A trainee accountant says her £30,000 collection of ultra-realistic “reborn dolls” has made it impossible for her to find a boyfriend.
Victoria Andrews, 22, has been obsessed with the dolls, which can cost upwards of £800 each, since she was a teenager.
She said: “Sometimes I take one of them to work with me, where men find them scary. Women seem not to mind so much.
“The boyfriends I’ve had often complain about them. They hate it when I take them out with us – I think they find it all a bit creepy.
“My dolls give me all the fun of having kids but with no responsibility.”
Reborn dolls designed to resemble a human baby as closely as possible.
Miss Andrews, of Newbury, has been collecting since she was 16 and now has a £30,000 collection of 51 lifelike dolls, 100 outfits and several carrying baskets.
She said: “I always liked playing with dolls. I stumbled across reborn dolls online and I thought they were really cute.
“The first one I bought was called Charlotte – I paid £250 for her.
“Once I had one I had to have more. They are adorable. It’s impossible not to love them.
“As an adult I’ve sacrificed my social life and love life for them – but I know they’re worth it.”
Miss Andrews, an accountancy student, works evenings in a pub to fund her hobby.
The cheapest doll in her collection is worth £100. The most expensive doll, a blonde-haired and blue-eyed cherub named Chantelle, cost her £825.
Miss Andrews said: “It’s a lot of money but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s money well spent.
“The dolls make me happy. I get anxious when I’m not with them and I can’t wait to get home from work so I can relax with them.
“At the moment I have no plans to stop buying the dolls. But maybe in the future I’ll sell some of the more expensive ones to help me get together a deposit for a house.”
Miss Andrews lives at home with her parents to save on rent and buys all her clothes from charity shops.
She has sacrificed her social life, preferring to spend money on her dolls rather than going out to meet men.
She said: “A night out could cost me up to £100 – I might as well stay at home and save my money to buy another doll.
“I often stay home and brush their hair or change their outfits. Occasionally I will pick one up for a cuddle. It can be very comforting at the end of a hectic day.
“I usually bring one out and about with me when I run errands. I like to spend time with each one particularly if they are new and we’re still getting to know each other. Women love them but the men who see them often find them scary for some reason.”
She said her impressive collection, which fills her bedroom shelves, has put off potential suitors.
She said: “My first boyfriend was fine with them. He used to buy dolls for me and he would help me change their clothes.
“The next boyfriend I had kept moaning about them. He said I spent too much money on them.
“At the moment I’m single. Whenever I meet a guy I try and warn them about the dolls. I usually drop it into the conversation as if it’s no big deal.”
Despite her obsession Miss Andrews said she does not want a real baby any time soon.
She said: “I have a lot of kids in my family so I get to spend a lot of time with children – but I’m glad I get to give them back at the end of the day.
“I haven’t even decided if I want to have kids at all. I’m still young.”
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