Breaking News: American Girl Puts Out A Boring White Doll As ‘Girl Of The Year’

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Terrific news for the underrepresented and underserved, everyone! American Girl just released their “Girl Of The Year” for 2014 and she’s a white girl who wants to be a ballerina.


Thank god that blonde-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian children can finally see themselves represented in an expensive doll! I, for one, am also incredibly happy that ballerinas, who have heretofore been almost invisible in the doll world, will finally be getting their chance in the sun. After all this time, little girls will at last have a plaything to help them emulate dance and dance culture, something that has been sorely missing from the landscape of American girlhood. The Isabelle Palmer doll, who is described as an “inspired dancer looking for her own way to shine” is truly a groundbreaking, inspired choice on the part of the American Girl company.

Isabelle, who retails for $120 with a book, also has some controversial pink streaks in her hair. Don’t worry, uptight parents: They’re removable just in case you don’t want your kid to be encouraged to dye his or her hair because of a doll’s ombré style. I actually think the pink streaks are the thing I like the most about Isabelle, the only aspect of her “story” that seems to be in line with the actual trends and themes of 2014.


Girls of the year have been mainly white in the past, despite the company’s more racially-diverse historical dolls. In 2011, there was a Hawaiian doll named Kanani, who seems like she could be Pacific Islander (or at least culturally diverse) and 2007’s Girl Of The Year Chrissa had a black friend named Sonali. Jess and Marisol, from 2006 and 2005, respectively, also look and seem vaguely Latina. (EDIT: Jess is half Japanese and Marisol is a Latina). Still, that’s only four dolls since 2001 (twelve dolls in all) that have been anything other than visibly Caucasian. Ok, actually that’s a third of the dolls, which isn’t TOO bad, but I still think the company could be doing a lot more to diversify the dolls they sell.

Now, American Girl isn’t obligated to develop and manufacture any specific kind of doll, obviously. But they’ve made some awesome dolls in the past, as I mentioned above: So why go with such a goddamn vanilla doll for 2014? Couldn’t Isabelle be a Caucasian girl who wants to be an entomologist or a detective or a marathon Olympian or a chef? Couldn’t she be an Asian girl who recently immigrated to America? Couldn’t she be a talented musician of Indian descent or a Latina who wants to write novels? A white ballerina just seems like a step backwards to me, a portrait of a certain kind of American femininity that is already very well-represented to young girls.

I’m also sad that the American Girl company seems to be taking its emphasis away from the historical dolls—which I absolutely adored when I was a child—and onto the more modern, Girl Of The Year and “My American Girl” dolls. Not that those dolls and their stories can’t also be powerful and empowering for young girls, but I know if I had a daughter I would be much happier if she owned Kaya (a Nez Perce Native American), Josefina (A New Mexican girl) or Addy (an African-American girl living during the Civil War) rather than Isabelle. It’s not just about race or ethnicity: It’s about having one of the most successful and recognizable toy companies for girls show a commitment to representing ALL types of American girls, including differently-abled ones.

Melissa Shang, a 10-year-old with muscular dystrophy, recently started a petition for the company to make a doll in a wheelchair. The company does sell wheelchairs for the dolls, but Melissa would like a doll with a built in “story” about a disability. I hope Melissa gets her wish. I also hope that Isabelle sells like crap and forces the company to get hella more creative for 2015’s “Girl Of The Year.” I doubt that will happen, but hey, an American girl can dream.

Photo: American Girl’s Facebook and website


  1. Fuzzy Selfie

    January 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Actually, aren’t blondes an ancillary minority

    Those poor recessive genes 🙁

    • Katymonster

      January 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      I’m blonde, and I hope to someday have my oppression recognized. *tear*

    • Alexandra

      January 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      If you have blue eyes then I’ll feel really sorry for you! 🙂

    • Katymonster

      January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      The struggle is reeeeeaaaaaaal!

    • G.E. Phillips

      January 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Please tell me that was a Bad Girls Club reference!

