A TikTok user named MacKenna, "@initialkitten", has posted that she and her story was partially the inspiration for McKenna Brooks, the 2012 Girl of the Year!
In her recent TikTok video, MacKenna revealed that it all started when her Nana heard that American Girl wanted to hear about real girls, so she called American Girl and ended up striking a close relationship with a representative from the company, who told her to send a letter with facts about MacKenna and what she looked like.
While MacKenna has caramel hair and "brilliant blue eyes", just like the McKenna doll (yes, this exact wording her nana used was used in the doll description), MacKenna wasn't really a trained gymnast. She wanted to do gymnastics and did cartwheels and handstands in her house, but a kidney disease prevented her from doing any gymnastics. Conversely, MacKenna was described by her Nana to be able to read a book in a day, so this was changed to have McKenna (the doll) deal with reading comprehension issues. Her photo was also submitted that eventually became the book cover we know!
It's a good thing MacKenna's nana sent in that letter that day, because McKenna went on to be the fastest selling Girl of the Year of all time and the inspiration for a movie that created a wave of Girl of the Year movies from 2012 to 2016!
Here's the full video, for anyone who wants to see!