Exploring the Possibilities of the Human Mind: Uncovering Hidden Strengths with Isabel & Nicki
American Girl recently announced the release of its 'Girl of the Year’ – twin dolls Isabel and Nicki Hoffman. The two join the brand’s collection of historical characters, setting their stories in Seattle during the year with a shared birthday on May nd, . This news has left many millennials with a sense of nostalgia, feeling quite old indeed.
American Girl, headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin, announced in a press release that two new dolls have been created to commemorate a significant event in American history. These two dolls have distinct characteristics—Isabel is described as being “bubbly and extroverted” with a love for dancing, while Nicki, the introvert of the two, prefers skateboarding and listening to alternative rock. The press release stated, “Though they share the same birthday, these twin sisters are as different as glitter and grunge.” Isabel and Nicki are on a journey to finding out who they are as individuals and through this process, they learn to confront their fears and ultimately stay true to themselves.
Since , American Girl (AGhas been introducing the “Girl of the Year” collection, featuring dolls with stories set in the present day; however, the dolls in this collection are sold for a limited time, according to American Girl Doll News, a blog. Concurrently, AG debuted its “historical character” line with Molly McIntire, Samantha Parkington and Kirsten Larson, each of whom have narratives set in , and respectively, as stated on the American Girl website. Recently, in , AG has unveiled their latest ‘s-inspired doll that promotes STEM learning.
With the dawn of a new century, the need for strong role models for the youth became even more pressing. This led to the creation of American Heritage Girls in , an organization that aims to instill faith and respect for life through activities dating as far back as up until the twentieth century. Its dolls each come with stories depicting their characters’ perseverance through trials of their respective historical period, such as slavery, immigration and the polio epidemic. Prior to the release of Nicki and Isabel, the most recently crafted doll was Courtney Moore, whose story took place in . In the face of a rapidly progressing twenty-first century, many felt challenged by the truth of ‘s now being considered part of history.
The release provoked much emotional response, particularly from Boston-based Twitter user **** on Heels Girl who expressed her dismay at the new *historic* (???’s American Girl Dolls, Isabel and Nicki. In her tweet she wrote “I had inflatable furniture. I read American girl magazine; I had a subscription. I had grin pins. I had that back cushion pillow. I loved my clear bag.” Moreover, the account Black Girl Nerds tweeted “…American Girl just released their newest historical dolls: Isabel & Nicki from … . I never felt so disrespected in my life.” Understandably, the brand’s account took to Twitter to apologize, writing “Didn’t mean to hurt so many feelings today.
Millennial women who had grown up with the original historical character dolls conveyed to Fox News Digital that the new additions to the line evoked both nostalgia and a sense of age. Lexi Oakley, , from Southern California, informed Fox News Digital that she had been an enthusiastic collector of American Girl dolls in her childhood – and was taken aback upon observing a “historical” doll from her generation. She commented that “Growing up with dolls set in the s-s, it is peculiar to encounter a doll that now represents 'my generation.
The tweets from @HeelsGirl and Black Girl Nerds have sparked an important discussion about representation in the media, and it’s clear that American Girl should have done more to make sure their new dolls are inclusive and representative of the diversity of their customers. This incident has made it clear to many people that toys, clothing, books, and other products should be created with all types of children in mind. Companies should strive to keep up with society’s changing attitudes when creating products and services geared toward young people. In this case, it was too late for American Girl to make amends, but there is still a chance for them to do better in the future.