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The Paper Doll Princess

Paper dolls: not just for five-year-olds and crazy cat ladies. Photo by flickr user Pearlmatic.
Paper dolls: not just for five-year-olds and crazy cat ladies. Photo by flickr user Pearlmatic.

As a teenage girl with too much time on her hands and a house full of Wifi (except for, conveniently, on my bed– I have to practically hang off the edge it’s miserable), I have seen pretty much all of the “quirky” internet suggestions for whiling away my precious hours (instead of doing that ugly thing we call homework). Every blogger with a grandma sweater and a pumpkin spice latte recommends that I go thrift store shopping, spend an hour in my local bookstore, or worst of all, get to know the cool underbelly of my city. As it turns out, the underbelly of LA is accurately named: it’s a gross, weird place where you don’t really want to go without an authority figure. But, recently, I found my own random, entertaining time-waster: paper dolls.

Yes, I know how sad and lonely that sounded, and I’m sure you’re picturing me with knotted hair and a couple hundred cats, surrounded by mounds of creepy little dolls. It’s fine, that’s where I see my life ending up in a couple of years anyways. I recently rediscovered paper dolls while cleaning out my art cupboard. When I was much younger (i.e. 5 years ago), my grandmother bought me a couple of books of paper dolls for Hanukkah. Being the fashionable lady that she was, these couldn’t be any regular ol’ dolls with plain outfits and droopy faces. They contained dresses modelled after some of the great designs of various centuries, including the 1920s and a collection spanning the 1750s through the 1900s. Nobody else had ever shown that much confidence in my manual dexterity, nor should they have: when I first received these pretty gifts, my pudgy young fingers couldn’t handle the task, and Spongebob was just significantly more interesting than any sort of physical labor so the books hid in my closets for years. Until now. Since I discovered them a couple nights ago, I’ve been endlessly cutting out dolls. Besides the occasional hand cramps, which my mother lovingly treats with Advil and a disdainful look, it’s a stress-free activity that also doesn’t involve staring at a screen.

So, if you would like to make further progress towards your destiny of becoming that woman who hisses at strangers in the grocery store, learn how to use big-girl scissors, and embarrass your friends with your complete lack of cool-osity (my cool-osity is enhanced by the fact that I just made up the word cool-osity), I strongly recommend paper dolls.