American Girl has announced their 2019 “Girl of the Year” doll; previous characters include an aspiring dancer, and aspiring poet, and an aspiring astronaut. This year it’s Blaire, an aspiring chef who is learning to navigate when it’s time to log off and connect with your family.
Ohhhhh no. I feel very not good. Oh, boy.
Today describes Blaire as “a young aspiring chef who enjoys bringing people together at her family’s upstate New York sustainable farm and bed and breakfast.” Sounds very Instagram, but basically very nice! Kids love food-related toys, and the accessories are cute. But also: “Blaire struggles to find balance between the digital world and the real world and feels self-conscious about a newly-diagnosed food sensitivity.”
USA Today confirms that, yes, “like so many kids today, struggles to tear herself away from electronic devices,” adding that, “American Girl hopes Blaire’s screen-time obsession, and her efforts to resolve it through her chapter-book series, will help kids find more balance in their own family and social lives.”
The plot of one of the books that will accompany the doll: “Blaire loves to cook and decorate, and jumps at the chance to help her family with a wedding at their bed-and-breakfast. But she finds herself more engaged on her devices than at real-life gatherings. She turns to friends and family to find value in being present at every occasion.”
Oh, God, I think I need a minute.
You see, they’re not wrong! This is a whole thing now! I feel both guilty, as someone who owns a phone, and panicked, as someone who doesn’t want her kids to spend their whole lives on their phones. This is an important parenting challenge in 2019, and thanks a lot for pointing it out, because I feel so fucked up right now!!!!
“Building and maintaining supportive relationships with family and friends is central to Blaire’s story — a message we think is important to champion among girls today,” says Julia Prohaska, Vice President of Marketing for American Girl. “In an age where families are often striving for quality time together, we hope Blaire inspires everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to connect more regularly with the important people in their lives and make their time together this year really count.”
I’m going to throw out every piece of electronics we own (except the radio). What I am definitely not going to do is purchase the “Truly Me” accessory set that includes a play phone. I won’t have it in my house, I tell you!