on top of the world… but that feeling was usually rather short lived to be replaced with feeling numb. If I won, I felt one of three ways:
- I somehow mislead the judges into thinking I was better than I am
- The competition was too easy
- The other applications must have been dreadful
All in all, not as fulfilling as one originally hoped. The overwhelming agony of losing was not a reflection of others accomplishments but instead a personal attack of how I didn’t try hard enough and what a failure I must be. “Of course you wouldn’t win and how truly humiliating it is that you assumed you would win”. The therapy of making Miss Passive-Aggressive helped me understand that as a fundamentally broken person, from a less than idyllic childhood, I used my entire career, awards and skills to seek fame, approval and overall validation to assure myself I deserved to exist. Of course I realise now the opinions of those whom I was trying to impress mean nothing and will never fix the way I see myself.
While creating this doll stitch for stitch I would replay moments in my mind of when I thought I had failed but uttered the words “it was an honour just to be nominated” and coming to the conclusion FUCK THOSE PEOPLE. I should seek validation from myself and only myself and be proud of everything I accomplish. Easier said than done, but I can strive to try.
As Miss Passive-Aggressive was my first doll, she was a bit of a learning curve. She is the only doll where I made the mistake of creating the head independently and later attempting to attach it to the body: BIG MISTAKE as this made life difficult.
I experimented with soft-sculpture in the face for the first time in years and it was surprisingly fun however I do not recommend attempting to embroider features like eyes AFTER sculpting the face shape.
Her crown was originally designed to read “I’m Fine” in the centre however I figured that design was a little too on –the-nose. The crown and bracelet are 3D printed using an eco-plastic and painted respectively gold and silver. She is wearing a dress made from a fabric I purchased to make a gown for an award event I didn’t attend, I felt it appropriate and somewhat fitting considering the subject matter.
All-in-all, a solid 8/10 Making Therapy.
Still can’t look at social media anymore..