American Girl Gussied Up Homelessness with Gwen Doll

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"American Girl released an addition to its collection of sociologically accurate dolls this year -- and she's homeless." - ParentDish

Yep, that's right. The doll you see above is American Girl's recent release: Gwen, who is homeless.

According to the New York Post, Gwen's story is told through another doll's biography, specifically: Her father ran out on the family and her mother lost her job. By winter, the fatherless family is living in their car.


Despite living in their car, Gwen looks like she just walked off the pages of an American Girl magazine. With her shiny well-groomed hair and tidy white dress, I can only conjure up an image of an Escalade as the "car" this family is living in. And it must be parked outside of a Beverly Hills' mission.

Appearances aside, am I the only one who is appalled by the apparent blame being laid at the father's feet? It's so obvious he's to blame with the phrase fatherless family.

Not the economy that resulted in mom's job loss.

Or parents who bit off more than they could chew on a mortgage in this recent credit boom and got caught up in the foreclosure crisis?

No, the phrase fatherless family implies that it's all Daddy's fault.

Apparently when creating this meant-to-induce sympathy doll, AG set aside their feminist ideas of being strong women in trade for slam dunking men.

Or maybe this doll was to show all the other little homeless girls - or those who can cough up $95 - that it's okay to be homeless.

As long as you keep looking so pretty, right?

Although, AG is selling it as an effort to teach the more affluent children about homelessness.

Are you kidding me? You're trying to teach them about homelessness in this tidy, well-dressed, obviously well-fed and groomed package.

Yeah, okay. And their customers seem to be getting the message.

Out of 24 pages of reviews, I could not find ONE that mentioned learning anything about homelessness through Gwen.

And many of the reviews included statements about how they purchased more than one AG doll at the same time.

Yep, that's getting the message across.

A message that says, "We'll drop $200 for American Girl dolls while a little homeless girl sleeps in her car tonight."

But she'll look mighty fine in the morning time. And that's all that counts!


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