American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Magazine Monthly: May/June 1993

Doll. Magazine. Monthly.
Magazine Monthly: You know the drill, no need for too many details. Let's jump into this. Down the rabbit hole!

Cover model, Courtney Price
Our cover model, Eleven year old Courtney Price, likes to swim, run track, read mystery books, has a pet parakeet named Candy, and likes math. She also mentions that her family takes a vacation every year; she prefers cars to planes cause in cars you get to see stuff on the way.

I strongly suspect that this is the same girl that may have modeled the paper doll for the very first issue (which I now have) but I can't pin that down. So I won't assume. But I'm heavily leaning that way.

The start of Help!
This month, we have letters from readers--write in, and you too can be in letters to the editor! One person talks about the soccer data in the "September" issue, a.k.a. the premiere; a girl wondering what happened to the mini mag; people making the monies; and one person saying that things should be done when you don't get in the magazine. Honey, the world is full of crushing disappointment. Ah, but the letter I love: the letter that mentions that there should be an advice column, followed by the news that there will be one. It's the start of Help!, something that continues on.

Working at living museums.
Girls Express starts with a girl who works at the Stagecoach Inn Museum. She started at age seven and four years later was considered one of the best guides there. Since the idea was to dip into the 1870s, she dressed in the prairie style and guided people through the kitchen, showing things like washing and how to make older style snow cones. She also mentions the ghost story about a guy named Pierre. Site verifies it.

Other things in Girls Express include:
  • The then-new The Secret Garden movie coming out
  • keeping your juice box cool through freezing it
  • making money by hustling popcorn at sports games
  • the buzzword "exhilarating" 
  • winning an AG watch by entering a poetry contest
  • Spending time with dad cause Father's Day
So 90s.
...and puff paint sneakers. It's totally radical!

what in the hell

There was also a "Dumbest Toy" poll which got marks for G.I. Joe (shrug), Hula hoops (don't you love it when people don't understand awesome fads) and Baby Rollerblade. I can feel the side ponytail at my head. But the winner/loser was Magic Potty Baby, who basically sat on and faux-pissed in a toilet the same way those drink bottles work for dolls. Ah, dolls with body functions: made forever and loathed by most. Let's move on.

Not inviting people to parties, and being left out yourself.
Talk It Out: Parties, when you can't invite everyone to them. Back then, people got hurt feelings or only invited close friends; I once had a valentine's slumber party that I masked the invites in the class valentines, and before then I just asked people. It was super easy, because I didn't have many friends, and the few parties I got invited too were somewhat awkward because I, again, didn't have many real friends. Now they solve this by making a lot of children invite everyone in the class if in elementary school. Fuck that shit. Age of child = maximum number of children that age at party. The hell if I'm ever going to have a party with thirty five-year-old children. Feelings do get hurt, but such is the way of parties. I probably didn't get invited to a lot of things. The tips on how to avoid hurt feelings are good, though: what to do when your parents won't let you invite everyone, what to do when someone's super hurt they didn't get invited and is still mad even after explaining, what to do when you're invited and others aren't, and what to do when you're not invited.

Also, we have an Emily C and Emily H. I always thought the kids who got letters after their names were special--I once had a class with two Christinas and two Brandi/Brandys. I now realize that this meant their name was super common.

A New Short Story and a New Girl at Powderkeg School.
Another short story--this one is again about Kirsten. Addy won't be out til the fall of '93, so we're getting character repeats. This one is essentially Kirsten and the New Girl, which can be purchased so I'm not recapping it.  I actually am impressed with Kirsten, even though she's not in my gang (I have Charlotte for all my living in the county semi-pioneer needs). For one thing, she's heading back to school after having measles. In the middle of Minnesota in 1856, when that shit could and would kill you dead, she gets over it and lives. Fuck you bears, bees, and measles! Kirsten marches on like a badass.

That's right, I like to make my AG characters queer.
Also, Kirsten thinks the new girl, Nora, is very pretty. Rampant lesbianism ahoy! There's not many story changes, like with Felicity the Fence Walking Horse Whisperer: mostly just line tweaks. Still, whenever I do my short story scans, I'll scan it in.

Quilting like a mofo.
The story is followed by looking back at quilts through American history, and how girls have been quilting forever. Which reminds me: I need to put my current quilt top together. I found one thrift shopping (if you mention that one white rapper I'll yell at you). I also have the one I already put together. Quilting is pretty sweet stuff to do.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt.
This section also mentions a book, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Clara, a slave, uses her quilting skills to make a map of the area which helps her and her mother run to freedom, based on a true story. What can I say, I love slave narratives, especially when they involve clueless white people.

Make some Quilting!
And there's even a related craft! Making a patchwork pincushion. It does hand sewing and is really easy to do even as a beginner. It does say you should use an iron with adults and even that you and your mom should be sewing together but I started using irons when I was eight years old and sewing when I was four. I say try it, if you'd like.

Double fucking dutch.
The next article is about Double Dutch teams. I love watching and seeing Double Dutch. It's pretty bad ass. I never gt any good at actually jumping Double Dutch as a kid, but I was sweet at turning. Also, Double Dutch is so very black. And I love my people.

