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

Friday, April 10, 2015

AG Complaint Department: Asinine Assumptions About Addy Walker

Happy Birthday Addy! Now let's get people to treat you right.
For those who are good on their AG knowledge, yesterday was Addy's Birthday. Unlike most of the other American Girl Historical characters,1 Addy did not know her birthday at all; she was born into slavery and Mr. Stevens didn't write her birthday down. So she picked her tenth birthday as the official end of the Civil War: April 9th, 1865, and celebrated with ice cream, pie, a new dress, freedom for all, and her family and friends. Addy was a lot of firsts in the American Girl Line: the first one not to use the classic mold (thank gods), the first character of color, and the first one I fell in love with. Y'all wouldn't even be hearing my bitching and squealing if Addy Walker hadn't come along in the line. Well, I might have picked up Kirsten because I had a thing for Laura Ingalls, but I was raised in consciousness and I remain so. So I got the black girl first. Addy--here known by the full name Aduke FirstArrival Walker--is my number one girl and always will be; GotY will come and they will go, but Addy will be here for me always, even if they archive her.

Alas, too many people do her wrong, and they have since I first set toes in the American Girl Fandom. I've seen a lot of shit, I've seen a lot of shit go unaddressed, and a lot of shit needs to stop. 80-90% of it is based in racism, classism, and bigotry. And that's me being nice, because to tear it down and kick that ass, about 100% of it is based in at least some subtle, unaddressed racism or bigotry. And unlike my ripping down of the fuck ups with Kaya, I'm coming from a place of my own culture and knowledge,

So sit down, shut up, and learn some goddamn things so I don't have to roll my eyes at seeing your terrible Addy shit attitudes ever again.


Slavery and Nothing Else--Is Anyone Reading Past the First Chapters?

Incidents in the Life of Addy Walker.
The first one is maybe not the worst, but it colors almost every other aspect of Addy's denigration. I see it all the time in parody or so-called "tribute" videos (many of which only focus on the first five girls) in other people's articles, in stupid comments, and in misguided opinions about why So and So never wanted Addy. And the issue? The assumption that she's nothing but a slave, and her whole story focuses on slavery. And no one wants to read or support that. It especially bothers me when I see this from fellow black people, who claim that Addy is racist by perpetuating slave narratives. I mean, everyone gets to their consciousness step by step and none of us were born knowing this, but it hurts my heart when I see black girls, women, and people say that they don't want to see or support a "slave doll." (When I see it from non-black people, I am pretty sure this is another level of anti-blackness in cultures.) Too many people boil Addy's story down to just "slave girl." And it's both a terrible lie and a nasty reduction of a full story. Addy's story--Addy's entire collection--is not about slavery.

The books start with her family on the plantation, no getting around it. The first chapters of Meet Addy2 are set there. But even the very first chapter is called "Whispers of Freedom." The very first time you get to picture and meet Addy, it's her overhearing how her mother and father are planning to escape north with all of them, to give their three children a better life in freedom. Shit goes south by Chapter Two--Poppa and Sam are sold off, and it shatters something in Addy when that happens. But by Chapter Three Momma is still resolved to leave, and and by Chapter Four they have gotten the hell off that plantation and are running north and they never go back to being slaves. Addy even says so outright that they took their freedom at the end of the book. Addy is free, and she stays free for the rest of her story. The entire rest of Addy's storyline is set in the north, with her free and trying to find her family and make connections with people and educate herself and those around her.  That's three chapters--three and a half, tops--where Addy is a slave. Freedom ain't free but she is free, and she's never a slave again. Nevermind she shouldn't have been one in the first damn place, but she never is again.

There was a video going around for a bit on the Tumblr--If American Girl Dolls Were Real Girls--that basically is the White Twenty-Something's 90s Kid Remembrance of American Girl, and it's so goddamn condescending and terrible I almost didn't link to it. But you know, might as well show the drek to tear it up. Kirsten is treated like she's never figured out the life in America and is an idiot,3 Samantha won't shut up about feminism even though she never said shit about it (things that were all Cornelia), Felicity is all horses and liberty and anachronisms, Molly is stuck on WW2....and "Addy" says that she's a slave and that her stories are one dimensional--and then the video labels it true. Except NOT TRUE. Wrong. It comes up sometimes from Addy--whose past doesn't?--but it's not all she ever talks about. Her stories go into education, supporting freemen, black and white relations, the struggles of freedom in a prejudiced world, reuniting her family, hope, love, and how things should be fair but ain't. If anything, she barely talks about being a slave except to relate it to how things are better than they were then. So fuck you, video, go read the books instead of looking at eBay auctions.

