What Barbie Could Learn from American Girl
An education policy wonk and father of two takes a tough look at doll marketing.
By Andrew J. Rotherham for Time Magazine
Barbie turned 53 this month. She’s now several years into an AARP membership and yet wisdom has apparently not come with age. She’s still driving parents like me up the wall with her vapid sexuality. My daughters are in the prime demographic for Barbie and other dolls. Thankfully, at least from where I sit, they’re more excited by American Girl dolls than by Barbies. Both brands are owned by Mattel, yet only one moves beyond tired stereotypes. American Girls manage to teach kids history and resilience and, even with their thick waists and sturdy ankles, the dolls look pretty — and pretty normal.