“Because of the hobby, and the misunderstanding, not really getting why we love the hobby so much, I think it’s hard for family members at times and it becomes an easy target,” says Eldred in a 2019 video. Coping with outside judgment is a recurring topic on her YouTube channel, and one that’s echoed by other doll creators and collectors online.By and large, however, Eldred thinks that finger-pointing from outsiders may have waned in recent years. If nothing else, the community’s increased exposure on social media has made more people familiar with it. But Eldred can’t imagine a future in which her hobby is accepted by the mainstream.
“Trying to explain to a non-doll collector this emotional attachment to an inanimate object, people don’t get it,” she says in one of her YouTube videos. Its title: “Why Our Hobby Isn’t Mainstream”.