The uncanny valley of babies
December 19, 2017 10:28 AM   Subscribe

A woman posts a photo of knitting supplies she bought but people on Twitter are concerned about the baby in the background. I should say "baby," since it's not an infant human but a werepup. What's a werepup? Glad you asked. Can't afford to adopt? Make your own. Many more, uh, "babies" inside!

The creator has other, uh, babies on her Instagram (plus some run-of-the-mill dogs and cats).

Holy crap, this is a whole industry. Unboxing a dragon hybrid baby. An alien baby. Monkey babies. Puppies, kittens, pandas and platypi at Ping Pets. How to change your unicorn baby's diaper. There are too many varieties to post; have fun going down the rabbit hole. More baby-like babies. In the market for a used baby? (FYI, some are unclothed)

This is surely the opening of a horror movie.
posted by AFABulous (47 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
why this
posted by Kitteh at 10:29 AM on December 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


(RIP my YouTube recommendations)
posted by AFABulous at 10:31 AM on December 19, 2017 [18 favorites]


Flagged as fuck everything about this.
posted by bondcliff at 10:31 AM on December 19, 2017 [17 favorites]


Hellooooooo secret baby shower gift, for mom to freak people out with on social media.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:44 AM on December 19, 2017 [19 favorites]


This has me wondering if Tween Wolf was ever a thing but I don't want to have to google the words 'tween' and 'wolf' to find out so I guess I'll never know.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:48 AM on December 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


I guess I'm cool with people doing their own things, but that doesn't mean i get it. Super weird, hopefully not hurting anybody.
posted by GuyZero at 10:49 AM on December 19, 2017


MetaFilter: Super weird, hopefully not hurting anybody
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2017 [40 favorites]


Also: immediately upon leaving this thread I encountered this Michael Beschloss Twitter post, and now I can't help but see it as a photo of the Pope and LBJ gazing with admiration at a wee little werepup.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:55 AM on December 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


Getting ready for my knitting cruise! Stitch counter, check. A couple of easy patterns, check. Money for Red Heart (?!) yarn, check. Custom werepup baby doll, check!
posted by xyzzy at 11:01 AM on December 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


Is this what teenage furries do when they grow up ? Raise werepups ?
posted by k5.user at 11:03 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh, uh, no. NO no nononono no.
posted by phunniemee at 11:03 AM on December 19, 2017 [7 favorites]


I was ready to be horrified, but this guy is super adorbs and I would totally snuggle him while drinking my Christmas cocoa.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 11:08 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Money for Red Heart (?!) yarn, check. Custom werepup baby doll, check!

I'll admit I questioned the first part, but then I clicked on the adoption link and found out that her work starts in the thousands, and suddenly the yarn budget made sense...

yet another day mumbling "I'm in the wrong business" to myself at my desk...
posted by librarianamy at 11:14 AM on December 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


big ole pile of ahhhhhh get it away from me!
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:18 AM on December 19, 2017


Regardless of the creepiness of her creations, I would imagine that women of color are underrepresented in the makeup FX industry so I wish Asia Eriksen all the success. She doesn't have an IMDB page but she's worked on a couple of projects.
posted by AFABulous at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


I... kinda want one of those Pocket Pups, now.
posted by headspace at 11:20 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Note to self: if you start a business making scary hybrid babies yourself then you can afford all of the spendy yarn you fondled covetously last month when you went to Jimmy Beans.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:20 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Surely someone here is a member of the Facebook "Knit & Chat" group and can find the original post. I'm really curious about the comments.
posted by AFABulous at 11:21 AM on December 19, 2017


This has me wondering if Tween Wolf was ever a thing but I don't want to have to google the words 'tween' and 'wolf' to find out so I guess I'll never know.

this is on you
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:25 AM on December 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


I know we all like to throw around the word "abomination" but oh good lord, I'm hyperventilating just looking at the pictures.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:50 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


... to me, the worst part of these is the "half- human" part. I kinda like the platypus one cause it just looks like a platypus and they're so weird anyway.
posted by The otter lady at 12:12 PM on December 19, 2017


kull wahad
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:14 PM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Man, I fell WAY down the rabbit hole on that one. Thanks?
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:54 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


In the market for a used baby?

The realistic baby dolls on that site creep me out waaaaaay more than the werepup and zombie baby dolls on the other pages.
posted by Kriesa at 1:09 PM on December 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh man oh man I've stumbled across the edges of this in the depths of Ravelry but never made the clicks to truly investigate. Thank you so much for answering the unasked questions and showing me the depth of this rabbit hole.
posted by Mizu at 1:55 PM on December 19, 2017


Ok fine. You want a weirdo doll and you want the “real” baby experience of changing its diapers. Sigh. BUT MUST YOU USE DISPOSABLES?? Surely this is an excellent opportunity to be a little greener and use cloth.
posted by greermahoney at 2:23 PM on December 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


I've secretly wanted a reborn for ages now, just to creep everyone out (and, also, I have an ongoing daydream where I step out into the road in front of the assholes that keep on running up and down the street on their motorbikes and shout "Be quiet! My baby is trying to sleep!" and then throw the reborn at them and shriek at them some more to cement my place in local history as the scary witch lady no one dares bother).

