Ghost in the Shell Motoko Kusanagi 12" AD Variant #2 Action Doll, ToycomWhile I struggle through The Major’s Body: 2nd Gig (getting it just right is important), let’s take a detour through the valley of the dolls.

The Major has a lot of dolls. Reversed: a lot of people out there own objects which stand for “the Major.”

I am one of these people. I own one Major figure, and I’m going to concentrate on that. It’s a twelve-inch internally elasticated, ball jointed plastic doll, imported from Japan and purchased on eBay for £15 sometime in 2002. You can still get identical ones, for example, here.

She came in a pair of white knickers and matching cropped t-shirt, under a camouflage-print boiler suit with (best part) a tiny little belt of pouches and handgun holster. Accessories are listed. I let my last remaining Barbie wear the jumpsuit, pouches too, and keep my Major dressed in the most Eighties outfit I could find in our old toybox before it went out to charity. She looks nice in a sweater and trousers, right?

The doll has nipples. Unlike a Barbie, or similar doll for little girls, she has wee plastic nubs on her more apparently naturally-weighted (or course, both Barbie and Major’s breasts are solid moulded plastic) breasts. They’re not coloured in; that would stray from canon.

My mother hated to look at this doll; she rejected it outright. Seeing my plastic Major, mum looked into the gaze and the gaze looked back. (Related: it’s never stopped bothering me how unfocused she looks, the way her eyes are painted. The Major I know is sharp. It makes me protective of this doll, this tiny her, and that makes me uncomfortable. Why would I want to play at looking after my dazed heroine?) Showing this doll to her was an oppressive move on my part, unintentionally, and having done so, I found myself with an unspoken obligation to answer for that. I couldn’t. I was fifteen and still wondering when I’d “get real boobs.” I very determinedly found the Major’s nipples “hilarious.” I steadfastly told my mother how hilarious they were. She wasn’t interested. It bothered me and I kept trying again, batting my moth-self against the betraying light. No! My … data request … against … the … firewall?

You can figure out what’s bothering you about something, eventually, but that doesn’t protect you from it.

Don’t get excited or anything, but it’s hard to think of a less literal example of objectification of women. So, my doll’s about as on-message as possible.

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