|If I don't stand up for myself, who will? If not now, when?1|
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The Limited Edition Doll line is flooded with a lot--a lot--of white Girls of the Year. I can't say it or blog or push back against it enough. Grace makes four in a row since Kanani. And before Kanani, the frontline girls were Nicki, Mia, Chrissa and Lanie--four other white girls. There hasn't been a girl of color at all since Kanani. There's not been a Girl of the Year, frontline, specifically named as not half white, since Marisol. That's ten years--ten years--of little to no representation. And even worse, there's been the last few with friends of color or in high PoC locations--Chipotle Mayo and Wonderbread were in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Washington D.C., respectively. And Grace has continued the pattern of a white main character with a PoC best friend: Gabi to Saige, Sonali to Chrissa (at least she was released), Luisa to Isabelle, Toulane to McKenna, and now Emma (I think that's her name) to Grace.
|For Mama's sake, she's RIGHT THERE.|
I am so irritated by this. I'm tired of nothing. I'm so damn tired of nothing, or flickers, or dregs.
We can't just be getting Girls of Color every four years, if that, and only with the hints of color when they do. Stories know no race. Yes, AG has pointed out the diversity of the My AG and the Historicals, and even hinted at a new AA girl in 2016. But that's not the line they hype every year. They hype the hell out of the Girl of the Year. They push and push and push--and then they give us nothing but white girls. If AG really means for us to believe that these stories are about contemporary girls in contemporary times, then they need to reflect everyone--not just white girls.
And I am going to hashtag the shit out of getting the word out about AG's need to highlight and give voice to other cultures and people. American Girl, give us a Doll of Color for Girl of the Year.
Good thing I've got social media to back me up.
This is the tag I'm pushing:
It's short, simple, and gets the point across. If you want to use longer or more clear ones then use #AGGoTYDiversity. Or both. The point is that we want to point out all these options, all these looks, for a Girl of the Year that isn't always white.
More help and details under the cut.
Tips for serious posting and media push:
- We want to flood our social media with dolls of color. Sonali, Marisol, Kanani, and/or Jess--having been GotY of color--are good. The Addy mold--which has never been used for a GotY--is super awesome! Try to avoid light colored Classic Mold, and if you use Josefina Mold, try to use one of the tan ones.
- Try to keep to AG branded dolls if you can. I love Sameera and my new Double Dutch Doll, Sascha, but we want to hit AG with AG images and AG dolls. Even if they're customized.
- Be respectful to detractors all you can. Argue with intelligence. If you need help, kick me up. I'm good at it, and can actually turn off the snark and be serious when I need to.
- Try to be mature. While I'm down for Vanilla Buttercream/WonderBread in snark and here and on my blog, in Social Media we want to be taken seriously. So just call them Grace, or Isabelle, or Saige.
- If you get Grace stuff, show it off on your Dolls of color! Show them how easy it would be to write or have the same story with a DoC. I'm tempted to customize a Josefina into a "Grace"/Graciéla, if I could get Grace's wig.3
- from Starzz, one of the mods of AGC: include tags like #AG #AmericanGirl #americangirldoll, #AmericanGirlDolls, to help connect it to the other tags. ALSO, it seems to be common (at least on InstaGram) to tag posts w/the Doll Name preceded by 'AG', so for example, my Marisol Luna doll may be tagged as: #AGMarisol [OR] #AGMarisolLuna
- Use the tags everywhere. Facebook. Instagram.4 Twitter. Tumblr. Pintrest, if that's your stick.
(Will add to this as needed.)
"It's marketing. AG is going with something they think will do best."
--This is a racist statement. Race should not be marketed as something that has to appeal to the masses before it can get focus. My skin color is not a focus group. I and people like me deserve representation without having to be "popular." We should be represented because it's the right thing to do.
"They can't risk losing money on a doll without mass appeal."
--AG is owned by Mattel, one of the largest toy companies in the world. AG is not an up and coming company that is struggling to keep the lights on and will tank if they take a risk on a doll of color. They're a multi-billion dollar company and AG is one of their major pillars of business.
