In previous blog entries, I’ve been discussing less expensive alternatives to American Girl Dolls. Ed Gawlinski wrote in to tell us about some of the pluses of buying an actual American Girl Doll. One point he made was that the characters in the books are good role models for girls.
Since then, I came across a blog article about how a six year old girl brought her less expensive doll to the American Girl Store in New York City. At the store, they style the hair of American Girl Dolls. But they refused to style the little girl’s doll’s hair because it wasn’t an authentic American Girl Doll, even though the girl was in tears.
I called the store to see what their policy is and they confirmed that they don’t style other dolls’ hair. So be warned if you go to the store. It holds true even if you bring your child there for a birthday party and her friends all bring their dolls – any dolls that aren’t American Girl Dolls can’t be styled.
My first reaction to hearing this was to be appalled. But, after considering it for a while, I can understand why they would have a policy like this. It took me about an hour to brush out the hair of my daughter’s non-American Girl Doll and I had to work hard to make it look good.
Nonetheless, there must be a better way to handle it. What do we want to teach our kids? That they live in a world of exclusivity – that only the well off can take part in special activities. They’re excluded – or their friend is excluded – because she doesn’t have that doll?
Instead, shouldn’t they try to craft their polices to help teach children compassion for others?
The American Girl Dolls institution should try to be a good role model – just like the characters in the American Girl Dolls books!
This artilce was posted on Friday, January 11th, 2008 at 7:39 pm and is filed under American Girl Books, American Girl Dolls, Books & Stories, Countries & Cultures, Dolls, Me Dolls, Parenting, Toys, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.