If you grew up in the 90s, you probably had an American Girl Doll.
The American Girl Dolls are overpriced dolls with LOADS of shiny accessories. All the dolls come with their own stories detailing their time during American history. When I was 12 (BACK IN THE DAY!) there were only three American Girl Dolls: Kirsten (who lived in the 1850s), Samantha (who lived in the early 1900s) and Molly (who lived during WWII).
Nobody liked Molly because she had the plainest clothes and accessories. Her family pinched pennies to support the war effort.
Each doll came with six stories: “Meet Kirsten (or Samantha or Molly),” “Kirsten Learns a Lesson,” “Kirsten’s Surprise,” “Happy Birthday Kirsten!” “Kirsten Saves the Day,” “Changes for Kirsten.”
Each girl had the same books with the same titles and the same illustrations. Each girl had the same long luscious brushable hair and the same price tags that could easily make Mom spend half her month’s paycheck buying clothes for a fucking doll.
I really can’t explain why American Girl Dolls were so hypnotizing for me. I didn’t want to play with them. I just wanted to dress them. And style them. And pose them on my dresser while I read those insipid yet strangely comforting American Girl books. They were safe books with safe titles and safe stories. All the girls would learn a lesson and save the day and have changes happen. No surprises.
Anyway now us Millennials are getting a bee in our bonnets because the American Girl Doll company has come out with a couple of American Girl Dolls who live in the 90s.
When I heard the news, I was a little surprised that the American Girl Doll company was still in business. I mean, kids don’t really play with toys anymore, do they? They’re all on computers these days. Toys-R-Us went out of business for this reason. How can an obscenely overpriced doll-and-book company still be roaring along during this digital age?
It has to be Millennial nostalgia keeping the American Girl Doll company flush. That’s the only explanation.
And here’s the American Girl Doll trolling us Millennials by making a ’90s American Girl Doll. And they will be sold next to the Revolutionary War American Girl Doll presumably.
I mean, I get it. A quick perusal of past American Girl Dolls shows that the American Girl company may be running out of decades of American history. There’s already an ’80s American Girl doll, a ’70s American Girl doll and a ’60s American Girl doll. And ’90s nostalgia is huge right now.
The thing is that the ’90s were also kind of dull. It was an uneventful era. It was fun, don’t get me wrong! The post-Cold War peace was an awesome time where America was on top and nobody really worried about anything. Will Nicki and Isabel, the 90s girls, have books discussing the challenges of not being able to log onto the internet if your mom had to make a phone call? Or how the nation was coping with a president getting a blow job in the Oval Office? (Ooff… try to explain THAT one to your pre-adolescent readership!)
Honestly I would be more interested in an American Girl doll growing up during the 9/11 era or the COVID era (hm, a bit too soon for that). At least those were times of genuine national turmoil!
Oh well, that will probably happen in 2040 or so when the American Nonbinary Person Doll company releases the 2000s dolls. I’ll be grumping about that too when that happens.
But I’ll probably buy them anyway.