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It Was About Time We Got an 'American Boy' Doll

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By Lena Gilmour

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As you may have read, American Girl, a company known for its diverse doll characters with stories from all different American backgrounds, has just released a new doll. And this new doll is causing the Internet to lose its collective mind because… it’s a boy?

The doll’s name is Logan Everett. His story is that he’s a drummer in the band of another doll, Tenney Grant. His feature outfit is a plaid button-up and jeans, though he also has a leather jacket look. He looks like a completely stereotypical guy.

At first, I was (naturally) surprised that a brand that’s all about girls was making a move like this. Then I was frustrated. Can’t there be one thing that’s just left to the girls? I couldn’t help but think that American Girl was letting down little girls across the country. Wasn’t this supposed to be a space that empowers girls? Isn’t the whole point of these dolls that little girls can play will a figure that resembles them? What girl is going to feel represented by a boy?

 

Introducing American Girl's newest doll - Logan Everett. #abc13 #americangirl #doll #loganeverett

A post shared by ABC13 Eyewitness News Houston (@abc13houston) on

Then I realized my mistake. Maybe introducing this character isn’t going to be beneficial to the “average” purchaser. But maybe that isn’t the point. Maybe the point of introducing a boy doll is to provide some representation for, and attention to the kids who aren’t typically thought of. 

What about the girls who don’t want to play with girl dolls? Or the ones who can’t see themselves represented by the girl dolls? With the introduction of Logan, this problem is beginning to be solved. Little girls who don’t necessarily identify in a stereotypical little-girl way can still participate without feeling like an outsider.

And how about the boys? I’m sure there are plenty of little boys who are pretty excited about finally having the chance to play with a character who actually resembles them, one that doesn’t have to be a superhero or a muscular G.I. Joe, who doesn’t have to fit with the stereotypes that are constantly put on boys. A step like this is helping to break down some of the barriers to it being socially acceptable for boys to play with “girl toys." Girls aren’t the only ones who benefit from feminine things being seen in a better light.

Though the doll doesn’t necessarily challenge gender stereotypes in appearance (looking like a complete “dude”) it’s definitely a good step, and one that was apparently being asked for.

American Girl is a company that stands for empowerment. Who’s to say that empowerment should be limited to just the girls? After all, inclusion is one of the most powerful and important messages we can be sending our children. Changing “the way things have always been done” isn’t too high of a price if it means that some little girl (or boy) gets to feel like they are a part of something rather than on the outside.

Maybe the introduction of a boy to the American Girl line is a bit risky, and won’t be well received by everyone. But if it makes a difference to the kids who always feel forgotten, isn’t it worth it? I for one think Logan is exactly what we need.


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