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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why I'm an Outsider - Part Two: There's Fundies In My Fandom

Two dolls and too deep in the madness of the American Girl Fandom, circa 2006.
So there I was, barely two months into the American Girl fandom, with only Addy Walker to my name. And I had already gotten in trouble for talking about a standard part of human anatomy because babies get here by sparkledust and fairy tales and don't you forget it. I was starting off on a great note, let me tell you internets.

On the collection front, Addy's collection was growing slow but steady, and I had very recently gotten my first post-college sewing machine, a Janome 3125 (nicknamed Janome Halloween-Giftmas) that I still have as a travel machine. I had even attempted to remake two outfits that had been retired out of her collection1 and started to design my own for her, including one as a reaction to Addy getting left out of a release again. But, having been smacked once by the Hand of Mod and not in the mood to be smacked again, I did what was Standard Neth Operating Procedure at the time.

I lurked like a motherfucker.

I didn't totally lurk. I still posted things and tried to get along with people and be friendly to the others on the board. But as the old saying goes, I kept my head down and my nose clean. Without standing out too much or getting in trouble and while guarding my words heavily, I watched how people posted and saw the community actually felt, and tried to figure out how not to make an ass of myself again.

This is how I found out that there was an underlying level of Christianity, fundamentalism, and financial enabling that I look back on and get more than a little skeeved out about.

Prologue: Not Such a Sweet Baby Face
Part One: Finding AG Fans, or How Periods are Bad For Children

Before I tear off the faux friendly covers of AGF to expose the sticky smelly fundy funk underneath, let me talk briefly about American Girl Playthings. I'm doing this half by timeline and half by memory, and the more I lay out before I get elbows deep in the madness the better.

American Girl Playthings, or AGPT/AGP, launched around February 2006--right around the first time I got in trouble with AG Fans. AGPT was the second ever message board for American Girl fandom I'd ever seen, other than some side shoot offs, generic doll message boards, and Yahoo and other Mailing Lists. One of the founders, EofA--short for Eleanor of Aquitaine--was really nice to me. She had started to talking to me on AIM--AOL Instant Messenger2 and agreed that AGF had a lot of restrictive repressive rules. She was starting a new board, and she thought that I should get in on the ground floor--partially because she was aiming for it to be a lot less restrictive than AGF.3 So I signed up once the boards were open. That's how my fingers got into that pie. 

And to be honest, I liked EofA. She was an adult--granted so was I, but she was older than me--and she was kind, a touch snarky, and very helpful. She even pointed me towards an Buy It Now auction for a used American Girl with brown eyes, her hair hacked short, and on the very grubby side of used for only $22. What a steal! With my fiance's permission--since at the time I was jobless and he was still in college, so fixed incomes were quite fixed--I got my first ever modern doll. Her wig was completely unsalvageable and a trip to a local doll store--which has since folded--hadn't gotten me anywhere. So I wasn't sure where to find fitting wigs, and I posted on the board looking for help. Another collector contacted me and offered--super generously, I may add--to send me three wigs out of her collection of AG scaled wigs. Diva, I believe her username was. I didn't have to even pay her for them. All I had to do was send back the two wigs that I decided against, and post pictures once she was made over.  And that's how Naomi J. Kirkland was born and I became the doll whisperer.

Naomi Kirkland, Gang Member #2. It would take a while to perfect my clothes design style.4 
So there weren't 100% horrible people in the fandom. There never really have been, to be honest. It's just that, just like Christianity, the terrible people were the loudest. And these people were terrible. The main terrible thing for me, an emerging pagan, was the Christian supremacy. 

Do not, do not, do not get me wrong. I have no issues with people choosing Christianity for themselves as a personal faith. There are good Christians in this world. You keep your faith or lack thereof to you and don't bash mine. And I get that message boards are not free speech because they are not the US government. Shit, this blog isn't--you say stupid shit in the comments and you will get told all about yourself. But I do have an issue, and rightfully so, with the fact that being Christian means that you are privileged in western society, and I have hella issues with fundamentalists that suppress anything they don't like in the name of "spreading the message" or avoiding being "worldly." You are on the internet, get over yourselves.

