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What Is Essentialism?

G-Rated Stuffed-Animal Love Explained, but What About R-Rated?

I had a blanket when I was little. I hijacked it from my older sister, named it, so imaginatively, "nice blankie," and made it my own. I took it everywhere until I didn't, and kept it hidden in my closet for years until someone — my mom is the number-one suspect — threw it away.

Plenty of adults are still attached to the plush objects of their youths. After 33 percent of Brits, at least those who stay at Travelodges, admitted to sleeping with stuffed animals in a study, I put the question to you. And probably because we're a young, female bunch, 72 percent still hold their favorite stuffed animal near and dear. Now psychologists are explaining it.

An object a little kid has attachment to is called a "transitional object" or, more colloquially, a "security blanket." It temporarily replaces the mother-child bond. As the child becomes aware she's a separate entity from parents and goes out on her own, even if only to another room, it provides comfort. But the idea that objects are more than just things carries over to adulthood.

It's called essentialism. Consider anything valuable to you. A photo album, a letter, a drawing from your niece, or a wedding ring. They are sentimental, and it would probably take a lot of cajoling and a ton of money for you to accept a duplicate. Objects are emotional to everyone, even if the emotion is one-sided.

What about R-rated object relationships, though? You know, the people in love with inanimate or animate objects. Might that be essentialism, a normal human emotion, morphed into an unhealthy, one-sided relationship?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
dexaholic dexaholic 5 years
I think they're asking about more serious relationships with objects, like the girl who married the Eiffel Tower or those guys in love with 'real dolls'... when harmless affection for an object gets much, much deeper and becomes unhealthy. I think it's a stretch to link the two in the same article though. The love I have for "Candy", my stuffed pink bunny that my aunt gave me when I was sick with pneumonia in the hospital when I was 3 is much, much different than someone who believes they are in love with a heap of metal. Sentimental affection for a stuffed animal is healthy, whereas the other is far from it. But to answer the question, I don't think so. We grow up loving our stuffed toys or blankets from a very early age. The woman who married the Eiffel Tower was drawn to it much later in life. I think there's something completely different at play. And I think that's best left to the professionals to figure out.
dexaholic dexaholic 5 years
I think they're asking about more serious relationships with objects, like the girl who married the Eiffel Tower or those guys in love with 'real dolls'... when harmless affection for an object gets much, much deeper and becomes unhealthy. I think it's a stretch to link the two in the same article though. The love I have for "Candy", my stuffed pink bunny that my aunt gave me when I was sick with pneumonia in the hospital when I was 3 is much, much different than someone who believes they are in love with a heap of metal. Sentimental affection for a stuffed animal is healthy, whereas the other is far from it.But to answer the question, I don't think so. We grow up loving our stuffed toys or blankets from a very early age. The woman who married the Eiffel Tower was drawn to it much later in life. I think there's something completely different at play. And I think that's best left to the professionals to figure out.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
Also, that picture is a little creepy.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
To me, a relationship such that one married a blow up doll is a little more than unhealthy. More like full blown, seek therapy crazy.
Venus1 Venus1 5 years
I agree. I think far more of us actually humped our teddy bears than care to admit too.
Studio16 Studio16 5 years
What are you asking? The first things that comes to mind when you say "R-rated stuffed animal love" are furries and women who hump their pillows/plush objects as a form of masturbation. If you mean the act of an 18+ woman still sleeping with a teddy bear or special blanket, that's not R-rated. A little unorthodox, but honestly, who am I to judge? It's not the weirdest thing I've heard of.
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