Poojita Nair was into painting and sculpting for a long time. Being an artist, she knew that affirmation on art would do wonders. But she nudged the idea until she faced a health issue where she gained 20 kgs. “I couldn’t accept my body image and this affected me in a big way. I became very insecure and started losing confidence and alienated myself. I thought I can overcome my insecurities by making a doll which had stretch marks. And to be honest, it worked! Seeing the doll daily helped me overcome my fears about my body and helped me embrace my identity. I really thank my dolls for helping me out. These types of dolls are called affirmation dolls. The dolls are made with a belief that they will help accomplish desires in a person and help him/her to love themselves and their imperfections. Some consider them as spirit dolls that spread positive energy,” she tells us.
The process of making a doll is therapeutic and Poojita couldn’t agree more. But her only worry was the response of people when she decided to post it on her social media. “I didn’t know how people would respond to my health issues being portrayed through dolls. But to my surprise, the response was overwhelming. Many had to share stories of coping with various issues starting from body shaming. I wanted to help others and started taking orders. A majority wanted dolls addressed to lighter issues. And I am trying to be more subtle about it,” she explains.
Poojita has made various affirmation dolls. A few include the merman doll to help embrace uniqueness, a doll that holds the affirmation to overcome fear, a doll in under-garments that gives the affirmation for a pain-free period, a clock-shaped doll that holds the affirmation to find time to do what we love.
“The dolls are very relatable to many. Don’t think that I am standing up for obesity. People should be healthy in whatever size they are. We need to embrace it and allow others to do the same. Firstly, we need to fall in love with ourselves before setting out to help others.”
Poojita didn’t complicate things and kept the process of doll making very simple. She makes the doll with hand using cotton materials and foam. Once the doll is done, she paints it in different colours. “We grow up playing with Barbie dolls that have realistic body measurements. It’s high time we substituted it with dolls of various shapes and colours. Though we talk highly about body image issues, we hardly stand up for it,” she sums up.