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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Magazine Monthly: July/August 1993

Mags and dolls.
Another month, another magazine. Yes, I'm cutting it close this month. But it's still October, so there.

Cover Model, Erin Curran.
Our cover model, eleven year old Erin Curran, has tea parties with dolls when she babysits her three nieces and says you gotta be responsible and take control if anything happens. As opposed to the Baby-Sitter's Club mantra of "every adult in Stoneybrook is useless, invite all the kids and make them do things, and Kristy Thomas is our one true god and Karen Brewer is her avatar on earth and gets away with too damn much."

Girls Express starts out with talking about Maria Sansone who, at the time, was the youngest sportscaster in the US and had interviewed cool people like Michael Jordan and even been interviewed herself. (Insert clip from The Tonight Show here.) Cool thing? She's still newscasting! Behold the power of the internets.

Other bits:
  • Ebonne Ruffins, a black girl who was presented as a damn fine swimmer and at the 6th annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet won two golds and a silver
  • How to get a pen pal through AG--ah, the old days of pen pals
  • How tears get jerked--basically, because the human body is a hodge-podge of mixed signals
  • Write in story from a twelve year old Afghan girl whose family left Afghanistan when she was a year old after the Russian Invasion, and who had (at the time) been living in the US since she was three
  • This month's poll and help query
  • poem by a kid about candy.
Babysitting Tips.
 There's a whole section of babysitting tips--and the second one down says to bring a Kid Kit, which is a cardboard box of things to amuse kitlets. Damn you Baby-Sitter's Club series! DAMN YOU~! Also don't feed the kids chocolate over a light colored carpet--if you have kids you should not have light colored carpet anywhere.

The buzzword is "splendiferous." Don't just be using that word in place of wonderful for shits and giggles. We aren't goddamn Fancy Nancy or whatever.

Talk It Out: Competition
This month's Talk it out is about competition with kids in Oregon. Good when it helps you push you and you feel your best, bad when other people are total dicks about winning over you and letting you win, and such forth. Though I'm going to agree wit Cassie, who says that if someone's being a jerk about how they're going to win and then lose, that's good cause they learned their lesson. That's learning em, Cassie.

Molly Takes Flight. More like Molly whines a lot.
Repeats go on--this month's short story, Molly Takes Flight, is about Molly's summer vacation at her grandparents. No summary, it's in book form and nothing changed in the transition like it did with the story of Felicity the Horse Whisperer. But it basically shows that Molly has the same attitude about change as her grandfather--basically, whine whine I don't like change pout pout what's with these women in planes and all these war things that affect my life, what about me. So that's where she gets it from.

Molly (as written) might not be my favorite AG character. But I like her Aunt Eleanor, who wanted to be a pilot and did that shit. Screw you and your late Victorian Early Edwardian attitudes about everything, Dad, I'm going to join the WASPs and bob my hair--

Up in a plane like a boss.
--and haul my niece up in planes so she can stop being a stogy little brat and maybe realize that World War 2 was not about her turnips and birthday cake and forever getting upset when things around her weren't under her total control.

I really don't like Molly.

Looking back: Flyers
The looking back section discusses the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs. I gave you the Wikipedia link, so I'm not babbling much about them. Except to say two things.

One, post war all their records and efforts were sealed up and they weren't treated like actual ex-military, in that wonderful period of "women get back in the kitchen so we can have an era where it looked like women have always stayed home". The records weren't unsealed until 1977 when the Air Force was trying to claim that they were just now starting out with women. (The story gets it wrong and says 1979.)

Two, that the WASPs weren't all white contrary to bullshit. Two were Asian American: Maggie Gee, a Chinese American; Hazel Ying Lee, also Chinese American and the last WASP to die in service (and whose family had to fight to have her buried in the cemetery they picked for her and her brother, because white people got race issues); and Ola Mildred Rexroat, an Oglala Sioux from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, who was the only Native American woman among them.

History: Don't always be trusting that shit as written.

Those Daring Young Girls on the flying Trapeze.
Next is an article about the Peru Amateur Circus and children who participate. That's Peru, Indiana, also known as Circus City. Trapeze and tumbling and high wire and all the circus things.

And then a whole article about awesome things to do with it being summer. Ignore that my timing means that you're getting the summer issue a day before Halloween. This means you get the December issue in December. And shit, it's summer coming up in Australia. Close enough.