There is little to no excuse to reduce Addy's story to nothing but "slave" when probably at most, 10% of her story is set on the plantation and her story is set up specifically to move her as early as possible. It's even worse than reducing Samantha to "Girl Against Child Labor and For Feminism" because at least in that case, Samantha is being reduced to something moderately positive. Addy is just forever branded That Slave Girl, never to escape her past or have anything nice because she once was a slave.

Speaking of which...

Fancy Dresses, Pretty Clothes, Fine Things, and Why Addy's Allowed to Have Them

Pretty clothes for pretty girls.
Once Addy's living in Philadelphia, she learns--sadly--that freedom has a cost. Everything costs money, including things she never had to think about before--food, fuel, clothing, every little thing. She pictured tons of fine dresses in freedom, a large house, and lots of money, and she doesn't have that to the degree she hoped. She's better off than some freedmen, in that Ruth is a seamstress and so is able to get a good job very soon after arriving that comes with a place to stay and income. But it's not all fancy dresses and fine things. Addy and her mother--and later her father--work hard for what they get every day. Let's not mince words--Addy's probably one of the poorest level characters in the historical line.

But that doesn't mean she doesn't get to have nice clothes.

Addy has an expansive wardrobe, yes--the rule through Kit was that every Historical got an outfit for every book, so that people could go "that outfit goes to that book" and pair them together. But ever since Addy came out, people have been saying that she shouldn't have the wardrobe she has, that she has too many clothes for a poor black ex-slave in the Civil War Era. This have become even more so, with Addy's BeForever Wardrobe--and her new Meet Dress so gets shat on, because of one still from Seattle Children's Theatre from a play that was over seven years ago.

Said image.
The image cited--is from the spelling bee/Christmas scene near the end of the first half of the play. Addy is in her Tartan dress, Sarah is in the only dress she wears the whole play, and Harriet is wearing a blue dress somewhat similar to the one that is now Addy's meet dress. And since Harriet is a well to do free girl of color, people take a terrible logic leap and screech and puke, "Addy can't have a dress so fine! She's poor! Too poor for that dress!"

Congrats, you suck. You saw one picture--and probably from some other idiot who says stupid shit--and now you think you know shit. You don't know shit and you probably think teal was invented in 1975 too. Let me set the record straight. Saying that Addy can't have her new meet dress because the Addy play has Harriet in a dress like it--which I can bet most of y'all ain't even go to4--is like saying "well, no one can carry double handled handbags because Louis Vuitton makes them" or "since a Vera Wang dress has an A line silhouette and is red, all red dresses with an A line silhouette are clearly expensive and not for poors."

An outfit's cost value is not based on color, silhouette, or style. An outfit's cost value is based on cloth print and style, complexity (some) and associated trims. This was even more true in many eras before mass-market clothing--the difference between a fine lady's dress and one for a lower-class woman was the difference between linen and homespun cotton calico. Outside of some fringe dress philosophies and cultures, people often attempt to mimic the styles of the era to remain fashionable in some sense. They may have had to cut older clothes down5 or use lesser fabrics, but people constantly mimicked high-class clothing for their own wardrobes. People still do now. They let skirts out and draw them back in, they raised and lowered hemlines and waistbands, they buy a small fancy thing to go with the older styles, and they cover up seams with cheap trims to hide alterations if they could. People have always tried to make their clothes look like what the majority are wearing to fit in. It's only recently that people aimed to have older clothes in modern ways, the 1800s faux-Roman styles notwithstanding. There was no "vintage" in the old days. People didn't keep old clothes to wear when they came back in fashion or have a revival. No one cared. When the new silhouette came through, you took your old stuff and made it fit the new look or you got rid of it altogether.

The dress Harriet is wearing is of fine silk or high class cloth, with silk ribbons and trims and a gathered bodice. Addy's BeForever Meet Dress is cotton with grosgrain ribbon and a lot less stitching and cheaper materials. Same cut, same style, different components, different construction. Less expensive dress.

