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Creepy Kewpie

Posted by Andrea On January - 20 - 2011

People,including my mother, keep telling me that my daughter Amelia looks like a Kewpie Doll.

Just the other day, on our tube ride home, a lady commented on my child's Kewpie Doll features. As I smiled and offered a gracious nod, my husband stared blankly at the woman before hurling a questioning gaze in my direction. I explained to him that Amelia's big blue eyes look much the same as some random, old-fashioned doll that was called Kewpie (sometimes spelt Cupie).

When we got home I google-imaged ‘Kewpie’ so that I could show hubby the likeness between daughter and doll. Instead of an “Oh right, now I see!”, a look of horror permeated every pore of my husband’s face as he contemplated the dodgy-ass doll that appeared on screen. His reaction: “Amelia does NOT look like that thing.”

Kewpie has a giant forehead and a knob of, what I think is, hair sprouting out the top and sides of her head. Her proportions seem all wrong; Kewpie’s head is huge and her limbs do not really match the melon that sits on her rather small, in fact non-existent, neck. The doll does look a tad deformed. One might understand why a doting daddy would take offence.

The Kewpie Doll is based on comical strip-like illustrations by Rose O’Neill that appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1909. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s. Their name, often shortened to “Kewpies”, is derived from Cupid, the Roman god of beauty and non-platonic love. Although the toy manufacturers in Ohrdruf, Germany – the town where Kewpie was first created – did the best they could 100 years ago, Kewpie is a little… strange looking

I am not a fan of dolls, nevermind weirdo, out-of-proportion dolls dating back to 1900 that should be left for horror film directors to use and abuse. And after seeing Kewpie, my husband is, however, less of a fan than I am. Woe to the person who compares precious Amelia to a Kewpie, in which case I foresee the imminent release of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3: The Death of the Kewpie Doll Caller.

4 Responses to “Creepy Kewpie”

  1. Not one of the dolls you show are Kewpies. The dolls you are showing are indeed creepy. Often children are refered to as real Kewpie Dolls which is a term of endearment, but not a reality. The Kewpie cartoons were cute stories ment to both teach children to read at an early age and “Do Good Deeds In A Funny Way”. The doll came out of that and were he dolls. There was a girl doll that came out later called Scootles but she wasn’t a Kewpie. The way you can tell a Kewpie is that he had wings on his shoulder.

  2. Andrea says:

    I think that you may have missed the point.

  3. John Purlia says:

    Actually, that doll with the cutaway anatomical view *is* a real kewpie, officially licensed by a company in Japan that makes cellphone straps. Kewpies are HUGE in japan and licensed for all kinds of crazy uses.

    That said, they are pretty creepy, but in a good way! They are the doll that would smile from ear to ear while tearing out your insides — and they’d smile just as pleasantly if you were to do the same to them. For a Kewpie, there are no consequences… only happiness! And that is c-r-e-e-p-y!

    I’ve spent the past couple of years featuring various Kewpie dolls in my fine art photography and even titled my most recent solo exhibit “Seven Signs of the Kewpie Apocalypse”.

    Indeed, comparisons of your lovely daughter to a Kewpie should be dealt with harshly!

  4. Andrea says:

    I am MOST glad that someone gets the c-r-e-e-p-y inherent in Kewpie! Your exhibition sounds brilliantly interesting and simultaneously horrific!

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