Things suggested include:
  • Diving for pennies in the pool
  • clothes relay with wet clothes 
  • How to do a water ballet move, the Oyster (sink under smooth)
  • Decorating picture frames with buttons and shells and painting rocks for paperweights
  • Making flower crowns (if I ever do so I'm using faux flowers)
  • Crap to do when it's raining
  • Crap to do in the back of a car on a road trip
  • Crap to do in the evening for games
  • Books to read before bed (Including one of my faves, Cassie Woodlawn)
Sundae noms.
There are also food recipes: pink lemonade, peach smoothies, and the best part--motherfucking sundaes. I'm not a fan of blue berries but I would eat that shit up with blackberries. Now I'm hungry. Damn it.

Short Story: A Tiara for Tibb
A short story, A Tiara for Tibb, is about a ten year old who, for her birthday--what with it being double digits now--wants a tiara she's been spotting at the local flea market for some time. Spoiler: She gets the money for it post a price hike (up to five when it was only two), but her neighbor kid Katie lost the five dollars she was carrying to buy her grandma some food, and like a nice person Tibb gives her her five bucks and another lady buys the tiara for her since she was generous and really kind. Not a bad story.

Who's That Girl?
And now it's time for Who's that Pokémon--I mean, Who's That Girl?, the column where the reader gets facts about a woman or girl and can guess who she is now. Or turn the page. I'm a fan of turning the page.

It's Linda Ellerbee!
It's Linda Ellerbee--here, being noted for being the executive  producer of Nick News. Don't have much to say on that.

Next is the blah blah blah word puzzles and jokes and things section, nothing to say on that.

Last month, the letters to the editor mentioned the new section HELP! And here it is: A little column on advice for girls. We have:

  • "Hurt and Confused", who's friend is being off and on mean to her and learns the shitty lesson I did as a kid that some so called "friends" are total shits and need to be cut out of your life sooner rather than later
  • "Hallie" who is dealing with a wild puppy who hasn't learned how to behave--take her to obedience school
  • "A Doll Lover in Brooklyn" who likes to play with Barbies and is afraid her friends will pick on her because of the stupid perception that there's an upper limit on girl's toys--I have talked about this here.
  • Advice from a girl who says it's okay to be one of the tallest kids in class because it tens to even itself out.
It's summer, let's get painted.
The Imagine Spot is based on the painting Li'L Sis by William H. Johnson, a famous black painter who shifted from realism to a folk style that became iconic for him. Might need to invest in books about him. I love black artists, there are not enough about them in my life.

Paper doll #5: Lindsey.
Paper Doll #5, Lindsey Kawamura, can trace her family back to 1863 and her great great grandmother from Japan. On her dad's side; on her mom's side, she's Chinese. Lindsey is nine years old, lives in California, and wants to be a sports coach.

Lindsey's paper doll has traits that will carry for the rest of the paper doll releases all the way to the end of the line. Good going Lindsey, setting the stage for standards.The front has the doll, and the fold out contains all the clothes behind her--sticking out a little because it's still four historical clothing sets and a modern.

Lindsey's modern outfit is from an ice skating competition. Next to her is her mom's 1957 styled nice clothing of a nice dress and sweater. (What's that? She's not in a poodle skirt and bobby socks? You mean that's not what everyone wore back then? Quelle horreur!) Next to that is Lindsey's grandmother, Spring (Haruko), who was characterized with a special occasion kimono This appears to be komon style since there's an overall pattern. But don't hold me to that, I mostly can tell furisode and yukata apart. She's also carrying a doll from what I'm pretty sure is Girl's Day.

Speaking of yukata.
Her great grandmother, Kume, gets a yukata--the lighter, casual summer kimono with a semi simple obi. Her arms are tucked behind her, which means you can't see that the sleeves are much shorter than they would be in fancier kimono. I am slightly bothered by the fact that the yukata was drawn as if it just closed over, when it's almost always tucked up with dual belts. Picky me is picky.

I alas did not get a good shot of her great grandmothers Ichi's clothing--she's wearing a casual kimono with mompe, or drawstring pants, and leggings. The book spells them "monpei", which is not accurate. This is why I must research all the things to get them right.

All dressed up with a book.
I happen to have two sets, which means one set for playing around. The booklet is now standardized; set with one color and with a print to it, and the girl's face in a circle. Lindsey's purple with a stylized flower. 

Next Time: Addy!
Next time on Magazine Monthly: Halloween, back to school shenanigans, getting your work on, poetry contests, and the magazine debut of the best AG ever: Addy Walker.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting! I really like magazine monthly, and your insight on each article.


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