Part II: Hard times for american grrrrls

25 02 2008

In the last episode…American Girl Place, where the dolls have more expensive wardrobes than plan “b” is showing its own signs of the times: a move away from its posh street address up into a shopping mall and a staff cut to the tune of the company of actors that play the dolls.

If indeed the current widespread hard times have touched the high-maintenance dolls-they have a hair salon in the Chicago Avenue store and are served tea and luncheon in the doll house’s restaurant-plan “b” has a helpful suggestion or two. Not that plan “b” is eager to share these with people in the business of indoctrinating little girls with toys that act richer than their owners.

However, it’s really quite simple, besides the obvious suggestion of giving every doll on the premises a deep-discount makeover, American Girl Place must quickly launch a series of dolls that reflect the current history of potential buyers.

This new collection of historically accurate American Place dolls might begin with two dolls locked in mortal combat:

New Doll #1, let’s call her Marisa, is an Armani-clad, MBA wielding accountant who’s become the lead person on an international mortgage company’s foreclosure team. Marisa is unflinching and doesn’t mind making her job “up front and personal.” She showed herself one of the rare accountants who could confront defaulting home owners when the bank needed an accountant who would come out of the office.

New Doll #2, we’ll call her Toni, is the eldest child in a family of five that is in the process of losing its home through mortgage default. Her parents were laid off three months ago and Toni and her two sisters wonder how long it will be before they divorce. The family talks about where they might live when the Sheriff’s office puts them out and removes the locks but they really can’t think of a place that would let them stay more than a couple of nights. Toni and her sisters wonder where they’ll go to school. Meanwhile public school administrators and principals have found a name for the growing new matriculation of homeless children. The homeless child who tries to go to a new school is referred to as a “crasher” (Chicago Tribune, 2/23/08). Toni will soon be a crasher.

Ideally little girls should acquire both the new Marisa doll and the new Toni doll. To play the 21st century version of “house” (where did it go?).




One response

3 03 2008

Absolutely !
Only a week ago I was at a suburban shopping mall and there was a little store where young girls could go in and get ‘made up’ as pink princesses. Or pink rock star princesses. One young girl was sitting in the window looking out at the passer by – that would be me – smiling that ‘star’ smile. I was stunned! Forget the little girl, what about the Mother? The Mothers!

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