But still, people mewl that she shouldn't have so many dresses! She's poor, where is she keeping them? She should only have a few dresses, having so much is excess. First of all, shut up. Second of all, this is almost never applied to any other character. Kaya, maybe, because outside of her Today Wardrobe expansion she has two outfits. And Kit but that's another story.6 But if you want to play that game, none of the historicals except Samantha and those forward from her should have many dresses. Realistically Felicity would have only had a few dresses as the daughter of a middle class shopkeep--her holiday dress is a big deal and she almost went in her plain brown church dress. Kirsten shouldn't have a school dress and a casual meet dress unless she's getting more hand me downs. And the hypothetical Pilgrim Era Girl people make when they try to make Kaya Not The First American should have one dress, because more than a few dresses was considered excess by many people.

Fact: I grew up poor. I'm middle class now, in as much as middle class still exists in the oligarchy of the United States beyond being that nebulous group every fucking politician latches on to when they claim to be helping us but are actually helping the 10%. But I grew up poor. And I still got fine clothes and fine wear and stayed in semi-fashion for the era--even if it was the 80s and 90s and a lot of things were hideous. Not only was there second hand stores that we bought used clothes from, and hand me downs from my older sister, there was also my grandparents, who would buy me fine things for birthdays and holidays. I was one of the first kids in my circle of age children to have an NES because I asked my grandmother for one for Giftmas, and she saved up for it and sent it to me. I had nice toys. Every holiday my relatives put together boxes of gifts for me and included were new clothes and new outfits. And for Easters and Halloweens and the like? My mom is a seamstress. She would get the nice fabrics and the patterns and make us fancy dresses, all of us, if we didn't get one from a relative. And Ruth, dressing one of her two girls? Would have done the same. She made damn near every dress Addy wears.

The idea that poor people never have nice things or strive to have them is based in classism. Get it off Addy. At the most, Addy's holiday dress is a touch rich with the plaid and taffeta. But wait--if you'd read the book, it was a fancy dress that was refunded because someone else was a total bitch, and then Mrs. Ford repaired and resized it for Addy. So still hers and still hers to have.

Why Do You Even Want That? 

Oh, but Addy can have other clothes, some one says. She can have, say the outfit she ran away in--that hat and boy's clothes! Or maybe her plantation dress, to expand her wardrobe. How about a plantation playset, with realistic tobacco plants?
 
Dot. Dot. Motherfucking Dot. 

Yes, someone actually fucking suggested that, and when called out in that foam padded way AG forums did back then, the person said they were just trying to think of new stuff for Addy to have that made sense. Others compared it to Kirsten's Swedish Dress.

Forever side-eyeing that shit.  The Larsons came to America by choice. They chose to immigrate, and chose to become American. Addy didn't choose to be a slave. She was born into slavery, and her mother--and father, and her paternal great grandmother--all suffered under a system that said that black people were not human enough to have anything other than slavery. Why would you even want a playset about Addy's time in slavery? What's the joy in that? "You too can pretend to subjugate a black girl!"

Don't ask for that shit, don't make that shit, and if you're stupid enough to do that you deserve to be violently cursed out.

Too "Scary" to Read About? Please.

Back to the story, though. On the opposite side of "it's all about slavery!" are the people claiming that Addy's story is too scary for a child to hear. In those early chapters, Addy goes through some scary shit. She's forced to see her father and brother sold away from her. She's almost sold herself. She has to leave her baby sister behind since they can't run with her. Her mother almost drowns in a river, she runs into a Confederate camp and has to keep her wits about her. And--in one of the more horrific scenes--Addy is made to eat worms she forgot to pick off the tobacco plants as punishment and the text goes into detail about how the worms pop in her mouth.

And it's too scary and horrifying! Children are too young to hear about this, can't they wait til they're older? Preserve their innocence!

Fuck. YOU. Not only is that reducing Addy's story to slavery again--see topic one--but you know what's scarier than a fictional story of a black girl who ran away from slavery to freedom and gets a mostly happy ending?

That horrific things actually happened to people in slavery and didn't end nicely. 

There are real slave narratives out there that aren't so happy. Real narratives, real stories, real lives of girls who were beaten and whipped and abused and raped by masters and master's sons--and bore their rapist's child as another slave on the plantation. Real girls that were kidnapped from places all across the African West Coast and sold in America as chattel slaves. Real girls that were sold from their parents. Real women who had their children sold. Real girls that ran away from plantations and never saw any of their family ever again, their whole lives. Compared to the real truth of slavery? Addy's story ends magically. She gets freed, her whole family gets freed, they all reunite except Uncle Solomon directly, and she gets resolution for every member of her family.

