Monday, May 9, 2011

Mary, Mother of Mothers

Wait ... surely I mean Eve? Adam and Eve, parents of all the people. (Note: I'm coming from a Christian perspective - no offense intended to other worldviews.) But no, I am not referring to Eve here. While Eve appears first, Eve does not pack the same emotional impact as maternal Mary. (What do you think when you think Eve? Apple, sin, blame. Adam garbling messages? So, no, not talking Eve here. Eve wouldn't likely be in this situation.) Mary though is all mother. Mary is pure mother. Mary is the Mother. Mother of Mothers.

Let's see, Mary, Mother of Mothers ... oh, yes. Why Mary now? I found the One2Believe Mary action figure in a Ross, Dress for Less store. (Fancy that, hmm? Never know what you can find in these wonderful discount stores.) So I had to photograph Mary. I had to share this response with you. Because I did not buy her. Here is why.

Longtime PhillyCollector readers will recall that I bought Esther and Noah, two other action figures from One2Believe. Esther was my tenth Top Doll for 2009. Both Esther and Noah have interesting faces although their body proportions are odd. Very large heads and torsos. Very short legs. Articulated short legs, too. Hmmmm ... not aesthetically pleasing, but the strength in each of their faces overcame the serious - for me - body distortion. Both DAFs are talkers whose speeches resound when anything looks at their midsection. (Kidding ;-D) They are characters. Period. I never feel uneasy with either of them. They can preach all day.

Mary, on the other hand, I don't know. It would feel weird - for me - to have a doll Mary. (And weird is usually comfortable for me, I confess.) Likewise, the corresponding doll Jesus ... well, that would feel even weirder. No offense to anyone fond of these dolls, but any doll representing divinity or closeness to divinity, like Mary, doesn't seem "proper." My DAFs are secular, not religious. They may or may not have a specific religion as part of their storyline, depending on how elaborate a storyline the character has. Basically though, there is my DAF world and religion. The two do NOT meet. With Mary and Jesus dolls - representing Mother of Christ and Christ himself, I'd keep looking over my shoulder for a thunderbolt. Or for my father to return from the dead and scold me for playing with God.

When I was a child, I went to church regularly. First, both my parents took me and my sisters. After the boys came along, my Mom stayed home while we girls and Daddy went to church. (One of my brothers had problems; he could not go to church. He might throw a temper tantrum, yell out, etc.) We dressed up for church then. Black patent leather Mary Janes and purses and then heels as we moved into our teens. We didn't make noise in church, or we would get hammered with Daddy's nails. Ouch. We tried to be quiet on Sundays. And we took care to NOT disrespect any religious group.

Playing with Mary and Jesus dolls ... well, that would have been um ... blasphemous. In my immediate family, I mean. So religious playthings, I pass. Such passing is/was due to respect and a sense of appropriateness.

My One2Believe Esther and Noah are not religious figures in my doll community. They are current characters with those names who teach biblical studies and portray those characters - among others for the children. (I haven't had time to act that all out, alas, but that is their backstory here.) I don't have any problem with them in the "Thou Shalt Not Worship Graven Images" bit - because these dolls only represent humans.

Course Mary is/was human, and Jesus-before-resurrection is/was human. Mary never became "divine," but she is so closely related to Jesus, I would rather not "play" with her either. What kind of conversation would they have? "Jesus, let's go tussle with Satan. He's up to no good and we have to save the dolls of the Doll Kingdom." Nuh uh. I'm not going there.

But since the subject's been broached, let's look at these dolls as representing biblical humans. Do I think that the dolls accurately represent either Mary or Jesus? Does that matter? Well ... hmm ... I don't know. Back when I was young, I enjoyed viewing the Jesus of Nazareth miniseries. Robert Powell was a sexy Jesus; Olivia Hussey was a stunning Mary. I didn't think of either of them as literal representatives of Jesus or Mary. The miniseries was more infotainment - informative and entertainment than religious. I would have thought that Mary and Jesus were darker complected. Not Black Santa darker, but not blue-eyed as Robert Powell was.

Would I have preferred a darker Mother and Son? No, I can't say that I would have. Neither in the miniseries nor in the dolls. It might have seemed a nudge in the historically correct vein - as I imagined it - but Powell was h-o-t in that role. I wouldn't have missed that. (Odd aside one: Robert Powell never seemed that attractive before or after this role. Odd aside two: Olivia Hussey is actually younger than Robert Powell.)

(Gee am I hoping that my Daddy isn't accessing the Internet from the Other Side. Cause I know a big lightening bolt is coming my way.)

Eh but back to Mary the Doll. Did I really leave a pretty doll behind? Because of my religious quirks? No. I didn't buy her because a.) her box had been opened and her hair fuzzed up AND b.) there were looonnngggg queues at the checkout counters. So I don't doubt that she will sell and likely soon. And I hope she will be appreciated as dolls and action figures should be ... regardless of her role, her complexion, and her odd build.

Oh and a late Happy Mother's Day to all mothers.