July #61 : The Doll Factory - by Kevin O'Leary

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

POZ In Asia

Oh, Suzana!

Medicine Masala

Southern Exposure

Postcards from the Edge


Something Suspect In The Air

IMF’d Up, Man!


Catching Up With…

Everybody CAREs

The Doll Factory

Bubblegum Sex Wars

Shout Out

Security Risk

Fire And Brimstone

Bodies In Motion


Smoke and Mirrors

Foo For Thought

Bookmark This

Hoyas' Helping Hands

On Writing It

Egypt's Time Is Now


Dellums For Dollars

Bite The Bullet

It’s Alright, Ma

The Lost Day

An International Incident

POZ In Asia (Introduction)

POZ In Asia (City Profiles)

Getting Testy

Herb Of The Month

Holy Hormones

Cramping Your Style

Comfort Zone

All The Tea In China

Smear No Evil

East Meets West

$64K Question

7.17.85: Rock Our World

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

July 2000

The Doll Factory

by Kevin O'Leary

THis month marks the one-year anniversary of Candice Moench and Kathy Gerus-Darbison’s hitting upon a doll of an idea. Their Stitches Project, part of Michigan’s Midwestern AIDS Prevention Project, invites women with HIV to use the blank canvas of a rag doll to create representations of their inner lives. Gerus-Darbison, who was diagnosed the day after her 28th birthday in 1985, gives POZ the details:

“It was Candice’s idea to do a project just for HIV positive women that would be artistic but also therapeutic. We were talking and suddenly it was ‘Ohmigod, we could have them make dolls,’ and then ‘They could write what they’d say if they could talk!’ Within a half hour, we wrote up the brochure and made up the plan to distribute them. It was like, wham, bam…

“We bought 75 Bendi dolls—$3 each—and we mailed them out, with return postage, to women around the country living with HIV. We got some flak for not having ‘dolls of color,’ and we felt bad about not thinking about that, but we fixed it. We dyed some a shade darker, and now women have a choice.

“We’ve gotten 12 back. We’re hoping for more, but women with HIV have a lot of things going on. They often don’t take time for themselves, let alone this. And a lot say that they sit down with the doll, ready to work on it—and then they just get stuck. When it comes to what’s inside of us, feeling like, you know, a vector of disease and all that other stuff—it’s scary to put it out there. We feel a pressure to be perfect, and these dolls are about defying the roles that women—especially us—feel we have to live up to. Sometimes you think, ‘Let me live my life.”

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.