As I said, talking about something as biologically common as menstruation was a bad topic and not for the sensitive eyes of the children. The following was also verboten, among many other things:
  • Talking about anything other than being straight and monogamous. If you were not straight, you were never to mention your partner. The words "my girlfriend" were not allowed if you IDed as female--and there were few male collectors of note. Trans issues? Gender fluidity? Don't even think about that. And of course, I never brought up I was bisexual or poly. But women were free to talk about their husbands--or, as the cutesy-poo abbreviation went, "DH."
  • Any faith other than Christianity. This wasn't explicitly spoken, but the tone of the board was very Christian. There was a reason they didn't find out I was blatantly pagan til that October.
  • Politics. Somewhat. You weren't supposed to bring the outside world into the bubble of doll collecting, because it would just make everything messy. So no talking about anything political or messy or unfun--you talked mostly about dolls. This is why I barely got to know anyone before AG > 18.
  • Deeper critique of the AG books. You could say that a book was scary for your child or maybe that you felt a topic in a story was "inappropriate" for the target age, but that was about as far as you could go. At this time there wasn't a historical after Kaya, so there was no Julie issue. 
  • Cursing or other bad language. I understand there are people who don't like everyone saying fuck everywhere despite the beautiful versatility of the word, but things like "sucks" and "shut up" and "breasts" were bad language. 
  • Linking to unwholesome sites. Again, no one wants to accidentally stumble on unwanted porn--if they're looking for porn, it's on purpose and they don't need your help to find it. But unwholesome sites included places like Yahoo search, Geocities--shut up I'm internet old--and livejournal. This included telling someone to Google or websearch something because they might find a site they didn't like.
  • Race discussion. You could mention the race of your dolls and maybe your own. I only recall about three people other than me being black and one girl who was Native, Colette Denali. But most of the board was white. So you couldn't correct someone for saying something racially insensitive, such as that black dolls didn't sell or that Kaya's religion was "strange." You couldn't argue that someone shouldn't put Kaya's clothes on white dolls or stereotype a character. A common complaint for Jess in the fandom at the time? Her story and collection wasn't Asian enough. A lot of Jess dolls found themselves wearing the Chinese New Year Outfit to "celebrate their heritage" and you couldn't say anything was wrong with that.
  • Anything that hurt someone's feelings. It didn't matter how terrible their crafts were or their attitudes or how insulting what they said was to you, you were supposed to be nice back or find nice ways to say things because being mean was being unfriendly.  If you couldn't say something uplifting, you just were supposed to shut up--unless, of course, that thing you were saying was to protect the children.
Meanwhile, the following things were perfectly common and in fact, were part of the overall tone of the board (and this is not the full list, mind):
  • Prayer Requests. If a person wanted someone to pray for them, it was permissible to post that outright. And the only proper response was to say that you would pray to God for them for whatever the issue was. I could not get away with anything outside of offering well wishes, as per the not hurting feelings deal. Something like "I'll light a candle" I was not bold enough to attempt. And there was no off topic section so there could be a "pray for me" topic right above a "I just got my order!" post.
  • The Dolly Clothes Police. Did you take a picture of a doll without her underwear on, or with no shoes, or maybe not in the perfect position? Bring out the Dolly Police! There were people on the board who, if a picture was posted of a doll not in its full dress or with full respect--say, standing in mud or water or with their hair messed up--another poster would say they would bring the Dolly Police to your house to take away your dolls and adopt them out to better mommies. And that was considered cute. 
  • On that topic, Dolly Mommies. Again, something I'd like to tear apart in its own post. But if you were over a certain age and had gotten a doll, it was more acceptable to refer to yourself as a Dolly Mommy, and in photostories and albums the dolls were to call you "mommy." Which I was not even cool with. People also referred to others as Dolly Mommies if they were old enough or as their children--almost always girls--as mommies to their dolls.
  • On the topic of clothes, a doll could be immodestly dressed. There was at least one mod who was Mormon fundamentalist--maybe even most of them--and she often complained that the tank tops and shorts offered in modern outfits were immodest. If she thought your doll was immodestly dressed, then it was, and if she said so, then such was the Word of Mod.
  • Blatant display of financial wealth, and enabling references to a lack of self control when buying things. A common saying when a poster went shopping and blew a lot on doll things was the acronym EOYBA - Empty Out Your Bank Account. It was considered out of your hands, even--the "Doll Force" had just compelled you to buy, say, Jess's entire world collection as soon as it was released. Or whoops, you just kept adding to the cart and then number was high, giggle giggle, well can't do anything about it, giggle giggle.
  • Pleasant Company Was Better Than Mattel. American Girl at this point had been owned by Mattel--makers of the terrible evil no good very bad Barbie who you were free to bash along with those terrible Bratz--outright for six years and they were going to run the company into the ground with their terrible practices. I plan to continue my "I'm a Mattel I'm a PC" series and go into more there, but the overall tone was that Mattel was doing terrible things, and owning PC things made you a better person and closer to the truth that Pleasant Rowland had intended. The clothes were too small for older dolls because they were sized for fit on the "anorexic" new dolls, they had taken good things away from the Girls of Today, everything was made of plastic instead of real gourds or glass, and too much was getting retired. Did you have a Mattel Felicity or Addy? Well, that was all right but maybe you should go on eBay and get an older used doll. Their faces were so much better. And it was simply terrible that some dolls were only Mattel, with their crunchy lashes and skinny minny bodies.
And this is just what I remember, heard of, and saw. It wasn't fun, my droogs. But AGPT was still growing and if I wanted news, AGFMB was the place to learn about it. 

