All posts tagged: Annabel May Oakley-Watson

Exploring the world of ‘reborn’ babies, and the women who collect them

Bought and collected mostly (but not exclusively) by women, ‘reborn’ babies are dolls made to look uncannily real. It’s a subject that is often sensationalised within the media, says Annabel May Oakley-Watson, who has spent months exploring the phenomenon for her final-year project Her curiosity led her to the ‘mothers’ and their stories. “It’s such a secret world, but I wanted to provide it with positive, not negative, exposure.” Made from vinyl or silicon, the dolls are usually handcrafted, produced to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from real babies. Costing anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands, they  weigh and even smell the same as real babies, says the student who graduates from Falmouth University’s Press and Editorial Photography BA course this summer. The 20-year-old began the project after visiting a reborn show in February 2014, “which completely opened my eyes” to the complexities of the subject. After initially photographing the dolls and accessories, which include everything from detachable hearts to umbilical cord clips and designer baby clothes, she began to focus …


BJP Staff