The American Girl line “Truly Me” and the Evolution of Barbie can be related to the keyword “girlhood” and we can also relate this to the American Girl novels and Little Women. In several of the American Girl Doll novels, we see many of the girls playing with dolls throughout the novels. We also see this in Little Women, when Beth is treating her dolls as if they are real. As a baby, many girls are drawn to dolls. They comfort them, and as they get older they begin to act as a mother figure to them. An aspect of “girlhood” plays with the idea of what do girls do when they are girls.
The “Truly Me” from the American Girl line goes further with this idea and the keyword “girlhood”. They knew many girls loved playing with dolls at a young age, they created a line that allows girls to match what they look like to these dolls. I know when I was a young girl, I owned an American Girl doll from the Truly Me Dolls and I loved playing with it and dressing the doll to look like me. This leads me to the “Cool Thing” I have chosen.
In the Barbie Evolution video, it explains that the world of Barbie is beginning to evolve. New dolls are being made so that girls everywhere now have infinitely more ways to play out their stories through Barbie. They are looking at more diversity and new body types in their lines. They believe by doing this, it will create a sense of inclusion. This is interesting to me because they want their products to be empowering. For example, they are creating girl Barbies that are Presidents, Vice Presidents, Game Developer, and Spies. Many girls and women can be looked down upon in society if they become or want to become spies, game developers, or the President.
This brings me to something interesting and also to a few questions. Why are boys looked down upon for playing with dolls? In the Barbie Evolution video, we only see girls playing in the video with the Barbie dolls. Also will they be making different versions of Ken? If the girls in the American Girl Dolls novels and Little Women didn’t play with dolls, would they be seen as “tomboys”? Also in the real world, does “girlhood” mean girls have to play with dolls?
Evolution of Barbie“Truly Me”