I don’t remember the first time I laid eyes on it (him? her? We checked, but back in the 1960s, they didn’t have Him or Her baby dolls). Grandma had procured it from a garage sale, and set us up with a little crib and all the fixins’, but nobody played with it. One day, she asked me why. I replied, simply, “It’s ugly.” She said, “That’s exactly what newborn babies look like.” I replied, “Then I’m not interested in having kids.”
Despite the fact that no one ever played with it, Grandma kept it anyway. After she died twenty years ago, I felt strangely drawn to ask for it. Before she left us, Grandma made it a new cloth body, but she couldn’t do anything about the rubbery, discoloring face. Oh well. It’s not like it’s going to get any uglier…
I found it a new blue outfit at a rummage sale this morning, so I dug it out and cleaned it up a little, and then got curious about where this doll originally came from, and if it had any ugly twins out there in the world. A quick Google search turned up this:
Yes, I ruthlessly swiped this from a blog post of the World’s Strongest Librarian, but judging by the eBay icon in the bottom corner, it may not be his photo either. Manners and ethics aside, I know there’s at least one more Ugly Baby out there somewhere, and its body didn’t hold up well either. There are no markings on the head, arms or legs that I could find, so at this point, I’m out of luck. If anyone knows anything about these dolls, or has any suggestions for finding out more, please let me know. As ugly as my doll is, it’s about as dear to my heart as anything I own. Grandma would be pleased.