Saturday, August 18, 2007

"American Girl" and signs of the apocalypse

Well, it might be a sign if you're pre-millennial...a little eschatological humor there! ;-)

A friend pointed me to the following at the American Girl website. I'm not a big fan of dolls (although they don't bother me). But expensive dolls worry me a bit. And people plunking down big money to get a doll's hair "done" is way beyond the pale-- a foray into plain ol' materialism in general or doll-olatry (or 'dollatry) in particular.

Prices range from $10 to $20 for styling, and you can add the Pampering Plus package for just $5 with any hairstyling. Prices subject to change.

That Pampering Plus package allows you to really show your doll how much you love her...

For that extra bit of care every doll needs, add the Pampering Plus package for only $5 to your Doll Hair Salon visit. Our stylists give each doll a thorough facial scrub to wipe her clean and send her off with a set of nail decals to take home.

I must admit that the testimonies are compelling. Read this one from "Isabella T. from Illinois":

“I love the Doll Hair Salon because it’s so much fun to get my doll's hair done. I want to do it over and over again.”

I'll bet you do, Isabella...and I'd like to have a word with your parents about that. Since I can't do that, I'll offer up a brief prayer for you, your AG compatriots, and the future of our country!

May God bless American girls (and vice versa)...

11 Comments:

At August 18, 2007 at 2:18 PM , Blogger Shamgar said...

What exactly is the problem you have here?

My daughter actually has one of these dolls. It was a Christmas present and is really the only doll she has. It's a lot more realistic in terms of appearance than the typical 'barbie' style dolls. She takes good care of it, and enjoys making clothes for it, or even occasionally purchasing clothes or other accessories for it.

Like most things in life, it could be excessive. Parents should certainly not be lavishing money on it any more than they should any other material thing for their kids.

I'm not sure how that would amount to a sign of the apocalypse - even for dispy-pre-mill types. Maybe I"m just being dense.

 
At August 18, 2007 at 2:26 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

the title of the post was tongue-in-cheek with a little bit of (lame) pre-mill humor thrown in...

and I didn't poke with having an AG doll (I'm sure they're wonderful) as much as paying $20 to get its hair styled!

 
At August 18, 2007 at 4:19 PM , Blogger Shamgar said...

Hehe, yeah, I know it was tongue-in-cheek, my response was meant to play off of that a bit (hence adding the dispy. They jump at everything, so my point was that I didn't get why even they would see it that way, and they think that higher than average rainfall is a sign)

I thought it might be the cost of the hairstyling itself - but I wasn't sure. Even so, it's a girl thing. I don't necessarily get it, but then I would willingly pay $50 to roll in the mud and get pelted with hard balls filled with paint for a few hours.

I'm not sure we're all that less strange. ;-)

 
At August 18, 2007 at 4:47 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

ah yes...I've "enjoyed" the same recreational activity a few times myself...de gustibus non est disputandum, eh? ;-)

 
At August 18, 2007 at 5:48 PM , Blogger Shamgar said...

Not for us theopolitical geeks at least. ;-)

 
At August 18, 2007 at 6:13 PM , Blogger Endiana.com said...

Among my fondest memories was playing with my sisters' dolls. Did you know the heads and arms are interchangeable?

 
At August 18, 2007 at 6:52 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Kenn, I didn't know that; thanks for the "heads up"...And by the way, I don't think I want to know the other memories among which doll surgery ranks for you.

 
At August 18, 2007 at 11:00 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

hey eric, my nieces have these dolls, and they're very very expensive. it makes me very thankful to have a little boy, and hopefully we won't have to buy into the materialism of our culture the way little girls do. funny thing about this too is that we went to the store in chicago to buy our nieces some clothes for their dolls to give as Christmas gifts. Right before Christmas last year, someone broke into our apt, and the AG doll clothes were the only thing taken by the vandal. strange huh? also, when i helped families plan trips to chicago, the AG doll store was an attraction for some moms/daughters to visit. it might be a cult! ha ha.

 
At August 18, 2007 at 11:05 PM , Blogger David said...

Oddly enough, the dolls gave great Christmas gifts...

 
At August 19, 2007 at 1:32 AM , Blogger Endiana.com said...

Amanda,

You think dolls are expensive...

Just wait 'til the neices have weddings.

 
At August 19, 2007 at 9:41 AM , Blogger Shamgar said...

I don't think these dolls necessarily have to represent crass materialism. In fact it is really not the point. The dolls are made with very high quality - not the cheap plastic stuff of barbie, but not the too expensive and fragile to play with collectible china type dolls either.

Rather, they are intended to have a few of the little girls features, such that it is more like having a daughter of their own than other things. Playing with dolls, and playing house, and other such things are very much a part of a normal little girl's experiences as she grows up to be a wife and mother herself.

And trust me, little boys are just as bad if not worse about crass materialism. I think there's a crossover point. Boys are most at risk at a young age, girls a little older. I have three boys and they all went through a "I want that" about everything they saw in every newspaper flyer from toys-r-us or whoever. Not to mention if we let them watch one of those 30 minute advertisements they call 'cartoons' these days.

 

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