‘My bears are my lifeline’: the adults who sleep with soft toys | Global | The Guardian

person

If you share your bed with a furry friend well into adulthood, don’t be ashamed – sleeping with soft toys is more normal than you might think. “It’s very common,” says Prof Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, who has researched our attachment to childhood toys. He tells me that about one in three of the people he has questioned still sleep with teddies, and that it is probably more common for women, as it is more socially acceptable for them to do so.

Why are we hanging on to our cuddly toys? “My hunch is that it’s to do with sleeping practices,” Hood says. In western cultures, we tend to separate children from their parents after the first year – after which they sleep on their own, and self-soothe using blankets and soft toys. “These become part of the sleep ritual.”

It is not unusual for your attachment to soft toys as a sleep aid to persist into adulthood. A survey carried out last year found that 44% of adults have held on to their childhood teddies and dolls, and as many as 34% of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night. Meanwhile, researchers at VU University Amsterdam found that cuddling a soft toy can have a beneficial effect for people with low self-esteem, helping to alleviate their anxieties around death.

“It’s about having a sentimental attachment to things,” Hood says. “It’s completely normal for adults to continue to have these childish attachments.”

He doesn’t see any harm in sleeping with a teddy, provided you’re not obsessive about it. “They provide emotional comfort.” Plus, it is more hygienic than sleeping with a pet. Just don’t forget to bung your teddy in the wash from time to time.

We spoke to three Guardian readers about their furry friends.

Jeff Annells, 68
Receptionist from Banbury




Pinterest

It all started when my uncle won me a big old bear called Brumas, when I was about five. He was named after the famous polar bear who was born into captivity at London zoo. I used to cart Brumas everywhere with me – until one day his head fell off. That sounds very traumatic, but it wasn’t that bad.

When I grew up, I started collecting teddy bears. I have about 60 Steiff and Charlie Bears. I pass out thinking about how much money I’ve spent on them – probably £20,000 over my lifetime.

My favourite bear is a 6ft-tall Charlie bear that I call Big Fella. He’s one of only 100 made worldwide. He cost me about £3,000. Everyone who comes to my house gets a photo with Big Fella. He stands in my corridor. When I was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2014, Big Fella came into his own. Having cancer is like living in a parallel universe. Everyone is going about their business and you have this thing hanging over you. You never get a break from cancer.

I’m often in a lot of pain. No matter how bad the pain is, I always say good morning to Big Fella when I wake up. My bears are my lifeline. I can say anything to them. I wake up and say: “Christ, I’m in agony this morning.” No one else needs to know that. I say it to Big Fella, and then I get myself ready and go to work and sit on reception smiling at everyone. They’re none the wiser.

I worry a lot about who will inherit Big Fella if I pop my clogs. I keep threatening people with it, saying: “I’ve left you Big Fella in my will.” A look of horror appears on their faces. Seriously, though, I would love for Big Fella to go a children’s hospice. I like the idea of the children being able to confide in him, like I have.

Emily Dove, 26
Personal assistant from Leeds




Pinterest

I got Ted as a present for my 18th birthday from my auntie. He’s a brown teddy bear, about 12 inches tall. I have other soft toys that sit on top of my wardrobe. But Ted is the one who hangs out in my bed and comes with me when I go on holiday.

Ted and I have been to Glastonbury together six times. He normally stays in my sleeping bag. It’s nice to be able to get back to the tent late at night and have a cuddle, especially when it’s quite cold. Last year, going into Glastonbury, Ted got properly searched – I think security thought he was a drug mule! They gave him a good squeeze. Luckily, he didn’t get picked apart or anything like that.

A big part of my love for Ted is that I find it very comforting to cuddle him when I’m going to sleep. He’s been a big part of my bedtime routine for the past nine years. I just like having something to cuddle. I need to have something soft to hold by my body. Recently, I went to London for a few days, and I forgot Ted, so I had to cuddle a pillow instead. It wasn’t the same.

