Tuesday, July 17, 2012

American Girl Dolls Have Several New Disability-Friendly Items

American Girl Doll has now added some really great disability-friendly items to their already-numerous list of customized dolls.

Hearing Aids A Nice Fit for American Girl

My daughter is 16 and she still makes sure that her American Girl doll stays dressed and has her hair combed regularly. I remember the first time I went into the store and I was so happy that I could just cry. I wonder if most people know just how hard it is to find dolls for children of color. I was ecstatic that I could get one with the exact mix of features that my multi-racial daughter had. Her doll was/is just perfect. She had the spacey teeth, medium skin tone, brown eyes, and wavy hair. My daughter thought that we'd had a doll version of her made.

From her birth, I was committed to only buying dolls that were people of color. I had no idea how difficult it would prove to be. Louisiana has a large percentage of the population that's people of color, but still the local stores carried very few non-white dolls. Thankfully, my (white) mother-in-law understood and supported my endeavor. She would scour stores when she traveled for her job. My mom also got a few whenever they'd turn up in her city.

Back then (sixteen years ago), it was extremely hard to find black/brown/Asian dolls. There was Black Barbie and that was basically all you'd find in most toy stores. Barbie had a slightly racially ambiguous friend that might have been Asian, but I think many Asian parents were stuck with the same lack of options. Even when we did find non-white dolls, they were often of poor quality. The skin on them would be weird shades of taupe or some kind of bruise-looking color. So, the American Girl doll was a god-send.

Over the years, we've purchased lots of other accessories. The dog, Coconut, is the only pet they had back then. I'm so happy to hear about the hearing aid and service dog. I am a member of the "Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let's see if we can get it made" Facebook group and I know that there are plenty of little girls who will love having a doll without hair.

I'm usually not in the habit of recommending a toy that's in this price range ($105), but I almost feel as if a doll isn't just a toy. I was living on a research stipend when I bought the AG doll, but I felt like it was worth the price. It's the best doll I've ever been able to find for her.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Oh, wow, that's awesome!

I loved the American Girl books, and looking at the doll catalog, when I was little --- the dolls themselves were too expensive --- and was especially excited when they added the one you could customize to be Just Like You!

I'm glad they've kept adding more features so that more girls can make dolls that look like them.