    • Katymonster

      January 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Haha, surprisingly no. It’s been too long since I binge-watched that show!

    • G.E. Phillips

      January 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    • Katymonster

      January 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Haaaaaahahaha, oh man, the memories, THE MEMORIES! It’s probably a good thing I don’t have cable anymore.

    • Pumplestilskin

      January 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      You know who is not represented well in the doll world? Blondes with brown eyes,lol. My youngest is blonde haired and blue eyed. Easy finding a doll that looked like her (don’t ask me why but it was really important). My older daughter has blonde hair and her eyes are a very dark brown, almost black. I think they’re beautiful. Doll makers disagree apparently. She got an American girl Just Like Me doll just so she could have one that looked like her. Who am I kidding, they both got American Girl dolls. I love the historic ones, wanted one in the worst way as a kid. My girls just wanted dolls that looked like them. Except this year, my youngest wanted Saige, and her horse. Why sure, I have over $200 to spend on a doll and her horse, let me get right on that

    • brebay

      January 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Also caucasian brunettes with brown eyes. In Barbie land, all whites are blond, and brown eyes = black or hispanic.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      My sister used to complain about this. She’s blonde haired, brown eyed, and could never find dolls that looked like her.

    • Elizabeth

      January 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Me too! I remember getting one of the “design your own” when I was little and I was SO HAPPY. (I also once had an elementary school teacher tell me that I couldn’t possibly be a brown-eyed blonde, because those apparently don’t exist, and I wasn’t, like, right in front of her or anything.)

    • Kay_Sue

      January 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      I would have asked if I needed to be in class then, since I obviously didn’t exist and people that didn’t exist don’t have much use for education. We’re a snarky bunch around here, and we develop our sarcasm young.

    • brebay

      January 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Also, brown-eyed blonds are scary cool! My favorite combo, so unique!

    • Pumplestilskin

      January 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Her hair is getting darker now, her father and I both have brown hair. She’s glad because she hates attention and pale skin, light blonde hair, dark brown eyes, it gets attention

    • Katymonster

      January 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      I never thought about that, but yes, like brebay says below (or above, I don’t know), blonde hair goes with blue eyes on dolls, and dark eyes go with dark hair and often dark skin. Doll makers really are not known for diversity imagination, heh.

    • Allyson_et_al

      January 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      I had a friend when I was a kid who had one brown eye and one blue one. I don’t think she ever found a doll to match that.

    • CW

      January 7, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Try finding a red-haired doll with brown eyes. Not all gingers have blue or green eyes, folks!

    • brebay

      January 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      I like brown-eyed gingers, they tend not to have the overly pink skin that a lot of blue-eyed ones do.

    • thefluter

      January 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

      I have brown hair and blue eyes, and that’s tough to find in doll world, too! I had a porcelain doll growing up who had curly brown hair and closed eyes, and she was my favorite b/c she actually looked like me. Too bad I couldn’t play with her.

  2. SusannahJoy

    January 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    You know, it honestly wasn’t until I read that line about how they used to be historical that I realized that those American Girl dolls are the same American Girls from the books I used to read. Only those girls were all awesome. They were all strong and independent and overcame hardships and all that. I loved those books! They were def not about white ballerinas.

    • SusannahJoy

      January 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Not that there’s anything wrong with white ballerinas, just, you know, there are already a ton of books about them.

    • Carrie Murphy

      January 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Prettttttty much.

    • kay

      January 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      they still make historical dolls-although our childhood one are retired. My niece got one from the war of 1812. You can buy her a boat. It’s giant. My niece of course needs it.

  3. TwentiSomething Mom

    January 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I’m a person of color and I don’t see anything wrong with this. Yes, doll companies should make an effort to include dolls of all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds and abilities but that does not mean blonde hair and blue eyes should be out all together. For all we know those blonde hair dolls sell more than the more “ethnic” ones which may be the reasoning behind making this $120 doll their DOTY because they know it would sell more than another kind.