Real people suffered, lived, and died as slaves. And they didn't get much of a pause to adapt. Nearly no slave master said "well, you know, she's only eight, maybe we'll wait until she's twelve to give her time for her innocence." Nope, they had girls out there working from the time they could walk and carry buckets--and being sexually abused from the time they looked old enough to knock up--or horrifyingly, before that. Part of the dehumanization of black girls and women that continues today is the idea that we aren't children ever. We become "thots" or "fast-tailed" or are making passes at men. We weren't ever children--we were treated like small women and subject to physical and mental and sexual abuses on the plantation same as a grown women.
 
So I don't give a shit that you want your well padded, almost always white child to not have to learn about slavery or abuse or racism until you think they're old enough to handle it so they can be "innocent." I learned about racism before I could cross the street. I started reading slave narratives and stories and books as a child. What makes your child so special beyond your privilege? Why does your child get to be innocent because you don't want to talk to them? Piss OFF. You probably don't want gay rights because you don't know how to talk to your child about two people of the same gender loving each other.

If your child can hear about Marta dying and Penny getting beaten and Kit's family almost losing their house, they can hear about Addy's struggles.

Hair Care For Addy Walker: Easier than You Think

Is not so hard, actually.
Of the canon historicals, I have--in order of arrival--Addy, Felicity, Josefina, Kaya, Kit, Cécile, and Nellie.7 So who has the hardest hair to handle, right? A lot of people would say Addy, probably. Because her hair is textured. Yeah, no. If I had to pick one, it'd probably be Cécile--but then again I am the master of curls so she does well around here, especially because she generally only gets her hair touched up once in a while. Addy's hair is probably the easiest to take down and put up in fancy styles and look good doing it. It's not hard to handle. No, not even if your own hair is short or wispy or thin. Among AGC, the general consensus is that some of the hardest historical hair to handle is Caroline's because of her long, loopy curls that just go everywhere.8

But Addy? Psh, hardly. Her hair holds styles like a charm. She has flyways now--I have had her for over nine years--but it still holds buns, braids, twists, and curls gorgeously. I can explore with her hair in a way that I almost can't with anyone else, because everyone else's hair is slippy or slidey and won't hold the kind of elaborate styles I like to test. Addy's hair is super versatile and super luscious. I kind of want to get a second Addy--depending--to play with that new thick BeForever hair. Once I stop feeling sick and my corner is clearer, I want to do a "these are the canon set hairstyles" post--you know, sans the girls I don't got, which will be represented by Girls Close Enough.

Addy's hair is only as scary as you make it, which is not at all. Take her hair down, brush through it, let it hang loose or twist it back up. Do cornrows, do double loops, do pigtails, do double braids pinned up with ribbons. Don't do terrible ugly half brushed nasty tangle puffs, don't do lazy knots, and if it's gotten dry--probably because someone's been too scared to actually brush it and do it right--then get some braid spray and the AG hair brush and lubricate those strands.

Finally. don't use the AG pick. It's not worth shit. Addy's hair can take the standard brush.

Addy Sans Addy and Addy as The Token Brown Girl

So Tired of the Harriets.9
Then there's these assholes over here.

The people who do one of two things: Take all of Addy's clothes and put them on their Fauxtters or other light skinned girls without ever having Addy in their collection or who tokenize Addy as part of their collection and really only have her because she's an Original Five. I hate both of these kinds of people with the fire of Alpha Centuri or larger, but if I had to kick one over a cliff second, it'd be the Token Addy Collectors because at least they have her. 

Addy is part of your collection? Good! Don't make her your token black girl. Don't stick her in the corner and have her be your only black girl while you amass a collection of 15+ Classic Mold White Girls. Don't barely take pictures of her and ignore her. Don't leave her hair up for months and barely dress her and only look at her here and there. Don't buy all the new shit for Samantha and Julie and Rebecca and leave her out in the cold. Don't twist her story to take away her outfits. Don't do like one moron, and make it so that in nearly every short story you show she's doing the cooking or food prep for all the white girls--the implications are staggering. Don't have her ignorant. Don't do like that shit video up there and reduce her entire story to ex-slave. Don't make her your Token Black Girl in a sea of Whiteness.

