Oh man, I used to loooove American Girl dolls. Love love love. I had Samantha and Kirsten, and my sister had Addy and one of the Bitty Babies, and then once shit got modern, I got one of those dolls that was supposed to look like me, but actually it just looked exactly like Molly. All of my friends and I were obsessed with that stuff. Getting the dolls was awesome enough, but if your parents were SUPER cool, they would buy you a bedroom for the doll and more clothes and you would be the envy of the neighborhood. (I distinctly remember one Christmas where my dad was saving some special presents for last, and even though they were clearly shaped like large framed artwork, I convinced myself that it was somehow a whole bedroom set for Samantha that had just been flattened down for shipping. Surprise, surprise, the present was some kind of large framed artwork. For my mom.)
I was lucky enough to get a few of the accessories for the dolls, and my favorite was the hair curler set. You could set your little doll up like she was at the hairdresser’s, and painstakingly roll pieces of her hair into the rollers which NEVER WORKED, BY THE WAY. Ahem.
The point is, I used to love the American Girls, and I think the last new one to come out while I still cared was Josephina, a New Mexican girl growing up in 1824 (or so says the website). But now, there are like a million new dolls, and tons of new accessories and outfits you can buy, and there’s even a movie, starring that great little girl from Little Miss Sunshine (who, by the way, looks really different). The movie’s about one of the newer dolls, Kit, who grew up in the Great Depression and probably has some sort of scrappy best friend who helps her through some sort of life crisis that they confront even though they’re like seven. There’s a New York Times article that talks about how great this is for girls to have such a good role model and blah blah blah and I didn’t actually get through the whole article, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Anyway, I guess I’m kind of freaked out that this essential aspect of my childhood has gone so…modern. (Although while trolling around the website, I did see that there’s a new hippie doll who grew up in the ’60s in Berkeley and wears one of those crocheted hats and probably got into drugs too early, and I’ve got to admit, that’s pretty cool.) I hope this all dies down by the time I have kids, because at $90 a pop for the dolls, plus hundreds of dollars for the bedroom sets, plus a trip to NYC to visit the American Girl studio, I may have to forgo all this nonsense and just get them Slinkies.
[Posted by Mallory]