    And the ballerina? I don’t see anything wrong with that. Ballerinas are strong, graceful and extremely talented. Just because its seen as a feminine art does not mean its doesn’t take as much work and dedication as an Olympic track star.

    • Iwill Findu

      January 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      My karate teacher once said that someone with both dance and martial arts training would be truly scary to spar with. Since dance teaches you to control your slow twitch and martial arts your fast twitch muscles groups.

    • pixie

      January 7, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      I can attest to that. I know a guy who practises a martial art called goshindo which is basically a combination between jiu-jitsu and ballet. Even though this guy is elderly, I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alleyway.

    • SarahJesness

      January 8, 2014 at 3:23 am

      I think the issue taken with the “ballerina” aspect is that, while there’s nothing wrong with stereotypically feminine activities, they’re kind of over-represented when it comes to girl’s media and toys. Shouldn’t there be a bit more variety? Same goes for the race matter.

    • elegantapple

      January 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      You don’t speak for all people of color, and you definitely don’t speak for me.

  4. Layla

    January 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    So don’t buy the dolls then.

    Why is there anything wrong with this? Now you are saying being a ballerina sets women back? They are just dolls. Let’s stop assigning more meaning to this then necessary

    • sarahbregel

      January 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      but they aren’t just dolls! to children, they are wayyy more than that. they are playmates, sleepmates, sisters and sometimes inspiration-makers. the author is just saying that this population is already soooooo well represented. dancers are great, certainly wouldn’t mind my kid looking up to one, but they are EVERYWHERE. every other book at the book store is about a ballerina. i’m pretty surprised this would be doll of the year, as well.

    • Layla

      January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Also what kid do you know who wanted to be a ballerina when they were little kept that same aspiration over the years unless they were talented in that area. You can direct your child to what you want – look at doc mcstuffins! Don’t buy your child doll ballerinas or books about ballerinas then. Simple as that! They wouldn’t put out these things if people weren’t buying it. These companies typically only care about making money

  5. Jessica

    January 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    To me, she just looks very, very similar to the doll they put out 2 years ago (McKenna.) Like maybe they had a whole bunch of creepy McKenna heads in a doll warehouse somewhere and were like “F’ it! Redo! Dye her hair pink and hope no one notices!”

  6. Zettai

    January 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    “Thank god that blonde-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian children can finally see themselves represented in an expensive doll!”

    Killed me.

    I also miss the historical dolls, though. My family could not afford them but I had a friend who had all of them and the books. I read them and we would play with those dolls all day.

    • Jessica

      January 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      They still have the historical dolls. We have Kaya and she’s pretty awesome!

    • Zettai

      January 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      If I bought that, do I have to pretend I wouldn’t play with it? This is why I don’t have barbies. 🙂

    • Jessica

      January 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      If you are shelling out $120 for a doll, you can play with it whenever you want! 😉

    • Rachel Sea

      January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      They’re being slowly retired though. Samantha and Nellie, Kirsten, and Felicity and Elizabeth went some years back, and now they’re done with Molly and Emily (for some reason I am on their mailing list). The accessories for some dolls have also been largely retired. Addy’s school collection is gone, and individual pieces from other dolls as well.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I am going to fess up and say I actually shed a few tears when I saw Samantha was going. She was my doll, and I had many adventures with her growing up.

    • kay

      January 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      They’re adding in new historic dolls as they retire old ones. It’s more about rotating in new things (and thus new product to sell) than phasing out historical dolls. It’s been a new one introduced within a year of each retirement. Caroline was introduced in 2012, Marie Grace and Cecile in 2011, Rebecca in 2009, Julie in 2007. (Samantha, Kirstin, Felicity, and Molly were retired in that time)

      When I got my first doll there were 3. Now there’s 8 different historical lines, and 11 dolls (they make “best friends” or smething now)

    • Jallun-Keatres

      January 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      I had Molly and my sister had Kirsten. My mom got us the books to all of them and I loved them all. At that time there were 5. Josefina was the next newest. Hashtag nostalgia.

