Article by Natalie Bigler | esPResso Contributing Writer
The American Doll world recently welcomed a new, history-making addition. American Girl announced its first ever boy doll on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. For over 30 years, American Girl has sold millions of dolls with unique, diverse backgrounds. In an effort to become more gender-neutral, the boy doll is included in the company’s most recent line of dolls.
His name is Logan Everett, accompanying another new doll, Tenney Grant. Tenney is a singer-song writer from Nashville and Logan is her fellow drummer. Logan and Tenney are to be portrayed solely as friends. Logan is sold, as of Feb. 16, 2017, in a plaid button down, a t-shirt underneath, and jeans. American Girl planned for Logan to appeal to both young girls and boys, but to give the boy population a distinct doll for themselves.
Although American Girl hoped this release would continue its reputation in creating a diverse doll catalog for children to learn from and relate to, opposing viewpoints have caused some uproar. According to the New York Times, the first boy doll does more harm than good in expanding children’s cultural horizon. Logan’s creation and character is criticized for its lack of historical relevance. What also has Logan deemed as “offensive” by the New York Times is that his design could potentially portray the modern ideology that these female dolls need a male in life.
However, according to The Washington Post, a boy doll has been a major request from American Girl followers. Fans ask for dolls that represent more characters, stories, and experiences. American Girl hoped to introduce more modern personalities and Logan’s background does just that for fans. As a character from Tenney’s Scholastic book series, American Girl hoped to show young girls the power they have to pursue their goals and aspirations. Hopefully, the diversity of the other dolls in the new line will suppress the few insults that Logan’s character has received.