And then you assholes, who take all Addy's clothes and put them on other dolls because her clothes are good enough but not her? You can sit in the lowest level of doll hell for the rest of eternity. Addy's clothes are for Addy. They're not for Kirsten, they're not for your Southern Belle doll Scarlett, they're not for your Mary Suzanna hunchbacked doll that never stands up straight and steals from everyone because you suck and don't know history. Don't put her Tartan Plaid on Samantha because it's a rich dress--it's not even the right era. Don't put her Cape Island Dress on Wonderbread to dance in. Don't do it. Addy's clothes aren't not even really for Cecile--not only are the clothes too late for Cecile's era, they're not fancy enough. Yes, not fancy enough. That thing I said earlier about dress fancy being based on trims and materials? Applies. Cecile is a rich black girl in NOLA in the 1850s. Her dresses and clothes are and should be on the side of ruffly and ornate, in the antebellum south. She's not going to wear a working-class girl's wardrobe. You might as well put her in workman's denim. Even her least fancy dress was probably made of something fine like linen or high-quality cotton. Addy's clothes are for her era and her style. 

Addy is good enough for her own clothes and she deserves to wear them without being shoved off to the side because you think her wardrobe is too rich for her.10 Around here Addy shares her clothes only partially with Sarah while I continue to build up her wardrobe, and no one else. I'm not even ashamed to say that I think it's gross that so many people in AG fandom feel like they have the right to get Addy's stuff because it's pretty and then hate on her story and her and call her ugly or unsuitable for the clothes, and jump through all kinds of hoop justification for owning Addy stuff but not putting any of it on her.

And you're damn right I can't stop you from doing it, it's your collection, blah blah blah you defiant little shit. But I can stare at you and hate you with every cell in my brain.

Conclusion: Love Addy and Do Her Right

Love Addy, Do.
Addy is a beautiful part of the American Girl line. She was the first doll I saw and insisted I had to have, and the day I got her will always be a special memory to me. She has a gorgeous collection and a touching story with ups and downs and happy and sads and all the emotions. She has luscious hair, beautiful skin, and a lot to give to a collection. And there are very few reasons she shouldn't be a part of someone's collection and be a major gorgeous part of it. Most of the things that are done to or said about her are based in racism, bigotry, classism, and hate--and they need to be cleared out your brain. Decolonize your mind.

Respect Addy Walker and her story and collection. Treat her right.

Or else I'll curse your faves to all get silver eye, eyelash retraction, limp elastic, and vinyl stains that never come out. I'm a witch, I can do it.

--Neth

1 The only other one, if I recall correctly, is Kaya, and that's more from culture that didn't track that than "fuk you black people slaves don't need birthdays."  
2 Hell, the damn first volume is called Finding Freedom, now. And it contains the first three books that used to be separate, so kids don't have to just read book one of what used to be six.
3 "What is a Doll?" Because Kirsten wasn't all about Sari. What the fuck.
4 It was in Seattle for about two months, toured the US some, and that was in 2007-2008. So yeah, still doubting.
5 So many bell bottom pants sacrificed from Goodwill to make 80s skinny jeans. 
6 Kit's wardrobe didn't manifest into feedsack cloth the moment her dad lost his job, suck my butt.
7 Kimmy, Charlotte, and Tara don't count for purposes of two "Historicals turned to personal Historicals" and "Historical turned Moddie" respectively. Also Next in the Lineup is Black Girl 2016.
8 I'm not intimidated.
9 Otters and I did this for Addy's birthday in 2007, when I got her her entire Birthday collection. Addy: Spoiled Brat and Deserves It. Addy still threw a fit that Otters was in her dress for even a moment.
10 See point above, in case it didn't sink in earlier.

34 comments:

  1. Well said, Addy was also my first and my youngest daughters first, but my older daughter received Cecile as a first doll. They are both beautiful but Addy is very special here. We love her stories and our favorite parts are relevant to current kid situations like learning to jumprope, dealing with mean girls and striving to do our best.

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  2. I love Addy. I only had (and still have) Molly, because my name is Molly, but my best friend had Addy and her entire collection (because her name is Abby, apparently we really like dolls with similar names to ours) and I always loved her holiday set. You're totally right on all counts, and Addy's hair is amazing!

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  3. Any tips on how to aquire a Cecile?
    I want her, but don't want to pay too much.

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    1. Look on eBay, try to find a low auction with good pics, hope for the best.

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    2. Ok, thanks. I don't want to pay 200 plus for her... Do you think she's worth it? I love her so much and she would really help expand my collection.

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    3. I think she's very worth it--I got her when she first came out. Be diligent and look for low auctions, or even a fixer upper. But if you want the same looks somewhat, there's #46 as well.

