By Anjana PV
EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA: Popular doll brand American Girl ran into a controversy as its resident author Mel Hammond released the book ‘A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image’. The book was criticized for allegedly pushing the readers to change their genders, allegedly without their guardian’s blessings, reported Daily Mail.
The 96- paged book is allegedly targeted at girls between the age of 3 to 12. The guide reportedly also explains how to make permanent changes to their bodies with the help of puberty blockers, as per Daily Mail. It also suggests how to embrace bodies of different types.
Parents have also suggested that the book’s content is deceptive and dangerous. Some of the lines in the book state, “Parts of your body may make you feel uncomfortable and you may want to change the way you look, That’s totally OK!” Further, it added, “You can appreciate your body for everything it allows you to experience and still want to change certain things about it.”
The book also suggests, “If you haven’t gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity. The book then tells readers that ‘if you don’t have an adult you trust, there are organizations across the country that can help you.'”
Who is the owner of American Girl?
American Girl was initially owned by Pleasant Rowland. It was founded by her in 1986. The company was then known as Pleasant company. Rowland once stated, “The American Girl experience is more than just a collection of toys. It is a collection of magical moments filled with goodness—moments that will nourish a little girl’s spirit, send her imagination soaring, and make her dreams come true.” Rowland combined American history into her dolls and also released books. Their first experiential retail stores opened in Chicago in 1998, as per their official website.
However, it is currently owned by Mattel who acquired the company in 1998 for $700 million, as per Wikipedia. The company has been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award eight times and was also inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2021. According to LinkedIn, the company which is based out of El Segundo in California claims to “empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.” It engages consumers through eminent brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, Thomas & Friends, UNO, Masters of the Universe, Monster High, and MEGA. According to Companies Market CAP, the company currently holds a revenue of $5.82 billion.