The Benefits of Being a Brown Noser

Every so often some goody two shoes will criticize my style of expression and tell me how I should express myself or that I shouldn't express myself at all because I am hurting the feelings of a doll designer.
In a recent episode, I posted a simple statement that I thought a doll was ugly. It wasn't someone's doll that they had posted a picture of; it was a specific doll from a manufacturer. I could have said that I didn't like her sculpt and I thought it was ugly. I could have said that I didn't like the extreme paleness of her vinyl or that I thought the dress looked cheap and that's what made her ugly. I definitely could have expressed it differently and explained why I thought she was ugly. But I just came out and said it simply. She is ugly.  I happen to like the performer that she is said to represent but I don't see the resemblance.

Others in the thread like the doll and some did not. There was a mix of opinion. I'm lucky in that I don't need to tell others how to express themselves and I certainly don't need to protect the manufacturer or the designers from the opinions of others. If they were being attacked personally, that would be a different story but this was about a product being offered for sale.

In this particular case, the critic wanted me to be positive in my criticism and constructive.  Well I positively think that this doll should not be constructed again. 

She said:
"There's another colloquialism that comes to mind here. Something to the effect that opinions aren't special and everyone has them. To say that you think something is ugly doesn't provide any insight. Also it's not very nice or constructive to the designers who have spent countless hours creating the doll. They've worked hard to bring the doll into existence and I think it's only fair that we should have to substantiate our opinions with arguments and evidence that we've actually given the matter some thought. " (The red highlight is mine.)

Is she talking about assholes on a doll board? If you don't know it, the actual expression is "Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one. "  Or "Opinions are like assholes; they all stink." So all of her thoughts aren't angelic. She's pretty snide if you ask me and definitely baiting the hook. I substantiate my opinion about a doll with my pocketbook. I bought the doll; she didn't.

However, the truth behind her criticism lay elsewhere. Apparently I jumped her on the line at the Integrity store! OMG I'm so ashamed of myself. Seriously, if that happened, it was not intentional. Many people got in front of where we were waiting.

I'm am ashamed to admit that at about 10 AM I sat down in the hall with my friend Dante and a few others near the store to wait on line for a few hours (!) until the store opened. There were very few people already seated near the door and there were some people sitting on couches around the corner from the door. Later on I was told that those people on couches were on line. Well, when we stood up and the door opened we stood aside and those people went in first.  

Well I certainly apologize if I bought the doll she wanted. Oh wait, there were a few hundred of each doll. And no, I didn't run right up to the register like some to buy the grab bags. I didn't even know there were grab bags.
 My critic wrote:
"I know that you write for FDQ. As a writer I expect more from you. And I also know that you love the Integrity dolls as I do. I know that because I saw you while I was waiting in line with my husband to get into the souvenir shop at the convention (first you were behind us then you were ahead of us). My point is, doll collecting should be fun. Bring more of the love and less of the negativity. If you must be critical, please at least make an effort to be kind and constructive about it."

I have to be a little snide here myself and say that her grammar is not all that good. The construction of that sentence means that she is a writer and expects more of me. There should be a comma after the word writer.  Maybe she is a writer but I don't think that's what she meant. She wants to hold me to a higher standard.

When I read the part about being ahead of her on line, I realized that she was not really talking about a doll at all. This was her personal resentment at me for being jumped (if I actually did that) or an attempt to raise herself to the heavenly level of collectors (aka sycophants) who are always lovely and loving.  I swear, I'm not making this up. I hope she takes me up on my invitation to discuss this issue via personal email.

Let me just say this about brown nosing: it works with at least one of the employees of that company.  

"I took a few shortcuts on the foundation. No one will ever notice."

Cartoon: by Larry Hehn on August 4, 2010


  1. Terri,
    I enjoy your honest opinions shared with us. Your candor means a lot to us purchasers. I love to see what you do to make the dolls you buy look better. So what if you say a doll us ugly! I guess the truth hurts some times! LOL
    So, don't let the turkeys get you down!! Know that you are admired by those who appreciate all that you do! I don't want to read fluff and B.S.! I want to read TRUTH! And you are always so funny about it! You are unique and very special - Please don't change a thing about your writing style!!
    Hugs from Helen in CA

  2. i noticed the sentence structure as well (he says, not bothering with capital letters)

    i definitely see the resemblance in that both Gaga and this doll have a horsey face. they're "pretty ugly".

  3. I know exactly to whom you are referring. And I couldn't agree with you more.
    What really bothered me was when she said:

    "For the rest of you, this is art school summed up in a few words: Art is more than just the creation "pretty" or "ugly" things; it has layers. etc"
    Excuse me? For the rest of you? Who does she think she is talking to? She has no idea what any of us know about art. And isn't art subjective anyway? I'm sorry, but I don't have to look beneath the layers to like or dislike anything. If I don't like it I don't like it. It's MY OPINION and I don't owe anyone any explanations for it! And if I change my mind later, it's my right. And I have every right to express my opinion in that forum, regardless of it being constructive or not. Why do I need to "provide insight"? It's my opinion. I didn't realize I was part of a consumer test panel and had to justify why I feel the way I do about that doll....sorry....that piece of art.

    Terri, I am so glad you wrote this because I needed a place to vent without causing a ruckuss on the forum.