They can influence more. They can market heavy. They can push just as hard. They did with Isabelle, who had huge amounts of her collection still available after archival and who was sold at major discount at one point. Even if they lost money, it's not about money. It's about being representative of stories outside of the dominant story. Black girls are capable of dance. Latina girls are capable of art. Girls of color are capable of the same emphasis.
And with Grace AG is taking a risk on an expensive item that likely won't move as much as anything else--it will likely burst at the start, and then taper out. If they can take a risk on a large, space-taking doll bakery, they can take that risk with a Doll of Color for Girl of the Year.
Yes, a Doll of Color might not do well. And if she didn't, we'd probably be told that she failed because of her race--even though Isabelle did poorly even being white (her clothes were still available, on discount, the January after her retirement and continued to be heavily discounted to try to move stock) and Kailey and Lindsey did so poorly the line almost died anyways. It's been shown that DoC go well. The GotY almost died before Marisol danced in and saved the line. Kanani flew off the shelves. Dolls of Color sell.
"They want to tell universal stories that can be accepted by all people, not just about one race."
--It's racist to say that a story about a Doll of Color would only be about race. Josefina's story is not just about race; it's about family, love, change, and adjusting after loss. Addy's story is not just about race: it's about family, education, and dealing with hard times and struggles. Don't reduce stories about people of color down to just being about their race.
Saying that white people can't accept dolls of color implies that white people can only accept stories that focus on white people to accept the message, and that white stories are more universal than stories about people of color. This isn't true, and it shouldn't be. Children and people of color are expected to accept whites--more narrowly, white male characters--as the everyman, with all others a variant. We need diverse stories to make diversity happen.
"Girls want white dolls. They're just more popular. People of color are too poor to buy from AG anyways."
-- And have you ever thought why white dolls are more popular? Could it be--hmm--white privilege? Racism? Survey says yes.
It's a nasty loop. AG puts out white dolls, white dolls sell, they put out more. Break the cycle.
As for the poverty thing: First of all, that's terribly ridiculous to go to. Secondly, if you insist on bringing up poverty, I will bring up the history of why so many demographics like blacks, Native people, and Latinos are poor in the US. Hint: It's racial oppression and denial of access to the finances that whites have had throughout US history.
It doesn't take a lot of us skipping out to put a dent in finances. They only get what we give them direct, and without representation a lot of people are skipping over Grace and skipped over Isabelle and either going to other companies with diversity or going with more diverse dolls.
Furthermore, you think very little of white people if you think they are incapable of accepting a doll of color.
There is variety in the line!" *list of hair and eye color combinations here*
--Twenty shades of white characters are still all white. AG hasn't even given us the diversity of that--no GotY has had brown eyes with brown hair and been a frontline character since Marisol. Jess, if you skip over the red tint in her hair. A flood of white with only a few characters or dolls or color is not enough.
"White people make up 60% of America, so of course more dolls will be white. That's true representation!" (submitted by American Girl Liz)
Let's start there with math, if you want. The current demographics of the US are, according to the last census in 2010 (source, Wikipedia):
Non-Hispanic White 63.7 %That would mean, using math, that at least 40% of the GOTY dolls need to be POC to accurately reflect US demographics. If we count the front line girls, that means that out of thirteen dolls, five should be PoC, rounding down. Let's be silly generous and say half dolls would be biracial with white, since that's been done. That's one black doll, two Latina Dolls, one biracial Asian Doll, and then one to cover Native people or any other races. The line has only done two of those--one Latina and one biracial White/East Asian character. And that's including adults.
Hispanic or Latino, any race or mix 16.4 %
Non-Hispanic Black or African American 12.2 %
Non-Hispanic Asian 4.7 %
Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native 0.7 %
Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0.2 %
Non-Hispanic some other race 0.2 %
Non-Hispanic two or more races 1.9 %
But the argument is that the children are less diverse. According to recent data from the Census Bureau, nearly half of today's children under 5 years old are non-white. The estimation when the US will stop being mostly non-Hispanic white? 2043.