One example of the Fundamentalism Run Rampant that I (fortunately) missed most of was the Girls Inc controversy. Girls, Inc is a nonprofit organization, started in 1864, that seeks to empower girls to become smart, strong, and confident and uplift girls in a word that often tells them they can't do things because they're a girl--especially poor, Black, and/or Latina girls. And American Girl was starting to work towards the motto of empowering and uplifting girls. You'd think they would go together like peanut butter and jelly, and AG certainly did. So in 2005, American Girl branched out into the wide world of nonprofit partnership and paired up with Girls, Inc for the current hotness, rubber wrist bands. They designed and sold "I Can" rubber bracelets with their star logo for about $2, with all profits going to Girls, Inc.

And it went over kinda badly among fundies.

Bad bracelet! Be less positive and liberal.
In reaction to AG saying that girls should have uplifting positivity, conservative fundamentalist doll collectors pissed themselves in Righteous Jesus Anger.  Because Girls, Inc supports among many things the right of a woman's reproductive choices including the choice to seek abortion5 and acceptance of sexualities other than heterosexual one-man-one-woman.

And how DARE they do either! Google "Girls Inc American Girl" and just see a few of the many news reports still floating around over the controversy and the ire that a plastic bracelet caused. Fundies were staging protests and canceling events and calling AG to complain about this moral filth and sending letters and threatening and organizing boycotts and even sending dolls back and demanding refunds. Because AG had the unmitigated gall to support baby-murdering lesbianism. This degeneracy just wouldn't stand, damn it. AG mutually ended the partnership at the end of 2005,  but it wasn't an easy time for them and they still get fall out from this.6

On the board? This was considered an appropriate thing to denounce. And the other side of the debate was basically allowed to be "I don't feel that way" without saying anything in support of Girl's Inc.  Did you not read above? You couldn't support being gay outright, much less be outwardly in support of the so-called right to be a baby killing super slut.