  7. NYBondLady

    January 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    American Girl also has a lot of other dolls to chose from. Although she doesn’t meet the “traditional” defintion of “diverse,” the company has its own marketing department which decides which dolls to feature and I doubt this is some part of a grand conspiracy to knock down Asian immigrants.

    • whiteroses

      January 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

      And the books attached to the doll were written by a male Asian author— so there’s that.

  8. whiteroses

    January 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I don’t see the issue, personally. If they get more diverse, fine. If not, the company still has a lot of dolls representing ethnically diverse backgrounds (Native, black, Asian, Hispanic) that sell well. The historic dolls retail for the same price, so it works out nicely.

  9. G.E. Phillips

    January 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    But does she come with a sheep and a science lab?

    • jennifer

      February 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Actually one of the new accessories sets is a science lab!!

  10. guest

    January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. I actually found this article offensive- why shouldn’t a little girl aspire to be a ballerina, do you have any idea how much work, discipline, dedication goes into ballet? Please- try it then knock it. Becoming a prima / professional ballerina certainly is not a reality for many many dancers. We are talking about a DOLL. Ugh- this rant should have ended after the first paragraph.

    • AP

      January 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      A friend of mine was a Julliard-level ballerina through her teen years. She quit because she got tired of dealing with the endemic verbal abuse, and because of the permanent damage that being unnaturally, clinically underweight through puberty caused to her reproductive system, including failed breast development.

      So yeah, if I had a daughter, I would prefer she got her grace and coordination from an activity that doesn’t have verbal abuse and eating disorders as its foundation. Ballet will need to change a LOT before that happens.

    • SarahJesness

      January 8, 2014 at 3:26 am

      The article isn’t saying that ballerinas don’t work, or that girls shouldn’t aspire to be one. It’s saying that dancers are already over-represented in girl’s media and that American Girl should have more diversity in their “girls of the year”. Toys, media, and marketing do influence kids, and not always in a good way.

  11. Kay_Sue

    January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    On the one hand, I do see the points about how being a ballerina does take work and dedication. This is true. I have a friend that’s been a ballerina since she was four. It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, and she’s a beautiful performer to this day, twenty four years later. It’s hard on the body, it’s hard on the mind, and it takes true grit and determination.

    On the flip side, I get Carrie’s point too. I worked in a toy store. You don’t exactly have a dearth of blonde haired, blue eyed dolls, guys. There are literally tons of them. They are everywhere. I also bet you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a depiction of a blonde-haired, blue eyed ballerina. Look at the image I’ve attached. I didn’t google search “Caucasian ballerina”–I just put in “ballerina”. My point is: do you notice any children or women of color in these photographs? There’s a definite “type”, and I really hate it when American Girl plays into it.

    I know that they are marketing, and I know that they are just trying to sell their dolls, but I still hate it. I loved the spunk and courage of the dolls I had as a kid. As a socially awkward girl who really did not fit in with the town I was growing up in, it was always a solace to get lost in their stories. And I want them to continue that tradition for other girls. For all girls. I want to see them challenging stereotypes and showing that girls can handle whatever the world throws at them.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      No idea why that image showed up twice. I promise I only uploaded it once!

  12. Rachel Sea

    January 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    When Mattel bought out Pleasant Company, everything started getting mainstreamed. That means a little more emphasis on blonde girly girls, and less on history. Though they offer accessories that include a range of abilities and interests, they feature tropes.

    • Elizabeth Licata

      January 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Their hair is getting longer and more stuff is pink now too.the new historical doll enrages me because with the hair and the pink clothes she’s basically like Jane Austen Barbie.

      But mostly I’m mad about Samantha.

