The American Girl doll company is under criticism for a new children’s book it published that addresses gender issues and offers tips on transitioning and information on puberty blockers. The 96-page book “A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image” features a section with a transgender rights flag and a picture of a young child who appears to be discussing gender issues with a doctor.
According to the Daily Mail, the book, which targets girls aged 8 to 11, also states that “Studies show that transgender and nonbinary kids who get help from doctors have much better mental health than those who don’t” and covers the use of pronouns like “they” to represent oneself. Some parents are upset by the progressive message being sent to children by a business better recognized for selling high-end dolls.
Additionally, it says, “Your gender expression can be feminine, masculine, or somewhere in between — and it might change! Maybe you’ll experiment with bright dresses and long, feminine hairstyles. Or you might try baggy shorts, plaid shirts, and a buzzed haircut. Your gender expression should make you feel at home in your body.”
Angry parents questioned the book’s suitability on social media as word of it spread. Some people even posted terrible reviews on the American Girl website, saying they planned to boycott the company. However, some parents praised the business for its progressive message, even calling the book “a must-read” for young girls.
The brand was founded by Pleasant Rowland, a schoolteacher and reporter frustrated by difficulties trying to find presents for her nieces. Mattel acquired it in 1998 and has since produced contemporary dolls and books teaching young girls about their bodies, hygiene, and emotions.