You are stretching your way straight to hell, young lady.
Another fun dramabomb on the board--again, wasn't directly there for it but I heard through the grapevine--was over a no longer available outfit, the Warm Up Outfit and Mat. Released in 2003, the outfit was pretty simple. But the sin was that it contained a yoga mat. And we all know yoga is just a nice way of having Satan get into your downward dog, if you know what I mean. People complained that AG had the temerity to release an outfit that promoted something as pagan as yoga, what with all its Hindu-Buddhist heathen messages about meditating and uniting body and mind and spirituality and whatever. Nice Christian ladies in the early Oughties did not do yoga, because yoga was not designed for Jesus--even though yoga in the west has been decoupled from the spiritual side since the resurgence in the 80s when I was a child. Shades of the Baby Face shit, there.

But, you may think, you never met these people. Maybe they were okay face to face and the internet just only showed the worst side. Oh, but I did. Once.

In May '06, there was a meetup in a local park for Seattle and WA-State based collectors. I dressed Addy in her Jump Rope Dress7 with her hair in double loops and Naomi in a pink top, jeanesque skirt, white hoodie I'd made for her, and ruffled socks and Mary Janes. Naomi got subjected to a lot of shit before I got good at this doll thing. It was a touch rainy--Seattle, what you gonna do--but the person organizing it had gotten a table under a shelter. I think there were about five or six of us all together and I don't remember nowadays any of the people I met. I do remember being the only black person there. News flash for the white population: It can be very uncomfortable to be the only person of color in a group you've never met before when they don't expect you to be so. I was also the youngest there barring someone's child.

Awkward.

Look at all those effing dolls. And now I have more than that.
But it wasn't all bad. There was a #268 who was still on the new side of the moderns, someone had Jess--the girl of the Year at the time--and even a couple Bitty Babies and Bitty Twins. (Seeing #26 up close confirmed my desire to get her.) Someone had brought the older catalogs--and there was a lot of talk about how everything had been so much better under Pleasant and how honest the catalogues had been. I didn't really care about the difference, but I let them talk and did like looking at the old stuff I'd missed between learning Addy existed and actually getting her.

But it felt strange, like the adults weren't really sure how to interact with me. I wasn't a stay at home mom, I hadn't gotten into collecting through my children--I'd gotten into it because I was of age enough to have wanted Addy as a kid9--and while I'd had a brief stint working retail at Target, I was currently unemployed and my fiance was a college junior. They also had a bit of an issue with my pentacle. I think even if they had braced themselves for young and black, they hadn't expected the out paganism. But they were polite--which is sometimes the best you can hope for. It was nice enough for a few hours of meeting people, and I thought that if they ever did something like that again I'd like to be part of it.

If they had any other meetups again, I wasn't invited. By then, I'd made a name for myself, and it wasn't exactly wholesome and fluffy.

Next:
Part Three: The Wicked Witch of Customizing and the Birth of AG > 18

--Neth

1 One went okay. The other not so much. I've since upgraded both so the rough copies have been pushed down quietly--and no you can't see them unless I say so.
2 I still use it, even if nowadays about three people consistently talk to me on it and everyone else apparently transitioned to Facebook and all that shit. I just use Pidgin now to run through it.
3And we all see how that went, fuck you very much. Give me time. 
4 Still have this set. Time for Crafting Creatively Posts: Pajama Jammy Jam edition.
5 I am a hard pro-choice advocate. Every woman has the right to choose to end a pregnancy if she so decides and abortion is a medical right. Argue with me about this and you will lose. Try me.
6 One of the things that came out of this controversy was swarms of 18" doll companies who were pretty outright about how their dolls promoted good, wholesome Christian Values--such as Vision Forum and Life of Faith--and how they were the alternative to American Girl's filthy lesbian baby murder. I can't think of a major company that came up from that that's still kicking around now; the whole "Jesus-filled Doll" trend pretty much died out one way or another. 
7 Details later. Maybe soon. Addy could use a clothes change. 
8 #26s were not yet referred to as Fauxtters. I didn't have her yet. But that is for later in the story.
9 Thirteen is still in a whole lot of ways a kid. Especially as I get older.

