After a long day of completing mountains of school work, senior Chris Garcia frantically searches for his dolls. The stress of online school gets to him sometimes, but he knows that he can always go to his safe space. Holding his favorite doll, “Swag,” everything feels peaceful again.
The start of distance learning was a drastic change of pace for Garcia’s life. From an increase in academic workload to more responsibilities at home, his troubles continued to multiply.
In search of comfort, Garcia turned to doll collecting, a hobby he lost interest in for years before, but in the midst of the pandemic, Garcia rediscovered his love for dolls.
“In March, I took my Monster High dolls and began putting them in my room,” Garcia said. “Being bored at home definitely recaptured my interest in doll collecting. It was pretty unexpected.”
As Garcia reignited his love for doll collecting, he realized that dolls can be much more than just part of a collection. They can also be ways to manage stress.
“The dolls kind of help me go through life every day,” Garcia said. “There are days when I’m stressed, and I can’t help but to hold a doll in my hand that I personally connect with. It sounds silly, but sometimes that’s all it takes to help.”
Creating unique personalities for each doll is Garcia’s favorite way to interact with and deepen his relationship with them.
“Imagining their personalities gives me a chance to be creative and helps me take my mind off things,” Garcia said. “It is like my therapy.”
Garcia’s experience within the doll-collecting world has been positive thus far, and he hopes to start a YouTube channel in the future to share his passion. He aims to normalize doll collecting for males as much as his own community of friends and family has done for him.