The Haters’ (Sort of) Guide to the “American Girl” Doll

Let Your Sparkle Shine Image.  American Girl Dolls.

I’m not really sure that I would consider myself a “sparkly” person. But sure, I’ll let it shine. I’ll let it shine so hard. Can you feel it? Can you feel it shining? Oh me, oh my. 

When I first walked into the brand-new “Sparkly” American Girl store in the Memorial Mall I wanted to puke on site. For months and months now I have had to stare at this giant Pink monstrosity being built. Now you’re probably going to say, “But Stacy, no one forced you to look at the store. No one forced you to look at the dolls. No one forced you to pick up one of their catalogues.” But to that I say phooey! I WAS forced to look at the store. Why? Because my kid has a major California Pizza Kitchen mac and cheese fixation, and we have been going to that very California Pizza Kitchen looooooooonng before there was a twinkle in the Memorial Mall’s American Girls eye. So unless they plan to move either my daughter’s favorite restaurant, or move the store, I am forced to look at it. 

As far as the dolls go, I’m forced to look at these too. Why? Because of all the little girls walking around with their dolls and matching clothing in MY restaurant! And this is not an exaggeration, but I think the American Girl store is secretly implanting the smug looks on those little bitches’ faces with every purchase. Every child that owns one of those dolls acts like a celebrity. A smug little celebrity. And I can’t stand it. Now I know this blog is going to piss off mothers that have bought their little angels WAY over priced pieces of plastic with optional hairstyles. But before you tar and feather me, let me finish my rant. You may be surprised. 

Since it’s my job to blog, and it’s also my job to drink over-priced coffee from Starbucks while I blog, I felt as though I was born to write about the American Girl Doll and the American Girl store. Let me start off by telling you a little story. 

Once upon a time there was a friend of mine, her name is Sally. But for anonymity purposes lets just call her Nicole. Nicole has two daughters and one son. Well, her eldest daughter is DYING to get her hands on an American Girl doll. If you have multiple children you probably already know where I’m going here. If you buy one child the American Girl Doll, chances are her sister is going to want one too. And at $105 dollars per doll, that’s a lot of dough. So for example lets say you want to buy the Caroline doll, well let's do the math on that shall we? And let’s be honest: you know your kid is going to want accessories as well.

Caroline American Girl Doll.

The doll itself is $105, and of course you’re going to have to get her the Tea Party set which is going to cost you another $68. Then you’re going to need a place to put the Party set, and for a table and chairs you’re going to fork over another $140. Do you have any idea how much vodka I can buy for $140 dollars?!? I would be wasting perfectly good booze money so I can pay for little plastic Caroline to sit down. Hell . . . I sit down for free. AND I’ll even do it on the floor to save you a buck or two. Don’t forget that little Caroline is going to need a new dress for her birthday which is going to cost you another $28. Then she needs a traveling outfit ($28), a boat on which to travel, ($175), and a girl’s gotta’ eat (basket full of plastic food: $32). We haven’t even gotten into the matching dress and bed, which the obviously financially irresponsible Caroline is going to require.

But wait! There’s more. Each of these dolls comes with a backstory. A traumatic, depressing, “this girl’s going to need a s**tload of therapy” backstory. For example, Caroline is forced to work at her father’s shipyard to keep it running after he becomes a prisoner of war during the War of 1812.  I can’t make this stuff up.  “Kaya” leads those she loves into dangerous situations.  “Josefina” is still trying to come to terms with the death of her mother. “Marie-Grace” & “Cecile” are living in New Orleans as the town is being ravaged by illness. “Addy’s” family has been sold into slavery.

American Girl Dolls Behind Glass Case Image

I can appreciate the American Girl focus on history, but does it have to be the worst part of our country’s history? They even practice segregation! The white girl dolls are wild and free to be picked up and played with, while the black dolls are all together, locked in a glass case. I tried to free them but got spooked by one of the sales ladies that kept walking around me all the while talking into her head set saying, “I need help over here in the East Corner. I repeat - I need help in the East Corner.” And because of that overly aggressive sales lady, all I was able to get was a blurry picture of the black dolls because I was in mid sprint. 

And that’s when I told my little black plastic sisters that I would try and come back for them. Even though we both knew that was a lie. 

Considering the fact that I had to bolt from the East Corner before the fuzz came down on me, I decided to make my way to the American Girl Restaurant area. I may have actually sat down for a bite considering I have a weakness for Tic Tac Toe pizza and lollipop brownies, but there was nowhere to sit. The restaurant is completely booked for another 2 ½ months! But this is where I started to shift a little in my hatred of all things American Girl.

The café was kind of cute!!  ← I can’t believe I just said that.

Not only does it look like they have good food, but they will even let you have a tiny high chair and a free American Girl doll to “borrow” during your dining experience. How can you NOT love the tiny high chairs? Are you people heartless? And then I saw the ultimate American Girl Party room. Well, now I’m just hooked. 

Tea Party Setup for American Girl Dolls.  American Girl Party Room.

Did you know that you can have an American Girl Bistro party celebration????

This all-inclusive package features:

  • A delicious meal with signature pink-and-white cake and ice cream
  • Special goody bags and doll tiaras for each girl
  • A commemorative keepsake for the birthday girl
  • A set of invitations with matching thank-you notes

$28 per girl and $18 per adult, excluding tax and gratuity. For girls ages 3 and up

American Girl Doll Image.  American Girl Hair Salon.

Why have I never been here before? It’s like a dream come true. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! The hair salon! You can bring your American Girl Doll to the American Girl Hair Salon and they can do cool shit like this with your doll’s hair.

I asked them if they would do mine but apparently I have to be 18 inches or smaller to qualify. And that’s when my heart burst wide open. 

There I was, a 42 year-old standing in the middle of a little girl’s dream store and my sole purpose for entering the store was to make fun of it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still going to make fun of it. But, I finally have a perspective on why those smug little girls have smug little faces. Will I take my daughter in? Oh hell no. Luckily she has my DNA and is only interested in Angry Bird toys and shit that explodes. She is 100% my daughter, and even though we’ve sat near the American Girl store, and she’s seen the American Girl dolls, she has not once even batted an eyelash in that pink direction. 

So for those of you moms out there who have bought your kid an American Girl doll, I will no longer make fun of you. But is it okay if I hang out on the East Corner? You know, just to keep the sales people on their game.  After all, we need to make sure that the sales people, of all people, are letting their sparkle shine. 

© Two too smart, smartass mommies 2011