But now I totally want that alien baby. Oh my god! That little mouth! Those tiny four fingers! Those great big eyes!

I'm not saying that I'm keeping this link around for the next few days, but my husband hasn't thought of a Christmas present for me yet...
posted by Katemonkey at 2:51 PM on December 19, 2017 [8 favorites]


On one hand, I could have gladly gone my whole life without knowing about these. On the other hand, this is the type of content I hope to find on MetaFilter.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 4:02 PM on December 19, 2017 [9 favorites]


Oh my gosh these are adorable and I want all of them. <3
posted by xedrik at 5:37 PM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


All of these are immediately added to my daughter's Christmas list for next year. Kate, do it. Dooooooo it!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:42 PM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that furry (at least on my twitter feed) seems to be a bit obsessed with transformation (TF) right now. Like, it wasn't all that present as "a thing" a year ago.

These werepups feed right into that whole scene, really. I don't think I'm going to tell them about them yet, though.
posted by hippybear at 7:16 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is it crazy of me to read into this a whole
Complex of issues about policing women’s reproduction?
posted by Miko at 8:01 PM on December 19, 2017


I looked at one photo, so from where I stand, that seems a bit more complicated than what I saw.
posted by hippybear at 8:14 PM on December 19, 2017


Tripping off “is your baby unwell”
posted by Miko at 8:24 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


TIL that I'm weirder than most of MetaFilter. Because I think these are cool as shit.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:26 PM on December 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


My brother and sister-in-law just had their first son, also my first nephew. The urge to get one of these and slip it into the crib is incredible. I may not be able to resist.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:42 PM on December 19, 2017 [8 favorites]


Miko, there may be some subconscious context, I don't know, but when I looked at the picture I couldn't make sense of it. It was dressed like a baby, positioned like a baby but the face, when zoomed in? Does not compute. I had no idea there were dolls like this, and obviously neither did the person who posted the original tweet.

From browsing the websites and YouTube, the babies (both realistic and not-so-much) look to me like they are (custom) made by women and mostly purchased by adult women. I can't guess at the motivations or implications there.
posted by AFABulous at 8:42 PM on December 19, 2017


from the replies to the original tweet: "I have been baffled by reveal vids of people digging cheap rings out of expensive candles, but this ..."

candles? what? oh no not another rabbit hole
posted by AFABulous at 8:47 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


The urge to get one of these and slip it into the crib is incredible.

This must ONLY happen on a full moon night.
posted by hippybear at 8:47 PM on December 19, 2017 [10 favorites]


I'm often surprised about what MF is or isn't into. It's like I don't even know you people.
posted by bongo_x at 9:43 PM on December 19, 2017 [7 favorites]


Can we just focus on the Red Heart hate for a moment? Sure, it's a pain to actually work with, but your finished article just has to go through the washer and dryer twice to turn into a lovely nice soft thing. I'm sitting within grabbing range of two Red Heart afghans right now and they're cuddly and warm things. Sure, my first afghan-acrylic loyalty is to Caron Simply Soft, but sometimes the budget calls for Red Heart and that is fine.

Unlike werepups. I don't think any amount of time in the dryer would make me cuddle that sucker.
posted by sldownard at 11:23 PM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry sldownward, but the label in those afghans said 100 percent acrylic.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:26 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Does not compute.

Yeah, like it turned out to be an interesting story about a phenomenon a lot of us didn't know about, but I just was kinda like "so, what if it had beensomeone's real baby?" There are babies out there that don't look normal and perfect and have unusual features. I mean this one does look extra that way, but it is uncanny-valley enough that there was some chance it was just a baby with birth defects or something, and there was something odd about just immediately going to the joke with "is your baby unwell."

I'm probably just being too sensitive.
posted by Miko at 8:30 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I blame Patricia Piccinini.
posted by flabdablet at 8:40 AM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Can we just focus on the Red Heart hate for a moment?
Aw, I got no hate for Red Heart. I've made many an afghan out of it. But I'm mystified by the idea of buying Red Heart on a knitting cruise! Where's the single ball of alpaca spun from some dude's alpaca pair?! I mean, if you've got the money for a werepup, you've got the money for some organic hand dyed farmer-sourced spun alpaca hair.
posted by xyzzy at 11:30 AM on December 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


"I have been baffled by reveal vids of people digging cheap rings out of expensive candles, but this ..."

candles? what? oh no not another rabbit hole


yes, this was a thing a couple of years ago. I bought my friend one. She got the $25 value ring, but she enjoyed the scent.
posted by numaner at 3:33 PM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Seriously, this just looks like Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2. Although a little werepuppy in a Disney Princess outfit would be adorable.
posted by TrishaU at 5:04 AM on December 21


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