  13. Janok Place

    January 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I’m 100% behind Melissa, and I’ve signed the petition and prodded some friends to do the same. So far, at 1.5 years old our girl only shows an interest in one smelly stuffed monkey, building blocks and tractors/tonkas… So I’m not sure we have a promising future as doll consumers, but if we did I’d rather see her playing with a diversity of dolls. Especially because where we live now is rural and lacks cultural diversity as it is. At the end of the day though, she will learn most through our actions and the actions of others around her.

  14. brebay

    January 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t know, if there’s only one “doll of the year,” it’s bound to alienate someone.

  15. Robert

    January 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    The Doll is Cute but this one is more

  16. Hyperbolme

    January 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I’m no fan of American Girl dolls. They are a money suck and I want to encourage other interests in my daughter rather than feed her vanity with a doll that looks just like her. This Christmas she asked for one, but we bought her an underwater camera instead. I don’t regret our decision. That said, my daughter is a thin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl. For four of her eight years she danced ballet. I don’t like her physical traits or former interests referred to as “boring” “vanilla” or used in the negative to illustrate racial bias.

    I’m in agreement that there is a dearth of diversity in this brand. I also cringe at the fact that one of the few dolls of color is a slave. Were there more black dolls, I’d feel less uncomfortable. Then again, maybe it is okay to feel uncomfortable. But as a consumer, I’m probably not going to shell out $110 for a doll that makes me feel very, very sad, ya know?

    I strongly suspect the market for this brand is mostly caucasian, middle-class, and suburban. I wish we’d all stop trying to make the industry emblematic of girlhood. It’s a plastic toy, nothing more. I vote no with my dollars and call it a day.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Man, I read this wrong and I thought it said underwear camera and I was all shut shut is this underwear camera you speak of? 🙁 hahaha

    • Hyperbolme

      January 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Here’s hoping the camera and underwear never come in close range. Good lord. No, but, seriously, I would have died to take pictures under water as a kid! It’s like the gift my girl didn’t even know she wanted.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 8, 2014 at 8:19 am

      I LOVE gifts like that, when you find something just perfect your kid never even thought of, those are always the most special gifts

    • Rachel Sea

      January 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      These dolls are better made than almost any others. They have full heads of hair, instead of injected rows, and firmer, thicker vinyl heads, arms, and legs, and better constructed and stuffed bodies. In spite of all the issues, they are of a quality that makes them likely heirlooms, rather than throwaways.

      In spite of the issues, I would buy one, just because the quality is virtually unmatched for the price.

    • Hyperbolme

      January 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      Huh. Not sure why you felt the need to defend the quality of plastic. Someone gave my girl a “bitty baby” and I’ll agree. That’s some high end plastic! But I’d never consider a mass-produced plastic doll an heirloom. To me, an heirloom is my little handkerchief with lace crocheted by my great-great grandmother. It’s worth nothing, but will be kept forever and passed down. I’ll likely give away the Bitty Baby very soon. Want it? 😉

    • Rachel Sea

      January 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      I didn’t think much of them either until I realized that several of my friends still have their American Girl dolls from their own childhoods, and they look like they could have been purchased last month, not 25 years ago. High-quality vinyl is the porcelain of this century. While I treasure the hand embroidered handkerchiefs from my grandmothers and great grandmothers, and great-grandfathers, they are heirlooms that pretty much always stay in a box lined with layers of acid-free paper. A well made doll is an heirloom that can pass from child to grandchild to great-grandchild, and I think there is something lovely about that.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      It was nice to be able to pass my own down to my stepdaughters and have them looking as good as the day that I bought them. I had toys that my mother owned that were highly prized to me as a child, honestly, so it was neat to experience that on the other end.

    • Hyperbolme

      January 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      You make fine points. Thank you for your insight.

    • kay

      January 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Something you save to pass down to your children is an heirloom, no? My grandma got rid of my mom’s childhood toys, so I instead had her 60s polyester dresses from college. The previous owners are what give an heirloom meaning to me, not if it’s mass produced or what it’s made of.

