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American Girl Teaching Homelessness for $95

american-girl-gwenThe new American Girl doll is just like any girl in America – struggling with the economic downturn. In fact Gwen Thompson is homeless.

But don’t expect the average American girl to afford her.

If you want to teach your little darlings about the harsh realities of the world, you’ll have to pay $95 for the honor.

According to the official Wiki for Gwen Thompson (thanks Jezebel), the doll that hit shelves a few months ago has been carrying a secret. She’s been living at a shelter with her mom since Dad left and the family fell behind on payments on their house.

Which is a wonderful lesson to teach kids about, especially in this day and age. I’ll even go out and disagree with the New York Post columnist who started the net-wide debate over this girl’s hardscrabble life – it’s not so wrong if your child’s doll tries to “politically indoctrinate.” She thinks AG is trying to tell kids “men are bad and women are hopeless” with Gwen’s story.

I’m as glass is half empty as the next realist, but I’m willing to take feminism out of the equation just this once and allow maybe they’re just showing what life is like for a heaping helping of America’s kids?

And that’s good for the haves – to learn – and good for the have-nots too, the kids who might actually recognize themselves in the faces of a doll for once (see also Snow White and the Seven Barbies).

But I’ve got to wonder why a $95 doll is the medium chosen by toymakers to reach out toward the economically depressed. Do you they really think the homeless girls will be rushing in to scoop them up? Or are they just furthering the divide between rich and poor in this country by reminding the kids who have nothing they can’t even have ownership of their own storyline?

When your doll’s hairbrush (just $7 extra) costs almost as much as minimum wage, you’ve got to wonder who needs the lessons.

Image: American Girl

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