36 comments:

  1. Honestly, I wish people could just look past personal beliefs and respect them, it's really a lack of character to do otherwise. I love your blog and seeing things from your point of view really has opened my mind about a few things in the AG fandom.

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  2. Jesus fucking christ. I never knew AG fandom boards were so restrictive. its like a totalitarian society when you cant even talk.... me myself I have an 8 year old daughter and she s only allowed to do her homeowrk on her laptop, as for internet, I got the parenting control program blocking all the chatrooms, social networks, porn and other shit that a little kid shouldnt deal with. yet I dont expect a toy forum to be completely kid friendly. up untill a certain age parents must control how much access a kid has to internet. every freaking website out there cannot be kid friendly.

    sure, since AG is a doll discussion forum and many kids browse it I understand some restrictions must apply. no cursing, no porn, no racist slurs. but apart from that ... mentioning that your gay or your political views- as long as you dont tell people to start wars kill each other and shit - should be allowed. discussing race should be allowed as long as you re respectfull. and that anti gay christian obsession is just insane. it seems as if its mostly 90 year old women on that board or smth. never thought of that before. crazy and not sure I wanna register on such a message borad.
    Laura

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    1. At the time, a lot of people on AG Fans basically pushed the idea that their children shared their accounts or were looking, so we had to write to not offend their sensitive children. And if they didn't want their hypothetical sheltered child to know about gay people, then you couldn't talk about it.

      Thing is, with COPPA a thing, children under 13 shouldn't be online unsupervised. And if you are 13 or over you are old enough to handle some parts of the internet yourself, including curse words and frank discussions on the human body.

      The board was mostly made of of white conservative and/or fundie middle aged Christian housewives, as I'll get into in later parts.

      Delete
  3. Your posts are keeping me in the fandom, I swear. I keep lurking and meaning to get up the gumption to comment the new pretty AG board but chickening out.
    F*ck, is there anything fundies don't ruin? I missed out on the Girls Inc thing since I had yet to cycle back around to AG from my own childhood, but goddamn. These fundies wanna hold up Pleasant Company as a standard, they need to check their fucking history since Pleasant Company supported some pretty progressive shit by fundie standards. I'm not by any means calling them "radical", I'm just remembering the '90s version of the magazine, for one, which certainly seems to me to be in the spirit of Girls Inc. Nostalgia goggles, how they blind.

    People calling child dolls "immodest"... uh, I'ma need to put you on a watch list. Gross. Not gonna name names, but there's another blog I had to stop reading since the woman, a doll collector with three young daughter doll collectors, keeps talking about how her husband complains-- er-- "values" modesty and they have to alter the clothing of the dolls accordingly. THE DOLLS (granted these are at least adult dolls, Barbies and Ever After High, but still). That's just... ew.

    News flash for the white population: It can be very uncomfortable to be the only person of color in a group you've never met before when they don't expect you to be so.

    THIS 10000x. Please tell me they didn't think you were the maid or otherwise a service person. Nothing against either maids nor service people, I've worked retail all my life, but I've shown up at gatherings like this (not doll-related, but sorta similar) and got mistaken for one of the waitstaff. The actual waitstaff, by the way, was white. >_>

    Nice how these people apparently cared about not hurting feelings so long as it doesn't have to do with racism/queerphobia (because our hurt feelings don't count, I guess). I mean, I get not maybe letting loose on someone's ugly-ass crafts (as someone who unintentionally makes ugly-ass crafts now and then, I get it), but dolly police? What?

    YAY PAGANS OF COLOR! YAY PAGANS! I dress some of my dolls for the Sabbats but I completely lack your skills in design/sewing.

    Sorry I always end up writing on novel on your blog, I just get so excited. :P

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    1. Dammit, I meant to star my other f-bombs. I know swearing is okay, but when I get going, I really get going.