Now that we've done the pedantic math, let's get less nit picky. The fact I had to type all that out and do math to justify representation is utterly ridiculous. It's stupid to have to use numbers to justify representation. I shouldn't have to beg or tweak or use numbers to get representation. It should be done anyways. It should be offered to start with, not done in reaction. Media is catching on that something is unbalanced. White people have been over represented in so many of society's stories--and not just by American Girl.
As Demographics Shift, Kids' Books Stay Stubbornly White: A report by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that only 3 percent of children's books are by or about Latinos — even though nearly a quarter of all public school children today are Latino.
Characters in children’s books are almost always white, and it’s a big problem: In 2012, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center reviewed 3,600 children’s books. Only three percent were about African-Americans. Asian and Pacific Americans were featured in two percent, followed by Latinos with less than two percent, and American Indians at less than one percent.
|The diversity isn't there. (source.)|
American Girl should not be looking solely at the bottom line. That only excuses exclusion. They can set a precedent. They can step up and do better and be better. I'm angry, yes--angry and disappointed and saddened that this has gone on so long. There has not been a non-mixed doll of color for the Girls of the Year since 2005. There has not been a single black, Native, or non-mixed Asian character. There has not been a non-East Asian Character such as South Asian or Middle Eastern. There are children worldwide, nationwide, that want dolls that look like them, and American Girl is not fulfilling this in the Girl of the Year line. Businesses need to run better, and as a person who wants to see better, I'm going to keep talking about it. To quote Joe Ventura: (who's talking about books, but it applies):
It is a responsibility I hope we share, all of us who love literature and children. It is the responsibility that lies behind the percentages, behind the numbers, beyond the market. When we make books, or write about books, or purchase books, we are affirming a vision of the communities in which we want to live. Through books, we outline a vision for our future. We can no longer stand for our futures to be isolated, segregated, lonely, and angry. We can no longer turn a blind eye to stories that create worlds in which difference is viewed as a burden, a dry educational tool, a threat — or, worse, is simply rendered silent and invisible. Those fictional worlds have very real effects. There are children with fear in their hearts, there are children in caskets, and it is up to us to help the next generations avoid those fates.American Girl's lack of diversity in one of their major lines that gets promoted every year has real-world effects on children. It is up to us--and American Girl--to push for a doll of Color and promote her and give diversity voice. A company of this size can and has the ability to push back against the dominant story.
Right now, the voice of the Girl of the Year is overwhelmingly mid to upper class white, and that's terrible. The bottom line isn't enough when children and others are not being represented.
"There are Dolls of color. There's Addy/Josefina/Cécile/Ivy. There's Jess/Marisol/Sonali/Kanani. There's the Just Like You/My AG line. And AG has hinted there's going to be a new BeForever Black girl in 2016. Isn't that enough?
--Yes, they all exist. But--and this is important? None of them are the Girl of the Year. Yes, I can go out and get a black or Asian MyAG and use her in place of Grace, and I very well may make a Latina Grace. But why do I have to do this, instead of getting a story being written and pushed by AG with all their influence?
A one line Facebook post about an upcoming BeForever Historical isn't a Girl of the Year. The modern American Girl Line isn't Girl of the Year. Addy, Kaya, Josefina, and Ivy and Cécile are not the Girls of the Year. The problem with diversity is specific to the Girl of the Year Line. Bringing up any others is ignoring the issue.
The Girl of the Year line is a big push by AG, and to date none of them have been black, or fully Asian, and there hasn't been a Latina girl in a decade. The target audience of 8-12 won't remember Marisol or Jess. Cécile and Ivy are retired. Jess, Marisol, Kanani, and Sonali are all retired. We can't easily get those dolls. Sonali and Kanani regularly go for double their original costs on the secondary market.
