the pathos of jackie kennedy dolls on etsy, vol. 4, no. 1

this is a thing we historically have done so i’mma just dive right on in.

if you’re like DOCTOR ONLINE WUT EVEN IS THIS, i refer you to my rich seam of informal, doctoral-level scholarship on emotions and dolls: HERE.


do you ever just feel like….


LOOK AT HER!!!! LOOK AT HER EFFORT AT SURVIVAL!!!! the extremity of her labor in attempting to telegraph to us all that EVERYTHING IS OK.

(via etsy)


something nice: i am not appalled by her doll feet. and yes, i’m aware that says everything and nothing all at once, while also maybe being entirely irrelevant.

why is her neck so long? is the cardboard apparatus that has her pinned in there elongating it or is this an unusually pronounced doll neck? comment below.

i feel like, previously in our existential jackiedoll meanderings, we’ve sometimes had themes. like– and, quite honestly, i am not even going to check– in the past, i seem to vaguely remember a post dedicated to the madame alexander jackiedolls.

quite possibly surprising no one, the theme here is CHAOS. like the eye of sauron, i have gazed upon the vast expanse of jackiedolls on etsy. no. that metaphor’s wrong…

like a cat to its person, i have gone forth into the dark dark wood and returned to lay my broken, murdered finds at your feet.

yeah, that’s not quite right either, much like jackie’s wrists here. [transition = A+]


girl needs to relax.

but who could, with this business involved?

poor jackie. poor us.

do you ever just have one of those days?

(via etsy)

i mean, mostly, right?

who among us has not felt like this at least once in the last two years?

(via etsy)

one of the yoga instructors i see on zoom said this thing in october about imagining you are the earth and blossoms are emerging from the top of your head.

i’ve butchered what she said. but, whatever it was, i liked it at the time. jackie’s head here looks like a tulip, non? maybe she’s imagining her whole body is the earth and her head is the bloom.

writing that i’m reminded of phyllis lindstrom’s weird free movement interpretative dance of “the birth of a flower” and that makes me miss cloris leachman and ed asner and betty white and the whole lot of them.

let’s assume this plastic flower preserved in a ziplock bag is in their honor.

(via etsy)

i know elvis loved the mary tyler moore show. i do not know about jackie. the historical record would suggest she only ever watched the moon landing and bill moyers.

i like this one.

because she’s, comparatively, so much less constrained. cushioned, yes, but not aggressively constrained.

there is a lack of netting and zip ties here, so let’s just take that as a win.

ok, this photograph is the lone piece of evidence that would suggest that joanne whalley’s casting in that horrible made-for-tv adaptation of donald spoto’s biography made some kind of sense. which, i mean, if a franklin mint representation of someone is the only evidence you have, fyi, that is not a lot.

i feel this:

(via etsy)

but why are they children?

and why do they look like a wedding cake topper?

question: you ever wondered what madame alexander might look like? voilá!

(via etsy)


i do not know why she has marie antoinette at triannon hair, but that seems about right, doesn’t it? i do so love when people meet one’s expectations.

what is this?

(via etsy)

i appreciate the accuracy even as the price point is COMPLETELY BONKERS.

but though….

(via etsy)

dear people, would it shock you to hear that jackie was not wearing white cotton mittens at her husband’s murder? is this entirely new news? am i being too harsh, to expect this level of historical accuracy?

i just feel like, at that price point, when you’ve gone to the effort of approximating the nub of the bouclé, you can throw in those eight extra fingers, you know?

we’re just gonna go right on sailing by this but i do want to note, this jackiedoll is taking the air.

(via etsy)

bully for her.

sidebar: have you breathed today? i know i basically created a moment above where you maybe joined me in imagining you’ve blossoms coming out of the top of your head, but also, have you breathed?

i might be going through it, but i’mma get through it.

ya’ll. i’m torn. because i always seem to end these posts with the jackiedoll who best represents our human condition in the moment of writing. but, honestly, i’m not all that sure where we are.

i’ve– surprise!– written quite a fair bit about the pandemic, about the dislocation involved in not knowing where we are in the broader historical story. it’s not the beginning, clearly, and maybe we’re beyond the middle, but also there’ve been a hell of a lot ‘o “you can relax now” false ends, in the united states at least.

so this jackiedoll speaks to me:

(via etsy)

because she is missing the finger those mittens would’ve taken care of.

