Necessary Nostalgia: American Girl

I will never forget when I got my American Girl doll. It was Christmas and I was wearing this hideous dark green, crushed velvet pant suit outfit. I’m sure that was the style in the early 90’s, but it was awful. Anyway, I got a Kirsten doll. For those not familiar with the American Girl dolls, Kirsten was one of the original dolls released in 1986 and was one of six available in 1994.



I still love her, and the great thing is that both of my nieces (aged 4 and 7) also love her! Of all the toys available for young girls, I think that American Girl dolls are among the best. They are modeled after young girls and they were originally created  to teach girls about American history in a way that they could understand. While most girls toys are fantasy driven, American Girl is rooted in history and celebrates the everyday American girl.

With a wide variety of outfits and accessories, your doll was always ready to accompany you to any activity. My doll has a hippie get-up (I went through a phase) and a cast for her leg. I never broke my leg, but I was always nursing some sort of dance-related injury. My nickname as a kid was “Grace” because I was severely lacking in the graceful department, and apparently so was Kirsten.

Some people say that the dolls are ridiculously expensive, and that is not an inaccurate observation. Compared to Barbie or other dolls, American Girl has a much higher price point. However, I think that the message that comes with the American Girl brand is well worth the cost. Plus, I can tell you from experience that they withstand the test of time. I got my doll when I was seven and almost twenty years later she is still in great condition and continues to handle the not always gentle treatment from my nieces.

I’m glad that I was an American Girl, and if I have a daughter of my own I will be excited to introduce her to the American Girl as well!

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