Thursday, October 15, 2009

Homeless American Girl Doll

You don't know what American Girl dolls are? Then you've been living in a child-free bubble, my friend.

American Girl dolls are extremely popular and expensive dolls with accompanying story books. You can buy them elaborate wardrobes. There's even an American Girl Place in New York where you can get your doll's hair done and eat lunch at a doll-friendly table for a mere 24 dollars a person.

I used to like the American Girl books. They're fun, nice pictures, and the girls have nice historically accurate adventures. I even had a Samantha doll (the Edwardian era one for those of you not in the know.)

The latest one is (drum roll please)....a homeless doll.

That's right, you heard me. This beautiful doll pictured above (in the oh-so-precious sundress) is homeless. And she costs $95.

Her "story"? Her dad abandons the family and she and her mother are forced for financial reasons to live in their car.

Here's my issue with this.

1) This trivializes homelessness. We do not introduce serious literary themes like gangs, drugs, and mental illness to children until they are at least in middle school. The 6-9 year old girls playing with these dolls will see homelessness as another "adventure". They'll more than likely pretend they are homeless and pretend to be living in a car.

2) It makes it so it seems that living in your car is the ONLY option. There are so many resources out there for people to utilize--I hope that no child ever gets the message that sleeping in your car is the only option.

3) None of the proceeds go towards helping homeless children. I would forgive the first two issues if the company was doing this to raise awareness and help children....but nope. No dice.

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