And even bringing up the past characters is sketchy because they're not there now. In fact, as of this year no one before Jess is in the official archives and no one before Nicki is on the main Girl of the Year site.
|Seriously. No dolls of color other than Kanani.|
There are a lot of girls who get one or two dolls before they age out of AG's four year window of focus, when they no longer become the target and shift into mature collectors or sell their dolls and get out altogether. And none of them in ten years have been a full PoC. The option has never been there for, say a Black girl or Asian girl who isn't mixed or Asian-Pacific or Middle Eastern girl or a Native girl. Are they not worthy of their childhood being represented by a Girl of the Year in that four-year span between eight and twelve that AG is targeting? How many more children will age away from or be pushed away from AG between characters of color in the Girl of the Year Line?
The Girls of the Year get the stories, the collections, the fancy clothes and books and matching outfits and big old splash images on the walls and hype and the "she's only here for one year!" campaign. The others don't get that. Telling others that we can (as one woman on FB said) "go get Addy and shut up" is deflecting the problem that the diversity is lacking in the Girl of the Year line.
No, it's not enough to have them in other lines. It's not the main Girl of the Year Line.
"Sonali was the Girl of 2009, so you already had a black girl."
Sonali was not the main GotY in 2009. She was the best friend to Chrissa. Chrissa got the stories, the spotlight, the movie, and the accessories and outfits. Sonali got the clothes on her back and a side book. Sonali is not black. She's South Asian. And even if she was the one, she shouldn't be the only one.
And see the point I just made above, about how she's been retired for six years and goes for hundreds on the secondary market. A child's mother shouldn't have to sink twice as much into a secondary market to get a doll of color. AG doesn't get the money off the secondary market.
"Then why don't you buy other brands?/Go start your own company."
--I do buy other brands. I buy and support/ed lines like Double Dutch Dolls and MyTwinn (until they had racial fail before closing), and here and there get Our Generation items--which sadly, has the same diversity issues. I'm a huge fan of Hearts 4 Hearts which has huge diversity in a smaller range of characters, even if I cringe that they are partnered with a Christian organization and did some fuck ups. And for decades and centuries, black people and other PoC have been seeing exclusion in mainstream lines, making representation for ourselves, and then getting pretty decent traction for it. See things like the Kenya doll, Fulla, and Nigerian dolls. There's Ikuzi and Angelica. There's several lines out there with better representation.
But none of these other lines are American Girl.
American Girl is the largest, most well known company of 18" dolls and characters. Telling me to go elsewhere is like telling me to leave the US if I'm upset with their policies. Not only is that a jerky, terrible thing to say, I don't want and shouldn't have to go elsewhere for representation. I have a right to complain to and about the largest, most well known line of 18" dolls in the US.
Furthermore, starting my own company is infeasible. Even if it was feasible, even if I had millions to create a doll line with diversity, the reaction would then be that we're excluding white people. When people of color do make things for and about us, we get snapped at that we're being exclusionary to white people by not having them to the degree they think we should have. And if we do boycott, we're told we're being petulant and divisive. We can't win for losing, whatever we do.
Let's be realistic. You don't really want us to make our own lines or go buy other lines when you say this. You just want us to shut up and take what's offered without protest. Well, I'm not going to shut up.
"But [doll X] looks like/is like me/my child and that matters to me!" (suggested by citrusella)
--It's super cool you have a doll that's like you. Good for you. I don't have that. The closest I have as a black woman is Sonali and she's not even black. Latina girls only have Marisol (and Lea, divided from her character). Asian children have Jess, if they can accept her other white half, and maybe Kanani. Native girls have no one and are stuck in the past with Kaya's display most of the time. This is the same argument that comes through with Disney princesses: that since Tiana, Mulan, Jasmine and Pocahontas (and the many many issues of her being a "princess") exist, there's no problem that there's been four white princesses in a row in the Disney Princess line. And pointing to Esmerelda (also rife with Romani stereotypes) doesn't help that the last four have been Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, and Elsa.