(via etsy)

because she inexplicably has a tiny pink parasol that i do not remember being a part of jackie’s wedding costume.

(via etsy)

because, in her bloomers, she is vulnerable, fragile, exposed, as we all are as human beings.

(via etsy)

because her hardware is laid bare.

(via etsy)

lord bless you, if you are still with me and reading this. because, existentially, autoenthographically, we are on the road to nowhere here.

though also not really.

i’ve written elsewhere– maybe (?) only on the personal blog that only pre-2017 people know about (if you are a post-2017 person, and you love me and feel you need 15 years of my past writing in your life, lmk)– about how my family went through a whole phase of ironing mary engelbreit illustrations onto sweatshirts and one of those was an illustration with the phrase “wherever you go, there you are.”

i’ve also written elsewhere about one of the most profound things i’ve ever read on the internet, which was a quote from one of the a.v. club’s buffy recaps:

All of that’s waiting in the wings, though. “The Freshman” is mainly about Buffy going through the painful process of self-discovery that so many do when arriving at college (or getting their first salaried job, or getting married, or buying a house, or having kids). It’s the process of realizing that while circumstances have changed, you’re still you. Whatever weaknesses you’ve always had, they’re still there. But the strengths are there too.

you are always you. wherever you go, there you are.

we have been here before. we have ended here before. different seller, same doll.

(via etsy)

try not to laugh when you encounter my december 2019 optimism for the year 2020:

so this is where we are. where are we going? what will 2020 look like?


we want to go on this journey, right?

yes, i was a bit disturbed by my initial inability to decipher whether she’s wearing slippers or if those are her actual footbottoms, in which case her footbottoms are a mess, but then my footbottoms are perpetually a disaster so i can relate.

actually, i think these are train shoes, which means this jackie is a super good forward thinker, who anticipates the need for sensible shoes and plans accordingly.

[…] the thing about this jackie is that she seems eager, and hopeful, rather than resigned. obviously, we all have our moments.

but for the most part, she seems rested and ready.

how much of her readiness is attributable to the fact that her lashes are real and whether her eyes open and close remains unclear. but she gazes into the future with something approaching hope.

she is most just like us. and so, with nails painted, fingers separated, real lashes, bendable joints, and a whole bunch of baggage… away we go.

i know. i know. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. o young oline, you were so so so naïve, as were we all.

but i looked deeply into the abyss of that doll, and i do not want to claim to be any kind of prophet, as made evident by my deep failure to predict the trauma and havoc 2020- ???? would bring to us all. but what i will say is that this is the doll i have returned to this year.

i appreciate that she is cheaper. (despite inflation, are not we all?)

i appreciate that she brings her own box whilst being liberated from it.

(via etsy)

(and confession: this is the point in my analysis of jackiedolls where i become deeply insecure and imagine you all are thinking i am a terrible fool for having, currently produced, 2,000 words on this nonsense.

i am ridiculous.

but also you care, right? you are, after all, still reading…)

but back to this girl:

(via etsy)

nope! not having it. this is not allowed. jackiedoll must be free.

(via etsy)

dunno about shaking hands.

(via etsy)

but i appreciate the shrewdness, as she assesses us all, head a tilt.

(via etsy)

and i appreciate that strut. who knew fur cuffs and extensive bouclé could breed such confidence.

may we all walk into this new year, this new semester, this new part of the pandemic with such vigor, such confidence.

(via etsy)

i hope to god i’m not prying the hellmouth further open, but i think this blessing still applies…

her lashes are real and whether her eyes open and close remains unclear. but she gazes into the future with something approaching hope.
she is most just like us. and so, with nails painted, fingers separated, real lashes, bendable joints, and a whole bunch of baggage… away we go.

again, and again and again and again, for all of the precious time we have left to us, moving on forward, pitching our selves forward in love and joy and hope and possibility, with feelings and dolls and stories and memories, of all the people we’ve lost, all the worlds we’ve left behind, and imaginings of the wonders still ahead and all that might yet be.

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