the doll games
shelley and pamela jackson


interview: molly

Good B*****,
Bad B*****

Shelley: Years ago you told me you played this game with B*****s that you called Good B*****, Bad B*****. I wanted to hear about that.

Molly: Well, my next-door neighbor, Alice Ann, was about three years older than myself, and four years older than my sister, and was definitely someone we looked up in awe to as having the worldly ways of an older woman.

And so, wait, how old were you?

We were probably seven and eight, maybe even younger than that, so she was probably eleven twelve.

Ooh, pretty sophisticated.

Right. So we would go over to her house, and she would have the B***** dolls, and maybe we brought our own, but hers were more fascinating, ‘cause it was really Alice Ann who initiated our Good B***** Bad B***** understanding of the world. We would set up our little scenarios, and she had one of those little campers, I think, and yet she had a very punk style with her B***** dolls, and so their hair would be–well, there was Good B*****, who looked pretty normal, and then there was Bad B*****, who Alice Ann and I cut the hair, and cut the clothing or drew tattoos on her body–

So it was inspired by your idea of the bad girl in the world at large, like a rocker girl or something.

Yeah, but I think it was still really Alice Ann's idea. And there was an interesting element of lost body parts, too.

What do you mean?

Like if a doll had lost a body part, somehow she wasn’t in the good doll role anymore.

She became a bad doll.

Right! And of course that’s the doll we liked the more. Because that’s the dolls who then–

Because those were the dolls you’d been playing with, which is probably why they lost their arms–

Exactly, they lost the arms because we’d been playing with them. Plus, they no longer had to even pretend to conform to the form in which they were made originally, which is like some sort of perfection of breast and carriage, but then slowly they would transform into our own desires for what it is that we wanted to be. So there would be Bad B*****, who would somehow become that person, and then there would be the traditional date with the Ken doll, who was I think still looking like the original Ken, and so–

Was there just one Ken, but lots of B*****s?

Yeah, I think there were many more B*****s than Kens and I can’t remember if Ken at one point lost a leg, in which case he was more interesting to us too.

Interesting stump fetish you have going on. [Laughter.]
[To tape recorder:] My subject gives me a very interesting look.
[To Molly:] OK, go on.

Well I just have to say that I have a number of friends who do have missing limbs, and I don’t want to–

Right, including that girl you went out with.

I definitely went out with a girl who lost her legs below the knee, and was one of the most beautiful interesting smart women I know, and very revolutionary, and all of that, blah blah blah, so–

But you’re not clear that you actually have a stump fetish.