Live without TV--hard in the 90s!
Now we go into the article of a girl who lives in Oregon in a log cabin with no indoor toilet and--GASP--no television! It was a hot trend in the 90s, in that living without TV was getting back to nature and getting off the boob tube. Or something. I lived without TV once for several months including over Spring Break, cause we didn't have one--ours broke and we couldn't afford a new one just yet. Also poverty. And it sucked, and I like my media surges and fandom thank you. She has chickens and a horse and sews and plays fiddle and skis and the like.

What would happen if I turned off the TV? Back then? Books and art and sewing. Nowadays? Add internet and streaming through the computer.

Before reading Suzy and Leah...cause it's got a heavy theme.
After this is another story: Suzy and Leah by Jane Yolen. This one is about a WASP girl who thinks a new girl is strange, and a Jewish girl who...well, was a refugee from Europe and was in a refugee shelter in Oswego, New York. Because World War II involved the Holocaust and Nazis. Do I need to go into detail why this needed a foreword? If you think I do, Google it and stop assuming that American Girl has the final story on World War Two when it only covers a WASP girl in Middle America who doesn't like math, turnips, and change. I can't even crack many jokes because millions of people died at the hands of Nazis.

And the story proper.
The story is actually findable via a good search, but again--I'll scan it in, likely cause it is worth the read. To sum it up the way I sum up without spoiling: the girls are each writing in diaries. Suzy doesn't understand why the new girl, Leah, is so weird and what the refugee camp means, so she's a bitch to the Jewish kids because they're not like her, especially Leah. Leah is quiet and standoffish because her mother and baby sibling were killed in a concentration camp and she can't feel safe yet--and she thinks Suzy is a bitch. And then after several circumstances Suzy realizes that maybe she's been a bitch and doesn't know what the hell is going on, and should get her head out of her ass.

After this was an article on a bike hike--basically, riding bikes on a clue trail to a party. Back when parents didn't hover nearly as much so you could ride bikes without expecting mom and dad over your butt. Also, helmets were a thing but the rest of the gear not so much.

Blah blah games and giggles blah blah didn't take a pic.

Hanging on the beach.
The painting this month is a close up from On The Beach by Winslow Homer. The main one is huge, and the children are off to the side. I think it would make an awesome print. Behold, how you waded before most people went swimming--hike up your skirts and dip your ankles and hope you didn't get swept out cause your ass would drown.

Paper Doll #4: Allison.
Onward with paper dolls--the first one will get her own article later. This one stars Allison Barnthouse, who traces her family back to her quad-great grandmother from 1783--a little post the Revolutionary War.

Standardized paper dolling.
Allison has some traits that carry forward for some time through the paper doll line--the girl on the front with her facts to the side, a single line of clothes in a fold out in time order, the booklet at the top, and five outfits. She still has some unique traits, which won't carry past here. But a lot of it is starting to streamline. Allison is ten years old from Glenwood, IL and in the 5th grade with a cat named Beaucoup. She wants to be an actress.

The booklet isn't nearly as ornate as any of the others before it. Allison is in a posed picture, which looks really nice. Don't get used to it.

How Revolutionary.
Her quad great grandmother, Mary, was ten in 1783. Her family headed to the then wilds of Ohio when she was a baby, and settled a farm, because invasions and such. The Native people fought back against white people moving in, and the family had to move to a fort, and her father was killed.

I more like that her outfit is Felicity-style. The hat is to her side because mob caps were required.

1862. Zouave suits.
Allison's double great grandmother, Kate, represents 1862 and also lived on a farm. She saved her two-year-old nephew Elmer when he fell in the well. Zouave suits with Garibaldi blouses are one of the neatest looks ever. It's the same style as Addy's school set, and screams 1860s/Civil War fashion.

1903 and 1964.
1903 is her great grandmother, Helen, who dressed a lot like Samantha--pinafores over dresses, cause that's how they kept dresses clean. White can bleach like hell via sunshine and scrubbing. Colors not so much. Also, kerosene lamps.

Peggy, Allison's mother, was ten in 1964 and her favorite dress was from Paris, made of blue velvet, trimmed with lace, and gorgeous. I will have to make something like this for my gang.

Looking good for the 90s--and maybe even today.
Allison--who apparantly was the first female Barnthouse in 91 years--is rocking the blazer, pleated skirt, and turtleneck look of the early 90s. It's a then-stylish look--and would work today, with a less low blazer. Her hat, by the way, is over by the mobcap. She's looking rad. And she was in a play about The Hobbit. Sweetness.

Next time: Summer and Stuff.
Next time on Magazine Monthly: Molly hates change, rocking the summer, a sweet circus act, and the first ever advice column--HELP!



  1. I have been looking for this mag forever, because I remember the no-TV article since I read this issue, hot off the press! Your blog is AMAZING.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I would not sell any copies of my magazines. If you want older magazines, you can do as I did and go to eBay.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. It's rude as hell to ask people for things out of their personal collections at any time. It took me some time to get my things. Go find your own.

      At least that dumb request of yours meant I got to update my FAQ.


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