I haven’t had any bad feedback from partners. If they did say anything, I’d say that it’s Ted’s bed as well! I think everyone should have a soft toy of their own. It’s a constant, comforting presence in your life. And if you have a relationship and it ends, at least you still have a teddy to cuddle.

Chris Kirton, 33
Call-centre worker from Sunderland




Pinterest

My girlfriend, Becky, got me into soft toys. She’s a huge soft toy fan – I’m always buying her birthday or Christmas presents from Build-a-Bear Workshop. I spend a fortune in there! When she moves in with me next year I think my spare bedroom will become a bear sanctuary.

There is so much pressure on us all to be adults, and it’s not always the nicest world to live in. It’s nice to forget about your worries for a little while and be a child again.

I bought Squishy for myself from Morrisons last year. He is your classic teddy bear. I bought him as a bit of a joke, initially.

When I’m at home on my own, I’ll talk out loud to Squishy. Just general stuff, like: “What am I going to do today, then?” It’s just a bit of fun. If I’m watching TV or texting people, I’ll have Squishy under one arm.

I enjoy the absurdity of talking to my teddy bear. My job is often very stressful – I’m always having to apologise when I’ve done nothing wrong, and deal with angry, rude customers. After a tough day at work, I can get home and be daft for a few minutes. It takes my mind off things.

Becky and I had been thinking about getting a pet, but I didn’t want to leave an animal unattended at home. Having soft toys gives you some of the comfort of an animal, without the responsibilities associated with it.

Additional reporting by Rachel Obordo

Related posts

15 Nollywood Actors Who Have Faded Out | P.M. News

person

By Funmilola Olukomaiya

Nigeria’s Nollywood industry has evolved over the years while progressively producing beautiful actors we cannot forget in a hurry.

The industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the years and has witnessed a lot of resharpening from what it used to be.

Nollywood had in years back been graced with multitalented actors who once starred on our screens, week-in-week-out; it has also experienced the sudden fading out of some of its best acts, more to the shock of their fans.

Below are 15 Nollywood actors who have faded out of our screens.

1. Susan Patrick

Susan Patrick

Beautiful gap-toothed Susan was born in Akwa Ibom state, she came into the limelight after she acted in the movie ‘Sakobi: The Snake Girl’. This made her one of the most sought after Nollywood actresses in the early ’90s. She was alleged to have snatched another woman’s hubby while a student at Lagos State University (LASU). She eventually faded away as a result of competition for most of the roles she acted.

2. Lilian Bach

Lilian Bach

Famous Nollywood actress and former model Lilian Bach who turned 49 recently was shot to the limelight for her prominent roles in blockbuster movies like ‘Ogidan’ and ‘Married to a Witch’. Lilian was born in Lagos Island to a Yoruba mother and a Polish father.
Lilian came into the limelight as a model in the 1990s when she competed in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant. She also featured in several television commercials and she was at some point the Face of Delta Soap. She took a break from doing movies to pursue a career in production and has faded out since then.

3. Hanks Anuku

Hanks Anuku

Hanks Anuku was a Nigerian actor known for his numerous roles as a villain in many Nollywood films. He used to be the go-to guy when producers needed a perfect movie ‘bad boy.’ Trailed by personal controversies and alleged nonchalant attitude while on location, Hanks has gradually faded out of the movie scene. As of 2017, Anuku was said to have naturalized and become a Ghanaian.

4. Shan George

Shan George

Nollywood diva and movie producer Shan George was well-known the ’90s. The beautiful singer, prior to debuting in the movie ‘Thorns of Rose’, had previously featured in a 1997 soap opera titled ‘Winds of Destiny’. She is best known for her role in the movies ‘Outkast’ and ‘Welcome to Nollywood’.

5. Saint Obi

Saint Obi

Obinna Nwafor popularly known as Saint Obi, is a Nigerian actor, producer and director. As a great actor and Nollywood’s ‘bad’ boy, in the 1990s, hje was often called Nollywood’s Mr Quality because of his attention to details when producing or directing movies. He joined Nollywood in 1995 when he started attending movie auditions and featured in a number of soap operas which aired on NTA after which he was called by Opa Williams to star in a movie. Saint Obi is best known for his roles in Candle Light, Sakobi, Goodbye Tomorrow, Heart of Gold, Festival of Fire, Executive Crime and Last Party.

