Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not your average All-American Girl

Remember those cute American Girl dolls we all used to have that came with little books? I remember mine, Kirsten. She was supposedly a pioneer coming to the New World. I remember wanting all the accessories for her, brushing her hair, changing her clothes, etc. I suppose it wasn't the worst role model to have as a girl. It was certainly an improvement from Barbie.

Recently, in an email from my project EDEN coordinator at Oxy, I found this rather odd, yet interesting piece of information.
Meet "Gwen," the contemporary homeless American Girl doll. I didn't really know what to make of this at first, but I was certainly taken aback. From a feminist perspective, perhaps it is a good way to tell the story of some women's struggle with poverty in America. However, the way the American Girl brand markets the doll is despicable in my opinion. Gwen sells for $95, a hefty price tag for any American, let alone a poverty-stricken family. To me, it is an unfortunate marketing ploy. This is no way to teach wealthy children about real poverty, if that is the goal here of American Girl brand. Although the intent remains unclear, I don't believe it is beneficial to women or the impoverished. What do you all think?

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