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  4. Great post! I always wanted an AG doll as a kid and upon realizing that as a 22-year-old I can do whatever I want with my money, I decided to buy one. I went with Kit first because I identified with her so strongly as a kid (tomboy journalist who had a bob -- something my mother would never let me do with my long hair), but I remember reading and really loving Addy's stories as a child (although I really need to do a re-read because I remember almost none of the actual content).

    I don't have the money to buy her now but I have been eyeing Addy somewhat hesitantly for awhile. I think after reading this post it has been because for whatever reason I don't love her stock photos on the AG website. You take such wonderful pictures of her though that I am very quickly falling in love with her. I appreciated the part of this post about her hair too. I have trouble with Kit's hair (I am terrible with hair of any kind) so it is nice to know how versatile Addy's can be.

    Anyways, great post!

    -kaleb

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  5. omg, I was doing the "PREACH" hand reading all of this, lulz. I want to like that video because american girls! sketch comedy! and then they had to fuck it up with their not-really-reading and their racism disguised as anti-racism (I hate when white liberals pull that ish).

    any chance you'll ever post a pic of your sarah? I covet one of my own mightily and if I had any skill at all I'd take a crack at it but I really don't.

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    1. I have a shot of Sarah here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/38252811@N00/5255669212/ She was customized and gifted to me. She's a Little Sister that was dyed and rewigged.

      A lot of people use #58 for Sarahs without customization.

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    2. omg, thank you! she is truly perf! I love the idea of using a 58 for sarah although I have a 58 character already. fuck I wish ag had made a sarah.

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  6. Great post! I recently discovered your blog (which I think is great) and tried to join AG Collectors about a week ago? I know it says you all are doing manual checks for age so I was wondering if you have any idea how long until I will be verified? Sorry if it is inappropriate to post this on your actual blog!

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    1. If you've verified your e-mail, the mods will do it quickly. If you didn't, there was a denial and you need to set up again.

      Delete
  7. I have always respected your opinions and ideas because not only are they true, they are witty and well articulated. I do agree with most of your post. Addy is too easily dismissed by the AG community because she is a former slave, has some unique and luxurious hair many have never had experience handeling, etc., however, I do not enjoy being called a defiant little shit because I put Addy's clothing on other dolls. I see no reason not to let other dolls share clothing unless the outfits are specific to a character's culture or religion like Kaya's or Josefina's clothing. Yes, while most of Addy's outfits look very mid-1860's Philadelphia, I don't see how I am racist to let another doll wear one of Addy's outfits. I have and love Addy. I also have a few other dolls from the mid-1860's.

    Addy's blue kit flying/ flower picking dress looks wonderful on Kirsten. Addy's striped school dress from her short story looks awesome on Cecile-- she must have had something other than silky taffeta dresses to wear while helping at the orphanage after all. And Addy's new sewing dress looks great on Marie Grace. Addy looks good in Kirsten's plaid dress, amazing in Cecile's parlor outfit, and she is the only doll who can make MG's meet dress look decent as far as I am concerned. Sometimes dolls can share and it doesn't make their humans shitty people.

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    1. Read a little deeper. I think it's shitty when people buy Addy's clothes and then NEVER have Addy or respect her, and give almost all her clothes to other people. In my collection, she doesn't share, and I don't make her. And I'm still itchy seeing them on anyone but her, and always will be. I don't think any of her clothes look good on other dolls, and I never will--I don't like them even on my Sarah some. And my Addy and Cecile, being from different eras, don't share clothes anymore than my 80s girl wears 70s clothes.

      The "defiant little shit" is, in context, more towards the people who have tons of Addy clothes and then say Addy is too ugly or undeserving of them. So don't make it about you.

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    2. Okay, I just hope you won't curse me or my dolls :(
      *prepares to smudge down entire home*

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  8. "Addy should never have been a slave to begin with!" SAY IT AGAIN!

    also LOLMAO @ "Hunchbacked Mary Suzanna" *crys*

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  9. Addy's stories are one-dimensional? What sort of nonsense are these morons spouting? The scenes you listed aside--being forced to eat the tobacco worm, seeing her father and brother sold, leaving Esther (so hard to read now that I have daughters), her mother almost drowning--are heart-wrenching and emotional. Later in the series you get other ones like Addy learning to read, her father returning and getting misty-eyed when he finds out because he always knew his daughter was smart, Sam answering the riddle in the audience, Auntie Lulu and Esther returning without Uncle Solomon (but he died free), Esther not knowing her own parents, the family pulling itself back together...Addy's books are the most emotional that AG has put out.

