Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm Historical?

The latest creation in American Girl's series of dolls from different eras in American History is Julie...from the ancient era of 1974.

Julie wears a peasant blouse, bell-bottom jeans, a macrame belt, and platform sandals.

Julie's friend is Ivy, a Chinese-American girl.

Julie experiences her parents' divorce (that's a new one for American Girls), the ecology movement, the end of the Vietnam era, and the Bicentennial.

Given that the dolls and books are otherwise very wholesome and family friendly, I'm frankly not wild about the choice to introduce divorce into the American Girl equation. This was perhaps calculated to give those children who have been through the experience a doll to which they can relate, but I'd prefer the dolls to represent the ideal of an intact family, as a positive example to girls, than have them reading and thinking about the sad experiences of a child of divorce. Learning about other aspects of a given doll's historical era, such as the Depression or WWII, seems quite sufficient.

In any event, it's just a bit strange to have one's childhood years suddenly considered "history"!


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

I can't see one part of this that I like. The Seventies, the liberal lovesong, the cover art, the new author, the divorce plot. There have always been parts of the books I didn't agree with but I thought they were good overall. D is turning 12 and isn't into AG much anymore so Julie won't be on her wishlist. That's good timing.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, the overall effect is kind of "sour," isn't it? Although it was my childhood era, I don't have a strong desire to revisit it. :)

My 12-year-old is still a big fan of AG, but fortunately she's much more interested in her Samantha, Nellie & "Girl of Today" dolls...she also "babysits" Big Sister's Molly. If she ever owns another I suspect it would be Kirsten or Felicity...

Best wishes,

3:29 PM  
Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

I also didn't like the Title IX garbage they seem to have dragged into the books. Girls have been playing basketball pretty much since the sport was invented. Both my grade schools in the Seventies had teams. The author seemed to pick the worst things about the Seventies and throw them into the books, including divorce.

12:04 PM  

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