      Delete
    2. They luckily didn't assume that I was there to clean up after them because I said I was coming. But they were slightly....standoffish? They knew I would be black--but I didn't think it hit them until I arrived. And I knew they didn't expect the pentacle.

      Don't feel bad around writing a novel of comments!

      Delete
  4. on a slightly different note... as much as I love AG dolls I do feel weird and still havent embraced myself as an adult collector. I know its stupid but its how it is - I only started buying AG dolls when my daughter was born. (my childhood was spent in Germany, no AG dolls there). I really would love to meet some people in my hometown in Germany who are into AG but they are not available here and Im afraid Im going to be classified as a total weirdo. fandom of toys is not nearly as spread here as in the US, and I mean toys of any kind, not just dolls. people who collect toys are rare. and yes Id be totally embarassed to go to any collectors meeting and I wouldnt know what to talk about with other people... its so much easier to discuss those dolls with my daughter or my sisters! If I went to a collectors meeting I would feel like Im one of those guys:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QPMLQGuL0c

    ok I hope I did not offend any AG collectors... but Im still pretty much "in the closet" about my fascination with 18 inch dolls, especially AG, sewing for them, collecting crafts and books. only my family knows( had I lived in The states permanently I would totally be cool about it but even then I would never brace myself to go to any such meeting. I still feel embarassed about playing with AG dolls when Nicki, my daughter is not around. at the same time I have no problem sharing my husbands fascination with star wars, marvel comics, dressing up for halloween, playing out scenes from star wars and having light saber fights=) but admitting that I still love to play with dolls like when I was 7 seems embarassing( good for you to be able to do what you want!
    laura

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    1. Dear laura, while there are few AG collectors in Germany, there are a few, at least. I´m in Cologne. I also collect other dolls and action figures (and I do admit, I feel slightly more comfortable taking them out in public and taking pictures than I do with my AGs). Whereabouts are you from?

      Delete
  5. I'm sorry that you had to deal with all that. How do you feel AG Collectors is doing in comaprison? It lacks all the crazy but has been very quiet lately.

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    1. It's growing slowly, but steady. I try not to compare them to older places and all they have because they've been around for almost ten years and we've only been officially open for five months. But we're sitting well. A Google search brings us up third in line, and considering the other two are locked down, that bodes well for us to grow when people seek out American girl message boards.

      Delete
  6. Jesus H. Christ, I'm sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for starting a board for collectors who aren't crazy. Speaking of crazy, a couple of days ago I was lurking on AGPT and came across a serious discussion about whether or not a peace sign on a doll shirt was an "occult symbol." I laughed out loud. 1. No. 2. Why the fuck would you care? If you don't like it, don't buy it. 3. Even if it was an "occult symbol" that offended the fundies' beliefs somehow, it's not like putting the shirt on your doll would make her eyes glow and make her come to life and picket the nearest megachurch. Actually, that would be kind of cool. If they made a shirt that did that I would get it for Kirsten, even though I don't dress her in moddie stuff.

    --ellaweasel

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    1. Ugh. Calling a peace sign "occult" is a giveaway that you're not dealing with a real critical thinker. (There's a rumor among the Left Behind/Hal Lindsey crowd that a peace sign is a broken inverted cross. It actually was taken from a semaphore signal, "stand down", IIRC, when originally adopted by CMD. Which anyone with two thumbs and access to Google could find out.)

      --Grungie

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    2. CND (Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament) I meant.

      Delete
    3. OMG, you didn't know nuclear disarmament was SO OCCULT? I mean, mushroom clouds KILL people! And if those people are bad people then they go to Satan or something, and we all know how that ends!

      /sarcasm Pfft. (Though this may reach back to some things mentioned in the peace signs Wikipedia space--it looks like a crow's foot, middle ages symbol for the devil and apparently is somehow similar in design to a swastika. 0_o)

      And if we're talking Julie, the worst she'll do is picket nuclear weapon development. Or maybe war. :P

      Delete
    4. It's semaphore for the N and D in Nuclear Disarmament.

