Back when I was five years old, my dad bought me a blue and green stuffed dolphin from Toys R’ Us as a reward for riding the ferris wheel with him. I named the dolphin Baby Beluga, with the reference to the children’s song “Baby Beluga” by Raffi that we sang in school. He was the first stuffed toy that I picked out myself, and I treasured him for years before he finally disappeared into a toy chest. Although I haven’t thought about him for ages, my fondness for stuffed toys remained. Even now, my mom would be upset when I bring home a new stuffed toy every time that I travel. But, even she can’t stop me from pursuing my passion for soft, cuddly friends.
For those of you reading, you may be wondering why I still love kids’ playthings at the ripe age of 19. No problem, I’d be happy to answer your question without any shame. I love stuffed toys mainly because of how cute and multi-functional they are. Take, for example, the stuffed owl I got from Japan. I have never seen a stuffed toy so intricately made before, with her intelligent looking, beady eyes and round body that was soft to the touch. Although she was expensive (around 7000 Yen), I immediately knew that I wouldn’t regret making such a purchase because the owl was just too adorable to resist. I named her Iris, in honor of one of my best friends. Iris was not only cute, but made a great pillow too! She’s now my cuddle buddy at night, and makes me feel just a little less lonely when I sleep.
Stuffed toys can also be great props for photoshoots, not to mention great material for Instagram posts. In almost half of my selfies (yeah, I’m a basic millennial who’s kind of self-obsessed), I pose with one of my furry friends. I find that the picture immediately looks cuter with a roly-poly axolotl or a hedgehog with its pointed nose in my arms. I’m a person who loves anything with ~kawaii~ vibes, so what better way to show off that love than with the epitome of ~kawaii~ things? I love the axolotl so much that I even created an Instagram account for her (Follow here: @axolotl_arine456)! I know that it may sound silly to some people, but it’s honestly so much fun and the company that made her even followed my account! Talk about being internet-famous, haha ^.^
Anyways, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how old I get or how my interests change over time, I will always have a special place in my heart for my soft companions. They remind me of the innocence lost, of simpler times, and of unconditional love because stuffed toys are always there for me when I need some cuddles. In other words, stuffed toys are my life and I can’t be any prouder to admit that. Cheers.