      My AG dolls are still in amazing shape, despite years of play (and three brothers who kidnapped them on the regular). I’m excited for my daughter to be old enough to play with them too-my niece is using them now, and loves them extra because they were mine originally. And when a 23-year old doll is still in great condition despite being taken everywhere by me as a child it’s a quality doll, “mass-produced plastic” or no.

      The books that go with them are great as well-they got me into historical fiction as a kid.

    • Armchair Observer

      January 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Exactly. Just think of all those Singer Sewing Machines that have been passed down as heirlooms–despite being mass-produced.

      Honestly, I like the dolls for the female empowerment aspects and the fact that they at least attempt to represent real girls’ bodies far better than Barbies. They’re too expensive, though.

    • kay

      January 7, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      Yeah, prices are crazy. Having dolls that are empowering and educational shouldn’t be reserved for upper middle class kids.

      When I was a kid we found someone who sewed knockoff outfits which saved a lot (and we bought non AG desk/table/tea sets/etc). But that doesn’t fix the initial doll cost.

    • Shea

      January 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

      It’s an heirloom if you want it to be. When I was a kid, my grandmother gave me her childhood doll, which she’d held onto her entire adult life. She grew up poor, so this doll was made of painted plaster with jointed limbs held together with string. It wasn’t of “heirloom” quality when it was new, and the years had cracked and discolored the paint. But it was still an heirloom, and when I outgrew playing with dolls, I packed Sandy Jane away along with my American Girl doll to hopefully pass on to a child of my own someday.

    • soratothamax

      March 13, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Let’s not even think of the doll for a moment. Let’s think of the educational value through the books. It has definitely helped little girls learn about history.

      The problem is that history has been limited to the white, middle class versions of history.

  17. Elizabeth

    January 7, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I LOVED JOSEFINA. My cousins and I had a kind of collective pool of American Girl Dolls, but my favourite by far was Josefina.

  18. Momma425

    January 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    OMG, Addy was my favorite growing up! Her books were the BEST.
    My daughter got an AG doll for christmas (I refused to buy a 5 year old a doll that costs over $100, but my mother bought it for her). She bought Caroline, which is what my little blonde haired, blue eyed daughter asked for. I can hardly blame her for wanting a doll that looks like her, and wanting to read books about something modern that she understands, and not slavery because she doesn’t get it yet. Maybe someday…

  19. CW

    January 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Except for the pink streaks and modern clothes, she looks very much like the old “Elizabeth” doll (Felicity’s friend). Maybe they had a bunch of leftover Elizabeths that they decided to reuse.

  20. BethfromtheInternet

    January 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Just an FYI, Isabelle has hazel eyes, not blue.

    • brebay

      January 8, 2014 at 4:59 am

      stop the presses

    • BethfromtheInternet

      January 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      The fact that people are even pissed off about a DOLL is beyond me, but the writer could at least get her ducks in a row before getting the masses riled up about something this trivial.

  21. Smh

    January 8, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Oh my god…shut up. This company is not in existence to appease your sense of fairness in this world. They exist to make money. I’ve not bought my daughter any of these dolls because I think they’re unattractive, overpriced, and useless (although my kid has several because of grandmas). This is the FIRST doll I would actually consider buying. Want to know why? Because I have a gorgeous, blonde haired, blue eyes little girl that….wait for it….wait for it….takes ballet class. It’s the first doll I can relate to! I any relate to a doll that looks Latina or is in a wheelchair. No offense, and that’s great they are diverse, but it sucks having my kid “cut out of the loop” because she’s “vanilla”. 100% of the kids in her dance classes are white, blonde girls come to think I it (not sure about their eye color).

    • SarahJesness

      January 8, 2014 at 3:30 am

      The first doll you can relate to? You do realize that there have been plenty of blonde-haired, blue-eyed ballerina dolls, right? Not saying there’s anything wrong with such dolls, but what’s wrong with people asking for more variety?