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  10. okay Im thinking of buying my first AG doll and I considered Addy because her hair actually looked easy to manage. But now I look at your pics and see those horrible layers of fabric in the back of the dolls head. Do all AG dolls have wig caps? dont they make dolls with rooted hair? Id love to do pigtails or braids on my doll, which one would you recommend? someone said that Kirsten has little hairs on the back of her head to cover the wig cap. Does Kaya have it too? and what about Josefina? which doll would you recommend for someone who wants hair that is easy to manage but can hold different styles?
    Lea

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    1. all AG dolls w/hair have a wig. many of the ones w/longer hair have shorter hairs in parts of the wig that are meant to cover the wig cap when the hair is parted for certain styles, but it's not foolproof. Kaya's wig is designed to look fully covered w/her hair in her "meet" style, so she has a more solidly rooted part-line all the way back to account for her pigtails. I'd assume Kirsten & Molly are the same.

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    2. forgot to mention earlier: I keep my Josefina's hair in double braids (like Kaya or Molly) and she *does* have bare spot in the back where you can see her wig. it's not very noticeable, IMO--I think I just saw it in the last couple of months--but that may be bc I look at her face more than the back of her head. =oP

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    3. I'd still recommend Addy, because her hair is super versatile. The wig cap only is bothersome if you're staring at the back of a head a lot. Even when I can see the wig cap, I don't care because well, it's just a wig cap.

      AG doesn't do rooted hair, and thank gods they don't.

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    4. I`d love to see your review on the beforever Addy. I know you are very partial to your own Pleasant company Addy so you dont need to compare them but still it would be fun to look at it. Ive seen a beforever Addy at a friend`s - her hair is f***cking gorgeous. Although her head seems a little big and for some reason they`ve made her lighter than she used to be - she`s definitely lighter than the MyAG black dolls but what can you do. I`ll most likely get her (I borrowed her from my friend and I`ll see how we bond) otheriwse I`ll get Josefina since her hair is probably the easiest to manage. What I like about the new Addy`s hair is how its actually parted and so the cape is covered nicely. This gives a somewhat unlimited amount of hairstyles for her - however combing through her textured hair can be a bit challenging. I definetely reccomend her to anyone and I`d love to see your review on her if you ever decide to get her. Maybe you could even do some hair tutorials for her or smth.
      Lea

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    5. My Addy says PC on the neck but I got her in 2005. She's Mattel.

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  11. "How about a plantation playset, with realistic tobacco plants?"

    ....... Oh hell to the no!

    I really hope that was sarcasm and not someone's actual suggestion... But in this fandom... I would believe it. lol

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  12. Thank you! It was a pure joy to read your ranting narrative in praise of our girl Addy. I adore Addy! I don't own the 18 inch doll, I prefer the 6 inch minis, particularly the earlier glass-eyed, wigged variety. I enjoy making mini-accessories & clothing that match the full size dolls. Back in the early days, I bought my older sister a full size Addy and she adores her Addy too. She lives in Manhattan and last year took her doll to the American Girl store there for a 'well baby' check up. My sister called me, excited as heck, as the store personnel went bonkers to service my sister's original Pleasant Company Addy. We are both as proud of our Addys as you obviously are. As for Addy's large wardrobe, her Mom works for a seamstress! Of course Addy has a ton of clothing. How could her parents, who adore their daughters, not do all they can to see them outfitted to the nines? Addy Forever!

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  13. After reading this, I'm really considering getting an Addy. Any tips on how to find her for a good price? I've been looking around eBay, but I'm going to wait for a bit to buy her, as I just got #46 and I'm waiting to see Beforever Addy in stores before deciding which version I want.

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  14. Excellent post as usual. I was wondering what your opinion was on people turning Addy into a moddie.

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    1. I'm down for mod Addy--I may end up with one down the line. As long as it's not done with bigoted intentions and with careful scrutiny.

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  16. I know this is an older blog post, but I just started collecting American Girl dolls and I really appreciate it. I have been thinking about getting an Addy to use for modeling Victorian dresses. I've been nervous for two reasons.

    The first reason was her hair. I am NOT a hair expert, and have never worked with textured hair. I was scared I would ruin Addy. But with your reassurance and braid spray tutorial, I am now confident I can keep her hair nice with few problems.

