Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 315: American Girl. A Prepubescent Cult

June 19th, 2010

I had heard about it. But today I lived it. Hard. I joined my cousin and her two little girls visiting from North Carolina at the American Girl Store in Manhattan(equipped with a doll diner and doll hair salon.) The manic enthusiasm that encompasses a child upon entering this mystical heaven of dolls, books and accessories based on pre-teen girl characters makes the teenage reaction to the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show seem mild.

My little cousins weren't forthcoming when I inquired about the following.

Jax: Lila, why do you love American Girl?

Lila:(Shy giggle) I don't know.

Jax: Joanna, why do you love American Girl?

Joanna: I don't know! (Then she threw her arms in the air. Sassy.)

They weren't going to reveal the mystique so I had to do my own research to make sense of this doll girl love. Stat.

First I met Felicity Merriman, the "red-headed, horse-loving colonial girl in Williamsburg, Virginia, who is caught between Patriot and Loyalist family and friends at the onset of the American Revolution." My thoughts: No powdered wig. Not interested.

I sauntered over to the shelf where Julie Albright resided. She grew up in San Francisco, California during the mid-1970s and almost near the end of the Vietnam War. When I asked her for some LSD, she told me she gave her last dose to a chubby 6 year old having a temper tantrum. Julie was no use to me. Next.

Rebecca Rubin, the nine-year-old Jewish girl doll, was my next stop. She's of Russian descent and lives on the Lower East Side of New York City. Rebecca is fascinated by the film industry and aspires to work in the arts. I felt like Rebecca and I had a lot of similarities and I asked her, "Will you be my American Girl?" She took it quite literally and replied, "Only if you let me wear flannel, cut my hair into a mullet and let me drive a truck." Interesting. I hadn't seen a gay doll since My Buddy. The doll. For boys.

Thrown off by this last encounter, I headed to the information desk, took a deep relaxation breath and read a pamphlet that informed me that there is a line of "Just Like You" dolls. "Each doll has a different combination of face mold; skin tone; eye color; and hair color, length and/or style. American Girl states that this variety allows customers to choose dolls that 'represent the individuality and diversity of today's American girls.'"

My entrepreneurial spirit has kicked in and little girls can expect the Jax Doll to hit shelves in Summer 2011. Yes naysayers, she will be the only figurine that is past puberty(way past puberty)... but rest assured that the Jax Doll will inspire little girls to highlight their hair, choose a career with little to no security and drive home the importance of fiber.

Dirty martinis and attempts at wit sold separately.

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