    • Smh

      January 8, 2014 at 4:48 am

      No Sarah….not the first doll I can relate to. The first AMERICAN GIRL doll I can relate to (my daughter actually). She’s had zero interest in the one’s her grandmothers have bought, but this one she likes.

    • soratothamax

      March 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      Apparently, you didn’t hear about Marisol, the original ballerina American Girl Girl of the Year doll in 2005…Or you don’t own the various My American Girl blonde ballerina dolls.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 8, 2014 at 8:20 am

      My daughter was actually the only white kid in her ballet class. Go figure.

  22. SarahJesness

    January 8, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Yeah, it does kind of suck. I grew up (white) in a Hispanic-majority area so it’s just really bizarre to me that “white” is considered the default.

    • Bethany Ramos

      January 8, 2014 at 8:06 am

      As did I. I loved that part of growing up, and while I understand all the issues being discussed, it still takes me by surprise since diversity was more of a no-brainer in my area.

  23. whiteroses

    January 9, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Also- I’m not sure if this makes a difference, but the books that go along with this doll were written by Laurence Yep, the same male Asian author who wrote the amazing book “Dragonwings”.

  24. soratothamax

    March 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Reading people say, “Oh she looks like my daughter” makes me sick when I think about the various kids who don’t have a doll who doesn’t represent them in any way. And people who have these “blonde white kids” could never understand this feeling. Living in their own worlds “Oh this doll is the FIRST doll to relate to me because she’s a ballerina oh, but get this, blonde too” is selfish.

    Not just the dolls influence the children, but the stories that can influence and empower children. Who wants to constantly read stories from the perspective of the white middle class all the time?

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  26. Kristy Thomas

    March 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    My idea for GOTY 2015: Lena Watanabe doesn’t really get along with her old friends. They like to hang out at the mall and giggle over pop stars. She doesn’t like crowds and would rather hang out at the hospital where her moms are doctors (she also wants to be a doctor someday). After a big fight, she finds new friends who are more in tune with her personality. She was also adopted from Nigeria when she was a baby and that would somehow be part of her story. She would either live in Chelsea (NYC) or live somewhere on Long Island.

  27. Maryjane

    May 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    What a hateful article. I didn’t realize it was such a shame to be a white ballerina. I better tell my white daughter who is really into ballet that a prejudiced lady on the internet doesn’t feel that her race and hobby is cool enough to be represented in doll form. My goodness, I haven’t been so mad about an article in a long time! Big, big thumbs down. Vanilla, indeed. I think you need to check your own issues.

  28. Scangelous

    May 22, 2014 at 3:34 am

    What a refreshing view on the world: Some a-hole with a blog who thinks that everything put out in the modern day and age MUST be racially diverse.

    My daughter and her best friend were both beyond thrilled with the announcement of Isabelle. At least I know there will be at least one doll left in the store that I can buy for my kid, since you obviously won’t be wasting your money on this atrocious representation of an American child with girlie interest.

  29. mom

    July 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    lol okay first of all. Isabelle’s eyes are bright green. not blue. only 2% of people in the world have green eyes so that should make her a little less common since youre so worried about that. second of all. sonali was east indian. and kanani was native Hawaiian not just a girl living in hawaii. it’s a little ridiculous to write a rant when half the facts are wrong. the whole main part of isabelle’s story is how she’s self conscious and has to learn to believe in herself. if that’s not a common problem for girls in society today, I don’t know what is.

  30. aglover123

    August 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I think the girl of the year 2015 should look like this she should have dark long hair beautiful blue eyes and should love caring for older people and her family you always have girls who have blond hair and their always dancers or gymnast change it up and make dark hair blue eyes and loving family just concider it ag please

  31. ebaglover

    November 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I think everyone is overreacting about Isabelle being a white -blonde hair and hazel eye- ballerina! A lot of girl dance and not everything has to be perfectly even between white and all the minorities. If you don’t like her, don’t buy her and stop hating online.

  32. Pingback: American Girl Has A New BeForever Doll Named Melody

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