    Sorry to rant on your blog, but that person just rubbed me the wrong way with her holier than thou attitude towards you and the rest of the people on the forum.

    PS, some people say brown nosing, I say networking.


  4. Oh Terri, I don't know if it's because we're both New Yorkers that makes me adore you or posts like this. Please continue your awesomeness.

  5. Honestly I didn't see what the big deal was in stating that the doll was ugly. She is. You didn't need to elaborate on your opinion. It's an unattractive face mold that doesn't look like Josephine Baker or Lady Gaga. What's unfortunate is that they used your candor to address a personal grievance. A personal grievance does not negate your opinion or how you choose to express it.

    All I can say is that you handled it well and may you continue to give your unbiased opinion on the boards.

  6. Brown nosing stinks--literally! I love this:

    "Well I positively think that this doll should not be constructed again."

    Don't you ever change, Huntress! Some more stupid drama I missed. I'm sorry people treat you this way. It's true what they say, I guess. Honesty hurts, but who is it hurting? A company makes dolls and we either like them or we don't like them. How does one explain "ugly" or "pretty" when people are so different and what one thinks of as ugly is another person's pretty? How can "constructive criticism" help in this case? It can't! It's your opinion and you have a right to it! And you're absolutely right--you bought the doll! You pay money for this company's dolls. That company needs to get a grip and stop taking things so personally! And brown-nosers? Bah!

    The Wench in Cincy

  7. Good for you Terri - speak out your thoughts as you do so far and do not mind people like this. I got the same flak when I criticised Tonner dolls in my blog. Well, sorry I cannot like EVERYTHING doll companies put out. It is impossible.

  8. All I can say this is YOUR Blog, not theirs. XO

  9. I find lots of dolls ugly and tell my friends when asked. At least you're honest about it. I guess the person felt that as someone in the limelight, when you don't like something, it is a too powerful opinion that might cause people not to buy the doll. Anyways, who cares, people will buy any doll if they really like it.

  10. Well I am not a writer, nor claim to have good grammar, so forgive me for any errors. I quite enjoy reading the blog. Most of the commentaries are quite enjoyable and humorous at times, and if it is somewhat negative, I was probably already thinking the same thing anyways.

  11. I have always appreciated your blog and your thoughts. Your honesty is refreshing when others merely gush over a doll without talking about its price or quality.

  12. Terri, this is hilarious:

    "In this particular case, the critic wants me to be positive in my criticism and constructive. Well I positively think that this doll should not be constructed again."

    Your reviews are always funny and interesting.

  13. Bottom line, Terri, is that this is your blog where you should be able to express yourself as you see fit. If people don't like it, they can unsubscribe, but I don't think you should alter your opinions or reviews on your own blog. I read your blog b/c I know you're going to give it to us straight. Whether or not I agree with you doesn't matter at all. It's YOUR blog.

  14. wacky!!! it was really wacky. ahem. (=
    nuttin' wrong w/ anything you said at all -- but then, you knew that. (;

  15. Bravo, Terri - I couldn't agree with you more. The doll is unattractive. Who cares? Lately, the W Club seems to be more like the Barbie Fan Club ... with a handful of sycophants cheerleading Integrity's every move (and they seem to be the ones who enjoyed the convention the most - just an observation). Perhaps one can call the W Club "BC2" [or Barbie Club Squared]? It certainly has the same vibe lately.

  16. Some dolls need to have their mouth sewn shut and some don't ...love your blog!!!!!!

  17. I had no idea what was going on Terri... I didn't even bothered to read that thread in the forum, because well... I too think the doll IS ugly, so why should I read about her? I feel sad that it happened (and I found the comment about you beeing in the store line "behind" and then "ahead" really pitiable, and totally ou of place...)

  18. Terri- I lurk and read your blog because I love how opinionated and honest you are. I can always expect to rely on your honest reviews before deciding whether to purchase a new doll or not. On your blog, you give very insightful opinions and that's very much appreciated, and on doll boards, you give very to the point comments and it's also very entertaining to read. There is no law requiring you to elaborate more at one place or the other and with a doll board being for people to express their opinions on dolls, they should respect your right to express yours. Keep it coming!

    With that being said.. I just have to say, a lot of ugly dolls have been made in the past, but that Gaga one seriously takes the cake. I think if there's DOTY award for ugliest fashion doll of the year, she'd win.

  19. @Norah: They will call it UDOTY.

  20. Line cutter.

  21. Anonymous: Time for you to get a life and leave the bullying behind.
    Move on. A normal person would.

  22. BTW "Mr. Anonymous" My blog tracks visitors IP's, locations, dates and times of visits. Since you are in the habit of telling lies about me I am posting this information:

    IP Address: SelojSpa [Edit Label]
    ISP: Road Runner
    Entry Page Time: February 6th 2011 04:24:55 PM
    Visit length: 11 mins 32 secs
    Browser: IE 8.0
    OS: WinVista
    Resolution: unknown
    Location: Marion, Ohio, United States
    Returning Visits: 0
    Entry Page: http://terrigoldphoto.blogspot.com/
    Exit Page: http://terrigoldphoto.blogspot.com/

    Go away now, little boy. Find someone else to bully.

  23. Oh yuck. The smarmy ones are the worst.

    I have more respect for the direct and always enjoy reading your blog.