6. Pat Attah

Pat Attah

Patrick Uchenna Attah popularly known as Pat Attah is a famous Nollywood actor, director, television personality, model and musician. He the Nigerian Movie Industry in 1993 upon graduation and rose to popularity in 1994 after a brilliant performance in the movie “Glamour Girls”. In 2015, Pat became a born-again Christian and relocated with his family to Germany where he is a minister of the Gospel.

7. Sandra Achums

Sandra Achums

Popular Nollywood actress, Sandra Achums in the ’90s was probably one of the most popular actresses in the Nollywood industry. She joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1995 and acted in her first movie Deadly Affair. Her acting skills were excellent as she could interpret any role she was given hence, she was known as the bad girl of the Nollywood industry because she majorly acted as a bad girl, one role she always interpreted well. In the early 2000s, Sandra Achums took a break from acting and decided to face her family as she got married and started having children. She has since relocated to Germany with her family.

8. Charles Okafor

Charles Okafor

Popular Nollywood actor, Charles Okafor is recognized as one of the veteran actors in the Nollywood film industry. He was known in 1996 when he appeared in his first movie ‘Domitilla’ and in 1999, he rose to fame after starring in the blockbuster movie ‘End of the Wicked’. He is currently an ordained pastor.

9. Ejike Asiegbu

Ejike Asiegbu

Ejike Asiegbu is a Nigerian film actor and film director who once served as President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria. He was also previously appointed as personal assistant to former Biafran leader Odumegwu Ojukwu during the 1994 National Constitutional Conference in Abuja. He joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1996 and was shot into the limelight when he acted in his first movie, ‘Silent Night’.

10.

Rita Nzelu

Rita Nzelu is a renowned Nigerian actress, model, television personality who joined Nollywood in 1990. She made her debut in the movie “Living in Bondage”, a movie that brought her to fame and recognition in Nollywood. She is also known for Ortega and His Enemies (2014), Stigma of Womanhood (2016) and Terrible Sin (2001).

11. Ernest Asuzu

Ernest Asuzu

Ernest Asuzu is an actor, known for Last Wedding (2004), Ògìdán (2004) and Broad Day Light (2001). He was known for being dynamic in with his movie characters. Ernest also helped in contributing to the movie industry during his active years. He suffered a stroke in 2015.

12. Victoria Inyama

Victoria Inyama

Nollywood sweetheart, Victoria Inyama, began her acting career with a soap opera titled ‘Ripples’ between 1998/1999. She was featured after she was discovered by Alex Usifo who saw, the talent in her and invited her over for an audition. Victoria is married to the legendary author, Ben Okri. She relocated to the United Kingdom after she got married and this was responsible for her acting hiatus. She recently returned from her acting hiatus to feature in ‘Talking dolls,’ a 2017 movie which was rated as one of the best dramas of contemporary Africa.

13. Ndidi Obi

Nollywood actress, Ndidi Obi became popular when she took the lead role in the movie, ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’, she has since then been referred to as ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’ because of her epic role in the movie. She was recently featured in Ramsey Noah’s ‘Living In Bondage: Breaking Free’.

14. Nkiru Sylvanus

Nkiru Sylvanus

Nkiru Sylvanus is a famous Nigerian Nollywood actress who was known for her teary eyes and crying roles. Nkiru is one of the Nollywood actresses who created a niche for others to follow and one of the pillars that hold Nollywood firmly. She has acted in more than 150 movies playing minor and leads roles before delving into politics as the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Rochas Okorocha, former Governor of Imo State.

15. Grace Amah

Grace Amah

Nollywood actress and mother of one, Grace Amah joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1999 when she started her acting career at the age of 13. She made her first debut as a 13-year-old character in the movie ‘Chains’. She became a public figure when she was featured in Teco Benson’s Nollywood blockbuster movie, ‘Elastic Limit’.

Share this:

Related posts