American Girl, the popular doll company known across the nation, is known and loved by girls across the U.S.A. The company is constantly coming out with new dolls, stories and accessories for little girls to enjoy. While some may criticize these dolls for their price, I believe they are a very important part of many girls’ childhoods because they are educational, empowering and entertaining.
The dolls that are part of the “historical collection” each come with a name and a time period that they grew up in. Each historical doll has a book series associated with her that shows what it was like to be nine years old at their time in history. When I was little, I loved reading these books because I loved the opportunity to understand what life was like during the American Revolution, Great Depression and the 1970s.
I think the historical American Girl dolls spark a love of learning in girls at a young age. American Girl disguises learning as playing by teaching children about history as they read the books and play with the historically accurate outfits and accessories.
The dolls also teach children how to deal with problems and cope with changes in life. Some characters have more historical and less relatable difficulties, such as working in a brutal 1904 sweatshop, but handle the challenges with strength and grace that is inspirational to readers. Other characters deal with problems many nine year olds face, such as bullying, the divorce of their parents or financial hardships. These stories help girls find situations that are relatable to them and learn how to cope with it or stand up for themselves.
American Girl also encourages girls to try out different sports, activities and hobbies and opens their minds to unique lifestyles. American Girl cultivates girls’ interests in sports, art, music, dance, photography, camping, baking and a wide range of other activities. The dolls, stories and other memorabilia inspire girls to develop their interests and talents.
Many see American Girl only on the surface, as an expensive doll company with overpriced dolls and accessories but the books are available to borrow at the public library. Like any toy company they do aim to make a profit, but I feel the dolls are extremely beneficial to girls because they educate and empower pre-adolescent girls to think big and dream big on their own, no Ken doll required.
American Girl is like an all girls school; empowering young women and teaching them from an early age that females can do anything they set their minds to. The main goal of the doll-line it to educate and inspire, just like IHA and other girls schools. I believe American Girl has helped me develop a love of learning while sparking my imagination and fostering creativity. While it may seem shallow on the surface, when enjoyed by young girls at its full potential it is truly a beautiful concept.
By Victoria Lubas’17, Executive Editor-in-Chief