American Girl Brand Book Goes Too Far Say Some Parents

The Maine Writer

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The well-known, iconic American Girl dolls are a brand loved by girls all around the U.S. The doll's image is wholesome and is popular with young girls. That image has changed for some parents after looking at the American Girl's recent book," A Smart Girl's Guide: Body Image." This is not the first book American Girl has published. The brand has been publishing books for years, and this book is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Looking at the description of the book, it seems hard to understand why parents would be angry with the book. The description says, "Every girl needs to learn to live comfortably in her own skin, and this book will show the way! In these pages, a girl will find everything she needs to know about loving her unique self, staying confident through her body‘s many changes, and appreciating her body for the life it lets her live. Full of activities, tips, crafts, and real-girl stories, this book is a feel-good reminder that all bodies are worthy of love and respect." As you read the book, you find the section that parents have an issue with.

The theme of the book is great as it tells girls how beautiful their bodies are and that they should embrace that beauty, but then when you get a little into the book, on page 38, the book says, "If you haven't gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body's changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity." Then adds, "If you don’t have an adult you trust, there are organizations across the country that can help you. Turn to the resources on page 95 for more information." The book also says, "Parts of your body may make you feel uncomfortable and you may want to change the way you look. That's totally OK! You can appreciate your body for everything it allows you to experience and still want to change certain things about it." This is contradicting the earlier message to embrace the beauty of their bodies.

Parents were upset with the idea of telling girls they could get medicine to block puberty if they were uncomfortable with their bodies, and suggesting they be secretive about it. Parents also felt this wholesome brand that promotes dolls shouldn't be pushing adult topics and gender ideology on young girls, and that just because a young girl might be a tomboy doesn't mean she needs puberty blockers.

Reader discussion

What do you think about this book? Would you buy it for a young girl you know? Do you think the parents have a right to be upset with this book, or are they overreacting?

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