    Second, and above all, I want to be historically accurate. I'm white, and I was afraid of coming off as racist or disrespectful. Your information about what kind of dresses Addy would wear is really helpful. Good to know I can make her pretty fancy dresses and still be accurate. I will make her ALL THE AWESOME DRESSES, when I get her. Got to save up first, maybe for my birthday in February.

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  17. My daughter is eight and is all pissed that there are only 4 dark skinned Truly Me dolls. She got one as a Just Like Me Doll and has asked Santa for one this year (this is probably the last year that I get to pull this shit), but she loves my Addy doll because her hair is "more real" and she likes the books.

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  18. Thank you for writing this. I've loved Addy, and her story, since I was a little girl! Now that I am an adult who can buy her my only debate is if I should buy a new one from the store or try to find an old PC one in good condition.

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  19. I got my first AGD, Felicity, for Christmas of 1994 (I was 6.) I got Addy for my birthday one month later (my grandmother gave them to me; my brother and I are the only grandkids, so we got quite spoiled on holidays by my grandparents.) I would later get Molly, Kirsten, Josephina, and Kit. My brother asked for and got Samantha. I loved them all, but Felicity and Addy were hands down my favorites.

    The thing about her hair made me remember: I have OCD (legit diagnosed kind) and have since I was a very young child. Caring for my dolls' hair was really, really important to me. My next door neighbor kept coming over and brushing Addy's hair SO HARD she was ripping it out. Horrified, I brought Addy to my mom, who spent an entire afternoon making hundreds of tiny braids, each with a clip at the end. They were beautiful, I could still put them in a ponytail or braid them into a big braid, etc. and most importantly, no brushing needed that would put her poor scalp in jeopardy.

    I had Addy as late as 2009; I brought her with me to college, and long after the other girls went up on eBay, I had Addy. Then I was preparing to move to Asia, and I didn't entirely know what to do with her. I had a small garage sale, and she was tucked off to the side, because I knew I couldn't take her, but it felt awful to sell her.

    A family came to the sale, and a girl who was probably 8 or 9 got out of the car with a visibly well-loved Kirsten. Hair was braided and clothes were mismatched. She had no shoes. The girl was clinging to her, and I saw the moment her eyes spotted Addy. I suddenly realized that I didn't want my Addy to be a collector's doll. I wanted someone to love her like I did. I handed my Addy over and I told the girl to promise to take care of her, and to take good care of her beautiful hair.

    I was so, so lucky to have these dolls and to read their incredible stories and learn so much about them. I can't believe that anyone could read Addy's books and think these things, or that nobody would bother to read her books at all. She's INCREDIBLE, and in my games she and Felicity were besties, with Felicity being impulsive and hot-headed, and Addy being patient and kind, convincing Lissie to cool her damn jets for a second.

    This is a long comment, sorry. I just had an overwhelming amount of feels after reading this post because I love/loved her so much, it hurts my heart to know that there are people who claim to love these dolls that don't.

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  20. I got one of Addy's outfits in a "lot" sold on eBay. Seeing how well-made it was I kept buying more. But I didn't put them on the other dolls then. I just kept looking until I found "the right" Addy for me. I love her furniture too and have been collecting things a little bit at a time. Recently, I thought I should sell off some of the collection for my college tuition/fees. So, my first real photo shoot with any of the dolls I have was Addy. I kept changing her outfits and taking photos, posing her, and then shifted into putting her into my favorite "other" modern outfits. I received two of her books with her and really liked the stories. (I'm a voracious reader.) The end result was I just couldn't sell her or any of her stuff. I sold my shoes instead. Her face lit up every photo. (I think too many of the eBay Addy auction photos don't capture her beauty.) Between my Addy, her stories, and the Steampunk Addie Blog, I fell in love with her. I look as white as it gets, but am 1/16th Choctaw from my grandpa, have a granddaughter who is 1/2 Assiniboine and a great grandson who is 1/4 black. The grand girls and friends who play with my dolls get the full color spectrum (as I have it -- still need our Kaya, Ivy and I'm pretty intrigued by the Maplelea dolls' variety having lived in Alaska). The 5 year old's current favorite is Josefina and she practices her Spanish with her. I really enjoyed reading this post and the others I've had time to read. Thanks. (And our next doll will have rainbow hair just because we have a TLC doll who want to live it up with party hair.)

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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.