Monday, February 15, 2016

The Color of Satisfaction

If you were raised in the Philippines, there's a good chance that you were conditioned to think that dark skin is ugly. Skin whitening products are one of the best selling beauty products here.  "Nognog" is a local word similar to "nigger" and is used as a derogatory word to describe one of a current presidential candidate without raising a debate on political correctness. This is my reality and I don't want it in my deluded doll world.

One thing I've learned from collecting dolls is that beauty comes in different shades and color. I knew it the moment I saw a photo of the Princess of South Africa. I instantly felt the need to have her, so I did. But her playability is limited. She had limited clothing options with an older busty body. She cannot do many poses. She eventually was kept in storage.

Although Mattel has produced a good range of skin tones for dolls, they don't offer equal opportunity for articulation for each skin tone. I wanted an articulated body for my doll so I have to do it myself. I tried spray painting one of the articulated bodies but I couldn't find the right match for her skin tone. I even used a wood stain that gets darker with each layer applied. I got very close but still not enough, until today. I found this spray paint that is lighter than actual skin tone that did just the trick.

Since the body was too dark, a thin layer of the lighter paint was applied. Before it completely dried, I rubbed the body with cotton balls with acetone in the hopes of mixing the two layers. Or maybe the top coat got thinner allowing the darker bottom coat to be more visible. I don't know what happened but I'm satisfied with the result. The acetone also reduces the shine on the painted body.

It has been over a year since I started painting this body and it's only now that I got a satisfying color. Coupled with the other good things that happened that day, I am pretty pleased.

I don't trust my naked eyes if I got the color right. Some colors can look the same in certain conditions. I always take lots of photos in different lighting conditions just to be sure.

This is another doll that I'm excited to dress.

(If you were looking for this entry earlier today and found out that it is missing, it's because it was reverted to draft form. I was too sleepy last night drafting this and I accidentally clicked the "Publish" button even before it was finished. I just finished it this morning.)


Dollz4Moi said...

Even though this is America there is still a lot of stigma with being dark or darker colored dolls. I have had people tell me my darker dolls are ugly. I have also had people tell me they're gorgeous. I think it's people's prejudices that keep them from seeing beauty in everything.

I like the results you got from your paint job. I was lucky enough to have access to SIS Chandra articulated bodies to use for some of my darker hued ladies.

Niel said...

I've been told that this doll and my other black dolls are ugly when they saw them in person. When I took photos of my dolls and showed the photos, they also saw that there is beauty in these dolls, too. I think we can still have some control on how we present things to make something "beautiful" to others as well. ;)

Chandra's body won't work on this doll since this has a darker skin tone. But I would want another doll having Chandra's body but with a head mold other than the Mbili. :)