American Girl Doll Post

In the readings, Meet Kirsten and Kirsten Learns a Lesson, the idea of “Girlhood” is represented in more of a traditional definition and reflects a typical American girl during a time of immigration. Whereas the movie 13 Going on 30 reflects girlhood through not just a different time period but more of a 21st-century definition as well. In the Kirsten books, it can be seen that girlhood is defined as being very feminine and maternal. This can be seen in the intricate braids and outfits Kirsten wears that are described and seen throughout the text. Additionally, the love for her doll also reflects the maternal aspect as well, to have and hold something and tend to it the way Kirsten and Marta do on the ship reflects the societal norms of how girls are to act with their toys as if they are in preparation to become caretakers. Furthermore, the text also reflects how girlhood has an expiration date. I feel that Kirsten’s teacher, Miss Winston, stands as an example of this, being merely 19-years-old she is now a teacher for the entire community. When girlhood ends, in this text, it seems as though the next step is to become a provider, whether that be to bear children, provide education to others, or be a dutiful wife. Conversely, 13 Going on 30 reflects a different aspect of girlhood in also a more pop culture manner. Unlike the Keyword and Kirsten Books definition that hints towards girlhood being definitive, I personally believe that girlhood never truly fades. This idea can be seen in the movie 13 Going on 30. Although the character becomes a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old women’s body many of her actions and thoughts reflect the idea that aspects of girlhood don’t leave us the second we are deemed by society to be ‘women’. Whether it be dancing like no one’s watching, having sleepovers, getting dressed up, or talking about finding a significant other when you get older, all these aspects of the movie showed that a part of girlhood can still be enjoyed at an older age. Also, girlhood doesn’t necessarily mean naive, as seen in the movie the main character, Jenna Rink, was still able to be successful and confident despite actually being a teenager. That being said, I truly feel that when it comes down to it, girlhood is a state of mind more than anything and I feel society can only dictate when your girlhood is over if you let it have that power. 

2 thoughts on “American Girl Doll Post”

  1. I really liked how you focused on how girlhood doesn’t really have an age. I feel like yes, everyone physically grows out of every age and phase but some things can really last forever. At any age, a girl can choose to feel girly or do things they enjoyed doing when they were little girls. It is such a strong part of so many peoples’ identities and it really is more of a state of mind. Everyone has their own definition of their personal girlhood and are free to do whatever they want with it!

  2. I loved this movie! I think you made a very good connection between what it means to act like a girl on the outside and on the inside. As well as what it means to partake in this concept of girlhood. In the books we’ve read in class I don’t think a lot of the motherly figures display a sense of girlhood whereas in today’s society, many mothers incorporate the modern idea of girlhood into their children which keeps their ideas of girlhood still inside of them (if that make sense).

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