The February 12, 2015, Wall Street Journal Article “A Lesson in Entrepreneurship From a Doll: American Girl, Other Firms Design Toys for Young Girls That Tap Into the Appeal of Owning a Business” by Ruth Simon describes American Girl’s new doll Grace Thomas, who runs a bakery.
(The doll is priced at $120 and the miniature bakery at $500, according to the article.)
The article states:
American Girl, a unit of El Segundo, Calif., toy maker Mattel Inc., seeks to capture the imagination of young girls and reverse its declining sales by drawing on the appeal of owning a business.
“Stories in our magazine about girls starting their own business have always rated very high with our readers,” said Julia Prohaska, senior director of global brand marketing for American Girl. ““Marrying the idea of girls’ high interest in baking and cooking with entrepreneurialism was just a natural fit.”
As a long-time feminist, I applaud the concept of giving careers to dolls, although I could wish this doll would have a career less steeped in traditional female occupations, that is baking.
I would have preferred that the doll have a career in a STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Math — field. And I discussed the use of toys to encourage women in these fields in my blog post “Using Lego Models to Promote STEM Careers for Women.”
Currently I am taking a Python coding online course via Coursera and attending a companion weekly study group through the auspices of Women Who Code LA (see this group on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wwcodeLA). Perhaps the next American Girl doll could be a coder who leads such a group, helping other females to develop STEM skills.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY, as well as newly written books not yet published. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org