Mom thanks American Girl for displaying inclusive dolls in viral Facebook post
Every kid wants to see themselves represented in their favorite books, media, and toys, and one Massachusetts mom just wrote a viral letter of thanks to American Girl for making that possible for her eight-year-old daughter, Mia, who has alopecia.
Meredith Bailey wrote on the American Girl Facebook page that her daughter was diagnosed with alopecia at age four. She got an American Girl doll without hair for Christmas last year, and “nothing has thrilled her more,” but the little girl wanted to know why dolls like hers aren’t more prominently displayed in the American Girl store. “I did not have a good answer to give her,” admitted Bailey.
But, this week, everything changed. Wrote Bailey, “Yesterday, we made our annual birthday celebration with her best friend to the Natick store. On the second floor we hopped off the escalator and there in front of us was a display with doll a without hair! My daughter was ecstatic! Then we saw them in 2 more spots in the store!”
The dolls were not placed in a separate spot or “hidden in the back and had to be asked for,” Bailey noted. Instead, they were “there for all to see, especially for my daughter who wondered why they were not out before.” In the comments on her post, Bailey included two more photos of the dolls on display.
“This may feel to your company to be no big deal,” Bailey continued, “but to little girls who may feel ‘alone’ and so desperately want to see dolls that reflect their beauty — it means more than you know. I cried many happy tears yesterday. Thank you so much for including all children.”
Since Bailey wrote her post, it’s received over 18,000 likes and been shared almost 3,000 times. Dozens of other parents have also commented to express their appreciation for American Girl’s dedication to creating dolls that represent and celebrate all girls. Wrote one woman, “My daughter has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease). The wheelchair and cast set was what she picked out for her birthday gift this year. She was so excited her doll could experience what she experiences. Thank you, AG for making our girl feel special and included!”
Toys can play such an important role in how kids see and experience the world. When companies like American Girl make gestures to accommodate children with differing needs, abilities, and physical attributes, it not only makes all kids feel more included, but it also helps educate children about their peers. Every kid deserves to see themselves represented in the toys they love. Kudos to American Girl for doing their part to make that possible.