If you are a regular reader of this site, you know that I really want American Girl to make a Girl of the Year with a disability. I've tried everything. A billion e-mails to American Girl's automated service email. A letter. 2 petitions. Nothing worked. I lost hope until the lady who e-mailed me about getting the Melody series for free e-mailed me. I then learned that the American Girl e-mail format is firstname.lastname@example.org. So, I emailed the head product designer and the head of American Girl.
Yes, I emailed Her Majesty, The Queen Of All Things AG Katy Dickson.
About getting a doll with a disability.
Here's my e-mail:
July 4, 2016
To Ms. Dickson and Ms. Northrop,
Hi. My name is Sydney Jean. I am 11 years old, have 31 of your amazing dolls and have Asperger's syndrome and type 1 diabetes. I've read the majority of your books and seen all of the movies, but I've also noticed a problem in your Girl of the Year line. Lately, you've been copying old Girl of the Year dolls to make new ones because your target market either wasn't born or doesn't remember the old ones. But I do remember the old ones. I know that Lea was based on Jess, Isabelle was based on Marisol and Saige was based on Nicki. So, why are you copying old American Girl dolls when there is a huge market of stories yet to be told- girls like me who have disabilities? We have inspiring stories to share, too. If you don't believe me, I have three whole reasons why the Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 (depending on if you planned GOTY 2018 already) should have have a disability.
One reason Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 should have a disability is because millions of children will be happy if you make a Girl of the Year doll with a disability. This includes girls with disabilities, normal girls and even boys with disabilities and the girls with disabilities' brothers! The girls with disabilities will be glad that there is finally a doll like them and that they are true American Girls like all of the girls without disabilities are. I know that if I didn't have disabilities, then I would feel happy for the kids with them so I could learn more about them, set aside their differences and accept them for who they are, and I think that a lot of girls will do just that. And finally, the boys will be happy too because they will know that their sisters or their girl counterparts are finally getting represented in the toy industry. This is one important reason why Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 should have a disability.
Another reason Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 should have a disability is that a lot of kids have disabilities in this world. In the United States of America alone, 2.8 million school-age kids (5-17 years old) have some sort of disability. In a country where the toy industry influences boys and girls across the country, the kids without disabilities might think that there is no such thing as them unless they know someone with a disability or saw one on YouTube, a movie or television. But YouTube, movies and TV usually never show characters or people with disabilities, and if they do, they are (most of the time) a side character. Just think how it would feel to deal with diseases everyday and only be a side character or a "friend" doll! It's time for girls nationwide to learn that there is a lot of girls that can't do what they take for granted, like running or eating without thinking or having hair or going to school instead of the hospital. This is another important reason why Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 should have a disability
The last reason why Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 should have a disability is that it will be a learning opportunity for kids without disabilities. American Girl was started because Pleasant Rowland wanted a fun way to educate girls about history while using girls from the past around their age instead of the men in real history used in school. Even though kids don't really think of the books anymore, the kids who do will get to learn about a life far different from their own, and in the process, be more aware and accepting of people with disabilities. I applaud your decisions to make Truly Me disability accessories and dolls without hair, but I would much rather see a Girl of the Year doll with a disability because a lot of kids pay attention to who the next Girl of the Year will be and only buy accessories that represent herself. That's why I need American Girl to make Girl of the Year 2018 or 2019 have a disability.
P.S: On page 38 of your latest catalog, it says that Camila gave Lea a wish bracelet in Lea Leads The Way. The people who make the catalogs need to read the books, because that actually happens in Lea Dives In!
BAM! I can't wait until they respond back! Hopefully they say yes!
AMERICAN GIRL TRIVIA: Chrissa did not get meet accessories, but Mia (the GOTY before her) did.
COMMENT DISCUSSION QUESTION: Did you ever write a letter to a company and they listened to you?
MY ANSWER: Yes. I convinced Chick-fil-A to stop frying their products in peanut oil with the exception of their chicken sandwiches. And, I'm not sure if this counts, but my friend Madison contributed to Barbie's decision to make different body types with a letter.