      Delete
    5. OMG My Kaya has a shirt on with peace signs right now. RAINBOW peace signs, nonetheless. OMG Why isn't her eyes glowing? I think my shirt's broken.

      No, in all seriousness, I'd seriously buy a shirt like that if it existed. I think I could even get my mom to drive me to the nearest megachurch so Miss Kaya in her peace sign shirt and jeweled jeans could protest. Heh.

      Delete
    6. But as a proper Christian, you can´t just go and google occult symbols to find out if they are really what you think they are. Even thinking about occult symbols is teh_eevelz! / sarcasm off.

      Delete
  7. Did you ever come across any of those knockoff dolls that came out after the GirlsInc debacle? I remember seeing Life Of Faith dolls advertised as some kind of AG alternative but was unimpressed with how the Civil War era girl, the pioneer girl, and I think maybe there was a 1930's girl all were dressed pretty much alike (i.e. a crap-ton of lace.). And the ones sold by Vision Forum cost around $200 or something ridiculous.

    --Grungie

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    1. Vision Forum has completely imploded in on itself. The founder of the ministry, Doug Phillips, who is and always will be a tool (shoutout to Free Jinger!), had an affair and after his resignation, the entire thing shut down. Everything in their online store, including the dolls, was HELLA marked down. I thought about picking up the tights and socks set, and a pair of shoes, but I just couldn't do it, I couldn't line Doug's/the Christian Patriarchy's pockets.

      Other dolls I've seen that carry this "wholesome" message include the Vanange dolls. Emily over at TBP bought one but returned her, and apparently she comes with a pamphlet of some kind. Life of Faith folded, and the Elsie Dimwit books (that the Life of Faith dolls were based off of) can still be found, just not through Vision Forum anymore obviously.

      Delete
    2. I own Laylie who I got cheap when the company folded and she was terrible before I straightened her out. The characters except for her were based on a very disturbing books series from the 19th century where the main character Elsie Dinsmore, was shown suffering for Jesus in so many creepy ways.

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    3. In the original Elsie books she tells the enslaved children that everyone is white in Heaven. I know that Life of Faith rewrote them (probably mostly to get rid of such vomitworthy racist garbage), but Vision Forum reprinted the original unreconstructed versions. Half their bag was printing books in the public domain. To me the though the fact that Life of Faith was willing to go through the trouble of rewriting the books shows how skewed fundie priorities are. "These books may be crazy racist, and this little girl may have a codependent relationship with her emotionally abusive father and end up with such major daddy issues that she marries her dad's best friend, who she's known since she was a little girl, but AT LEAST SHE LOVES JESUS!"
      --ellaweasel

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  8. ALL of the AG boards out there are scary. They either seem to be run by jerkoff fundies or hostile liberals, but they are all very intolerant of other points of view no matter which way they lean.

    They all make me sick.

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    1. Well, I run AG Collectors and I'm intolerant of outright bigotry and people who refuse to stop being privileged asshats around me so, you know.

      We've only had to ban one person so far and that guy kept doing racist things and claiming it was allowed under creativity and mewling when called out on his overt, terrible bigotry.

      Delete
  9. I have some strange urge now to join an AG board under an assumed username and start posting about how much I love Babymetal. A band that talks about a fox god telling them things in dreams and descending onstage and naming them prophets to spread the word of metal and the "metal resistance" across the globe and universe is sure to get SOMEone's panties in a twist.

    In all seriousness, I grow more and more uncomfortable with the fandom surrounding AG the more you mention it. I'm still relatively new and not all in it, so I've not seen most of the bad side so far.

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  10. OH my gods what a hot mess! I'm sorry, Neth. My gang are shaking their heads.

    Also, my Babyface has no shoes on, but does have tights with feet. Someone gonna call the dolly police on her, and Josefina who has no shoes either? OH noes!

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  11. Woah has it truly been that long. Welp it has. Way back I was among the first batch to join AGF and if the original founders could see me now. They would fall over dead. : P The level of fail I witnessed with the I Can Band and yoga mat of sin (snickers) was astounding.