Consider that while you've been represented by a hazel-eyed blond girl or a dark haired blue eyed girl or the like, girls of color who want the same thing don't even have a doll in the line that shares their race or skin color? Shouldn't they have a chance at a GOTY who looks like them, too?
"But none of the characters look like me/my child at all, because of [details]!"
--I'm sorry none of the characters look exactly like you. But you should admit and understand that the dolls and characters have been white most of the time, and that is representation. Children of color don't even have that as an option most of the time. A child of color has never had a story or character about someone of their race in the GotY to ID with unless they have been Latina, partially Asian, or South Asian.
We don't want a doll that looks 100% just like us. We want representation.
"They don't mean to be racist, so it's not racist."
--To quote someone:
Racism is not in your intent. Your intent is immaterial in how racist your actions are. This isn’t about you BEING a racist. It’s about you DOING A THING that is racist. Your intent doesn’t change it. Your ignorance of its meaning doesn’t change it. It’s got nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the meaning of your action in the context of sociocultural history. ~MoniquillThey don't have to mean it for it to hurt. It still hurts, and it's still racist. It still pushes the idea of white being universal and characters of color to be side characters or unworthy of focus.
NEW, 1/20/15: "But you're being racist to white people!" (suggessted by Etta)
--First of all, racism is not just being mean to another person because of their race, no matter what someone told you or what the dictionary says, because a dictionary is biased too. Shit, the dictionary also says that tomatoes are a vegetable, because there was a tarriff on those, but not fruit and the US wanted to tax them. There were politics against food, you think there's no politics on tearing the teeth out of racism and making it a mush mouthed definition of "mean to people because of race"?
Racism is better defined as the prejudice against a person's race combined with the societal power and influence to feel, even subconsciously, that your racial prejudice is supported or unchallenged.
That out of the way, we are not being prejudiced against white people or white dolls. We want more representation in the line, and wanting to be seen is not prejudiced. How do you think people and color and girls of color feel not being represented? Seeing again that they're not "special enough" to have a GotY like them? How do you think they feel being told that they're not, as one horrible human being online said, "entitled to be represented"? That they shouldn't matter?
How do you think people of color feel with another microaggression on their plate?
NEW! "So you'd be happier with Grace being black/dark/PoC? You'd have bought her then?"
--Long story short: A lot happier than having another white doll. While Grace is (to me) fairly cute and her story is better than some have been, she could have been a doll of color with the same story and collection.
And "of color" doesn't just mean black. While I--and many others--want a black one because in fifteen years there hasn't been even one, we'd like overall better representation. Such as a full-blooded Asian doll, a Native doll, a Middle-Eastern American, or several others.
Yes, if she'd been of color, I'd have bought Grace Day One, like I did with Sonali and Kanani. But she's not and so I'm not eager for her. And I'm not the only one who feels like that.
"There's bigger things out there than a stupid doll line!
--You're right. A fuss for a doll of color by a major doll line isn't a huge thing. It's not as important as Black Lives Matter or speaking up for trans people/MOGAI people. But the little things matter. Representation matters. I'm not asking for a queer character of color like I got with Legend of Korra6, but I have every right to ask for representation of me, my family, and my people and stories. I have a right to stand up and say "No, this isn't good enough, American Girl. Do better."
"But you said you like Grace/Felicity/Saige/Maryellen/another white doll and you own several, so you've invalidated your argument!"
No, I have not. This isn't a "gotcha!" game. It's not a zero-sum situation. I can like white dolls and characters and still request more representation for dolls and characters of color. I liked Saige's books. (Isabelle I still haven't gotten past chapter one of book three.) I adored Mia's. I like Grace's, having read the first. Chrissa's have been some of the most realistic and relevant stories about a Girl of the Year.
I'm still upset that these characters have all been white.
I can like a white doll/character and still think that there should be more representation. The human mind is complex and can hold more than two opinions at once. It's a dishonest argument to claim that interest in other characters means that I don't really want representation. You're just trying to turn valid critique into a terrible game of D&D where if we have the Likes Any White Character attribute, then we can't cast Requests More Diversity.
