Will American Girl's New Doll Be More Diverse Than It Looks?

Shhh. We won't tell anyone that you're just pretending to read this article for the sake of your five-year-old niece. Nobody else needs to know that you still hold a candle for the American Girl Dolls of your youth.

Though she won't make her official debut until August 27, Maryellen Larkin has been introduced as American Girl's latest historical BeForever doll. She's also the first one to represent the 1950s, with her story starting in 1954. According to American Girl, she was born in 1945 and hails from Florida.

Today, Maryellen made her debut at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Enjoy a first look at our new 1950’s BeForever character, then bring home her and her entire world in just ONE WEEK! http://bit.ly/1hzDJX0

Posted by American Girl on Thursday, August 20, 2015
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With her strawberry-blonde hair and poodle skirt, Maryellen is hardly rocking the boat in terms of American Girl diversity. The BeForever line only has three dolls of color (Kaya, Josefina, and Addy), but given the 1950s timeline, it could be an opportunity for American Girl to tackle the topic of civil rights and school desegregation in the three books accompanying this latest doll.

"At first glance, Maryellen's circumstances appear determinedly normal," Valerie Tripp, who writes the American Girl books, told People. "I did this deliberately, so that I could show that the extraordinary exists with the extra-ordinary, and it is Maryellen's own sparky pizzazz that makes the difference."

Make of that what you will.


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