    As you know it only went downhill from there. Glad to say I've kept the friends I made as we migrated around the AG fandom. Wado (thanks) for starting AGC and AGO.

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    1. I think the original founders would go into apoplectic fits to see the two of us.

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    2. Mmhmmm. We're still here doing what we love. Granted I've had to take a giant step back from AG in the past two years. But that's more due to real life changes and nothing that the AGF crowd hoisted on me. Merry Blessings.

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  12. The description of AGFMB reads like a satire. I know it´s not (I´d been a lurker there for a while when I first got into AG) and it´s actually quite sad that these living caricatures caused (and some are still causing) so much hurt to many people. But at least in hindsight we can share a smile about it. I´m truly glad that we now have a community like AGC where common sense rules over blind extremism.

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  13. Wow. I'm not sure which part is the worst, it's all pretty bad, from the Yoga mat debacle to the Peace sign discussion...and don't get me started on Dolly Mommies, that's just too flippin' weird for me. Makes me glad I was never in any of that, I don't have time for that kind of crap.

    And you better call the Dolly Police on me--yesterday while the guys were here remodeling my bathroom I was making a shirt for my dolls and I left Rebecca sitting on the dining room table-topless! Oh the humanity!

    Wouldn't it be fun to post on there that you were a Scientologist and watch the fur fly?!

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  14. With the post about AGPT, I'm surprised you didn't mention the woman who dressed her doll as The Christmas Poo.....

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    1. I'm doing this in order, so that is coming.

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  15. Jess is Japanese!!! URRRRGGGGG don't dress her in the Chinese New Year dress! Poor Jess must've been awful to have to wear clothes that don't symbolize her!

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  16. Used to be on a board where there was a HUGE outcry when one of the members (who had a ton of good advice and was supernice) identified as male.
    I left when the whole thing turned "Look what I bought! Naughty me! Will have to hide $ 800 worth of stuff from hubby AGAIN!"

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  17. Ah, AGPT....I remember making an account there just to lurk there circa 2009 or so, but I eventually ended up posting some stuff. I think they might have lightened up a bit by then; I don't recall any excessive Christianity/ban on race discussions (I recall reading race-related debates that went on for pages and weren't banned/closed) and I managed to have 'questionable' photos in a few photo stories of mine without backlash, but considering I was around 14/15 when I joined, there's probably a lot I overlooked/missed.

    A bunch of points here though are still spot on, from what I can recall (the attitude on excessive spending, lots of older members, being a doll 'mommy'). When I joined an AG board, I was hoping to find and read other people's thoughts on the books. Alas, book discussion was pretty much like you said, really generic, 1-sentence stuff that left me disappointed. I actually found out about you and AG wiki/AG over 18 because I was so excited to see your post, a proper discussion, on the illustrations for Addy's Surprise (it was after you left, but the mods didn't delete it) and I was hoping to find other posts by you. I'm happy that you're still willing to write your thoughts on AG stuff after all this time.

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  18. Audrey (aka Aelindil)January 12, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    I remember being jealous that i couldn't go to the meetup because i was still in Spokane (and had just started the process of rewigging Felicity, if i remember correctly). I'm a little sad I've fallen completely out of the fandom, but reliving it through these posts is taking me back!

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Trolling, pointless bigotry, and hating for the sake of hating will be removed, as will any post screaming "first" because no one cares. Cursing is fine, as I curse myself. I still expect you to act like you have home training. This is not a Free Speech Zone. I reserve the right to delete comments or tell you to piss off. You post, you stand by your words, and all the consequences of those words, even if that consequence is getting your ass handed back to you. Don't come in my space, spit on my floor, and expect me to call it a swimming pool. I can and will cuss your entire ass out. If I told you not to comment, and you comment, your comments will be deleted.

If you are under 13 your comments will be removed; you're too young to be on the internet unsupervised and you know it.