So what's your goal?(tweaked 7/3/15)
--Dolls of color for the Girl of the Year Line. And not just one, but a good diverse mix. No more, no less. While Black, Native (who have never been out) and Latina (who hasn't been out in over a decade) is highly desired, we just want someone who's not dominantly white over and over like it has overwhelmingly been. I don't want a specific description. I want representation more than what has been.
AG can't make everyone happy. People complain every year about something in the line. You just want them to cater to you and no one else.
--We aren't asking AG to make us "happy" like petulant children who want that candy bar or we'll hold our breath. We're asking for representation. We're asking for something that is seriously lacking in the line. The diversity isn't just for PoC sake, though that is a huge reason. Everyone should see other stories outside of the dominate one. Studies have shown that continued overemphasis on a narrow focus of character in stories and media to children leads to low self esteem in everyone but white boys. AG has the girl aspect covered. Now can we get beyond that?
Plus, you're being dismissive. Yes, in part I would like AG to make me happy--because I have as much a right to be happy as anyone else.
NEW: 7/3/15: Have you seen/heard about the GotY for 2016, Lea Clark? I'm pretty sure she's part something that's not white. There you go, now the tag can drop.
--No, it can't. That's not why we're doing this. It's not a one and done deal. This isn't an end date campaign where we get one girl that's not white and then are done forever. One new, possibly biracial girl isn't the end of this need for diversity in the GotY line. It's something we want to keep at the forefront of everyone's mind as much as possible.
Furthermore, not only is a leak not a confirmation of anything, it's not the whole story. A single eBay auction is just that. A leak. It's not telling us her background, her character, or her deal. And even she might be half white, like everyone since Marisol has been. We don't just want one doll to pacify us and then another glut of white girls. We want a diverse mix, and representation, and we want more than the scraps of diversity tossed to us while white representation overwhelms us over and over. It's not reality. It's not true to have white people overshown in this country.
Look what I said above. 93% of children's books are white character focused. Over one in ten. That is not representation anymore than one or two girls is female representation in a show. AG can't make up for years of non-representation with one half-white character every 4-5 years.
ETA, 12/31/15: Lea Clark is only 1/8th Brazilian. This is less than acceptable. Using this I should be able to claim whiteness, since I can trace back to at least two great grandparents that were not fully black. But no, I can't--and without getting into blood quantum physics, this is problematic. AG is pushing more and more ethnicity out to appeal to whiteness.
NEW: 12/16/15: But biracial children need representation too! Complaining about the characters being half white is denying their existence. We should also be telling the stories of biracial girls.
Actual, flesh and blood mixed/biracial/multiracial people are one thing. Nothing is wrong with any of them.
But the Girls of the Year are not real people, and so their racial background is decided and planned by committee. Again. No frontline character in the GotY since Marisol in 2005 has not been at least part white--over ten years. And at least twice they've picked locales that have high PoC populations and straight up went with white characters. (They have also several times added a PoC sidekick--for Grace, for WonderBread/Isabelle, and for Saige.) Not only does a partially white character imply that a modern character cannot be accepted in the line without a spoonful of whiteness to make the ethnicity go down, it also implies that the only "real" biracial children are those that are part white. Never mind Black Latinxs or any other potential mix, someone's gotta be part white to be biracial.
AG, to be blunt, is not thinking and were not thinking about the representation of biracial children and people of America when they made Kanani and Jess (and, from what I've heard, Sonali when people ask) part-white, and they will not be doing the same with any other half-white/partially white Girls of the Year that are released. They are using "This character is biracial/one parent is white, the other is not in some way" as a cop out to avoid putting forth a character that is not at least partially white. And they are doing this by design.
