I have been a member of Stardoll since November '07. That's 6 and a half years. I was 13 when I joined and recently turned 20. So basically, I have been a member of Stardoll all of the years that I have been a teenager. When I could be out rebelling against my parents by sneaking out to hang out with my friends, I was mostly at home. In front of my computer on Skype. Giggling, even though I was the only person in the room. In the so called "golden days" of Stardoll (around '08-'10), I would mostly be in at least one group chat and be talking to at least a couple of people on the side as well. Now-a-days the only people I talk to on Skype are family members and Alice. I still have over a 100 contacts, a reminder of the days where Skype was a blaze with Stardoll members. Days where I was often "invisble", simply because too many people would contact me if they knew I was online.
Behind Skype, my internet browser would be open, and on it, would be Stardoll. The website itself and most likely several Stardoll related blogs would be open in different windows. I would check for the news, I would check for the gossip, and I would check to see if there was something with my name in it. Yes, I did that. Remember guys, I was like 15. And 15 year-olds want to be popular. Even if it's on a virtual site. So being mentioned on blogs like Perez Hilton of Stardoll was huge for me. And something you'd freak out about with your online friends.
There can be so many people out there, who likes to criticize the fraction of the Stardoll members who became known as Elites, but to be completely honest with you guys, it was awesome. I know, I know, putting other members down, making other people feel like their worth less and yada yada. I get it. But like everything in life, things are just not that black and white. For me, personally, it was amazing. Simply because I just wasn't the most popular person in real life at that time. Stardoll gave me a chance to feel what it's like to be popular, to have people knowing your name everywhere (I loved this) and wanting you to be a part of their projects (wasn't always the biggest fan of this, but it was flattering). I know that some people weren't proud to be called an elite (honestly, I just think that everyone was just saying this publicly. I think, deep down, they liked it.). And you may frown at me and call me stuck up. And maybe, I am out of line. But the truth is, that I honestly don't know what it was like being on the outside looking in at that time. I only know what it was like for me at that time, and so my views on certain things will be different from the norm.
The subject of this post was mainly suppose to be about what it is that keeps us coming back to Stardoll, but I guess I've strayed a bit off topic. That happens, please bare with me.
The reason I kept coming back to Stardoll, besides this feeling of popularity it gave me for a few years, is not Stardoll. By this I mean, it is not the site itself. I honestly never cared that much about the dress-ups, and changing my medoll's outfit is not the reason I keep logging on. What makes me keep coming back to Stardoll are all these amazing projects that people make about this site. And of course the amazing people in themselves is a good enough reason. It's the friends and it's the projects. Those are the things that inspire me and keeps me coming back for more. Stardoll is not just a site for "fame, fashion and friends", it's a site of creativity. I know that a lot of people that join Stardoll as teenagers, and the site and its members helps them find who they really are. Through the site, we become aware of our own personal style, and its outside projects pushes us to find and nourish our own creative streaks. I don't think I would have found out how much I like writing things like this, if it wasn't for Stardoll. The projects and the friends that we make down the line helps us grow and evolve. They make us more creative and they give us a free space to have a bit of fun and just be teenage girls. We grow as persons through Stardoll and in that process, Stardoll becomes a part of who we are. We keep coming back to this site because we've gotten used to this free creative space, where we can hang out with people who shares our interests. Or at least, that's why I think we keep coming back.
What do you think? Am I out of line? Why do you come back?