Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Right, for starters Treesa wanted me to tell you she was never, as she puts it, 'a hardcore Spice Girls fan'. She listened to their songs on the radio. Everybody did back then. But Treesa didn't buy me because I was a Spice Girls doll. She bought me because she thought I was pretty. That's what she told her family in the car when they saw me in the shopping bag, and I believe her. I believe her because Treesa never owned a Spice Girls cd, but she does own two Aqua cds.
Treesa bought me on a shopping trip with her family about twenty years ago, during the winter holidays. The first time I saw her I was standing in my box on a shelf at Toys R Us, with the other Spice Girls dolls. We were all excited. We knew the holidays were coming, and all of us were hoping we'd be bought as gifts before New Year's.
When Treesa took me down from the shelf, I thought she was buying me for someone else. Treesa looked younger than she was. She still does. But I could tell she was 'too old' to be playing with dolls, which just shows how little I knew. I got the shock of my life when Treesa admitted to her family that she'd bought me for her doll collection. I'd never heard of a human old enough to be out of primary school collecting dolls. I don't think it's something Treesa was very proud of. She seemed embarrassed talking about it, even with her family. But things were different then. Now there are plenty of online groups for teen and adult collectors of any type of doll. But back then, Treesa and her family didn't have the internet.
I got another shock after Treesa took me out of my box, when I found out she still acted out stories with her dolls when no one was watching. I was cast as the girlfriend of a Russian businessman, played by a Czar Nicholas II doll from the animated Anastasia movie redressed in a Ken tuxedo. What can I say? It was the late 1990s, and Treesa had seen her first James Bond film. I will say, the name Treesa gave me could have been more original. Victoria was the real first name of Posh Spice, the singer I was made to look like. But at least I'm not stuck with a bad, sexist pun like some classic Bond girls.
By the way, the outfit I'm wearing in my blog pictures is new, or 'new to me', as Treesa puts it. For my 'Russian businessman's girlfriend' role Treesa had me wear a short tee shirt dress and white fishnet knee high socks. When Treesa started talking with her dolls she felt guilty for, as she put it, 'neglecting' me. To make up for it, she decided to update my clothes.
I like my new look. It covers more than the tee shirt dress but it's still casual. Even though the jacket's a bit tight, I feel comfortable in these clothes, in more ways than one. I never felt like myself in my last outfit. I always felt embarrassed and ashamed. I knew the way I looked sent the wrong message. I looked like, like a floozy. At least that's the most polite word I can think of.
But there was more to it than that. I didn't just look like a doll with 'low morals'. I also looked like, like one of those hollow glass balls that humans hang on their Christmas trees, pretty on the outside but empty on the inside. That's exactly how I thought I looked, like a pretty face with an empty head.
I used to spend a lot of time worrying what Treesa's other dolls thought of me. Mind you, none of them ever said anything offensive or hurtful. But I still worried how they saw me, and that made it hard to talk to anyone. After a while, I noticed the other dolls were talking more to Nicholas than to me. They probably did it because Nicholas would answer them more often than not, while I was quiet and withdrawn. At the time though I thought I was being snubbed because the other dolls saw me as, I think the term is 'arm candy'. I worried that I wasn't really a person to them, just a pretty accessory. Not that Nicholas ever treated me that way. He was always polite and respectful. But we never really warmed up to each other the way some of the other doll couples Treesa paired off did. We always felt awkward around each other because of the roles Treesa gave us, and that awkwardness never really went away.
Now that Treesa's changed my outfit I feel more like myself again. It's really helped my self-esteem, and I'm more confident than I've been in years. Some of Treesa's other dolls said they hardly recognize me. Treesa did apologize for the storyline she made me act out. I told her to forget it. After all, she didn't know I was alive then. And maybe copying stuff from films and television helped Treesa shape her own ideas. If the fanfiction stories she has saved on her laptop are any clue at all, then her writing has gotten a bit more original. Though I will say, I never realized just how hard writing is until I tried it myself.
Spice Up Your Life, Victoria P. Spice