Secondly, AG characters are not real ethnicities because they are created. So the argument that people apply when they say "but real people who are mixed exist in this world" is a bullshit argument because AG characters are not real. It's the same with saying that a woman in skimpy clothes in a video game is fine because the story says that she is self-empowered by her nudity. She's not empowered by anything at all, because she's not a real person. She's a character. They don't dress themselves like that and come up with their backstory. Someone created them to be half naked. It's the Thermian Argument. In-universe rules of the world cannot be used to justify what happens in the world, because the world was created. AG characters are created and so able to be changed by AG. In this case, AG continues to design Girls of the Year and only allow them to be partially PoC or outright white, and this is a form of racial bigotry.
Biracial people are a real people, and deserve real representation. But this isn't real representation. AG is using biracial people to avoid having full PoC. Poor representation is not better than none at all.
NEW! 1/2/17: You finally got your Black Girl of the Year in Gabriela McBride! So there's no more need for this. You got what you wanted and to complain further would be greedy/selfish/ungrateful.
You're damn right that we finally got a Black GotY and I'm so fucking GLAD that Gabriela exists. She's here and she's black and she's a beautiful dancing step in the right direction. Thank you American Girl, for finally releasing a Black girl of the Year.
That being said, there is lot to critique. Gabriela in many ways feels like a called out afterthought by AG as if they planned another white chick--a lot of rumors around a white girl named Tenney also came out at the same time. And then, only after an journalist on GMA pointed out last February during the Melody discussion that they had never had a black girl of the year on national television, did they go, pulled #46 off the shelf and whipped up some work for her to put a black doll out. As of right now, me making this add on, Gabby doesn't have a movie planned, or a large item--though if that means a trend away from $500 Stupid Bakeries I can live with it.
Yes, AG released a non-mixed, Doll of Color for Girl of the Year.
Now they need to keep doing it.
They need to keep going. They need to represent everyone and not use Gabriela as a "so we did it and we're done" thing. This is not the finish line. This is the first step. AG needs to release more girls of color for girl of the year. I am not greedy for wanting to see more and more representation.
And for those who claim that we still aren't happy because we're always complaining and so we shouldn't get anything else, then? Or that it's greedy? Go sit on a boomstick. Seriously. Get the hell out and eat some Lego. Black people in AG fandom have every right to have what we have, love that we have her, want her to succeed and still want more. I am not greedy for wanting representation. You're a jerk for telling me to stop asking.
I will remind you that this is only the first ever Black Girl, there has still never been a full East Asian Girl or Native Girl of the Year, there have been no Middle Eastern Girls of the Year, and the only South Asian Girl was a companion. I want Gabby to blow the fuck up, because then maybe it'll sink into the thick heads that we want and crave and need diversity. We need the doors and the windows. One door and window does not let all the sunshine in.
Don't make the next little girl like me, who is a black writer and artist, wait til she's in her thirties to see herself represented as a modern girl again. Don't let this be the last step. Let it be the first.
"Stop making this a race thing, it is you who are the racisms for pointing out racisms."
--You clearly cannot be reasoned with. Let the snark commence.
If we all back each other up and spread the word and are mature about it, will get our voices heard. We can speak up. Let's speak up. Social media can be powerful as hell. At the worst, people across platforms will hear about it and AG '16 will be another half white or all white girl, but we can keep speaking. We can keep speaking.
We can stay woke and wake others up.
Get the word out. Speak up.
Demand better of the world.
Demand Better of AG.
American Girl, give us a Doll of Color Girl of the Year.
|This can't go on.|
P.S. Not a bad post #100, huh?8
P.P.S. I will update this post as I get more responses and find more data.
PPS: A petition on change.org: Make more Ethnic Dolls and Represent All American Cultures
1 The full original quote is by Hillel the Elder (and not JFK as often misattributed): "If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?"
2 Tumblr massive rebloggings not withstanding.
3 So if any of you are planning to pop Grace's wig off, I'll pay you to have it.
4 I have one now: libra.nethilia
5 Some from my rant in 2013, cleaned up.
6 One of the highlights of 2014, thanks.
7 Generic you.
8 Well, #99. I apparently had an empty one hanging around. I'm counting it anyways.