The De-Radicalization of American Girl Dolls

At The Atlantic, Amy Schiller writes about Mattel’s changes to American Girl Dolls line.  from teaching girls to understand thorny historical controversies and build political consciousness” to customizable accessories reflecting their owners’ own lives. Alexandra Petri writes “Even more terrible things are happening to the American Girl brand than you thought” at The Washington Post. And at Seditious Joy, Maggie the Crafter remembers reading the announcement that Mattel was buying the line: “I remember the news clipping someone had gotten in a letter from home being passed around in the hands of angry kids who would now be termed tweens by marketing experts. I remember livid little girls, not pitching tantrums or crying, but truly angry that the stories they loved and the characters they cherished were going to be lost to them.

The thing that sticks out to me now is that even then we knew what the buy out would mean for the future of the company. We knew the pink-aisle barons would be interested in making our treasured friends and their stories fit their glitter-boxed world.

And we knew we didn’t want it.”


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