American Baby dolls Store

Why Do I Hate American Girl Dolls?

Oct 26 2012

It’s actually not that bad. In fact, it’s not bad at all. Yet it’s driving me nuts.

I’m talking about my daughters’ obsession with American Girl Dolls, and my reluctant complicity in all of it.

My older daughter is turning 4 this week, and she has spent a shocking amount of time recently paging through the catalogue (how the hell did we end up on that mailing list?), pondering the possibilities and repeatedly coming back to the baby–the baby in the blue ballerina dress. That’s definitely the one, according to both of my girls.

Meanwhile, my grandmother’s been calling, asking about possible birthday presents. It’s no big secret that my grandmother is a big fan of American Girls. It wasn’t hard to put the pieces together, which is how I found myself perusing the disgustingly pink aisles of my local American Girl Doll store. There were baby dolls and toddler dolls, big girl dolls, clothes for the dolls as well as the little girls who love them, and every accessory you could imagine: strollers, cribs, beds, hairbrushes, ballet slippers, roller skates, skis, crutches (presumably for that terrible ski accident), purses, pets, purses for the pets… the list goes on and on. And on.

Despite my reservations, there’s really nothing wrong with any of it. Yes, the dolls are expensive, but they’re also quite durable and well-made. The feminist tom-boy in me cringes at how girly they are, but at least they don’t look like they’re ready to spend a few hours waiting expectantly on a street corner. Perhaps most importantly, my girls love them and play with them. A lot. As in, pretty much all the time.

So why am I so annoyed by all of it? Why do I get all twitchy and irritated? It’s not money out of my pocket, it’s not a loud or offensive toy with a beeping screen, and the girls are actually quite creative and sweet in their play with the baby dolls. Yet I just can’t stand it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and as much as it pains me to say it, I think it’s all about my ego. So much of my time and energy goes to my daughters (I wouldn’t have it any other way) but there is some part of me that I’m just not ready to surrender. When I was in college, I had fantasies, vague, unsettled dreams of traveling the world, settling in South America and somehow changing the world. Instead, I live in the suburbs. I drive an SUV with two car seats in the back. I get excited by drive-through coffee shops and solo trips to Target. I have become a total cliché.

Mostly, I’m okay with it. I actually find meaning in the details of parenting; I feel like a good mother when I remember to bring extra diapers to daycare or buy snow boots before they all sell out before Halloween. But I suppose there is still one small part of me that I’m not ready to relinquish. I suppose I’m still trying to hang onto the dismissive, irreverent persona I developed in high school and nurtured through college. I like that person; she had come to terms with the fact that she would never be popular, and she was finding her own fun, her own sense of self.


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No, I didn't wish to imply you claimed there was

2009-01-02 08:44:00 by phylum

Harm in possessing one of these ersatz babies but you're saying that the owners of these dolls invest love in them as though they were actual babies. I think a woman would always know that the "baby" she was tending was no more than a lump of well-finished plastic unless the woman was actually nuts.
I love dolls and have a few that I like to look at and admire but it's because of the costume or the cuteness of the little thing. I don't expect them to love me or for me to assume that I'm "looking after" real living things.
I think most women love decorative dolls and something we never grow out of loving their beauty and appeal

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