January 7, 2019
The 2019 American Girl doll is out, and Blaire Wilson is both surprisingly relatable and #goals. Relatable because she finds it hard to stay off her tech devices. Enviable because she lives on a sustainable farm/B&B operation in New York state with her parents, enjoying a picturesque life filled with work that sounds like fun.
When we were young, an American Girl doll mainly taught us about a different period in time. They were all like Felicity, the doll (still popular today) from revolutionary-war-era Virginia who has inspired many a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. By pretending to know her, girls put themselves back in time and learn a little history.
But the Doll of the Year series, started in 2001, has represented modern girls, like 2008's Mia, a figure skater who learned to lose gracefully, 2012's McKenna, who had reading-comprehension challenges, and last year's Luciana, a STEM star with her heart set on visiting Mars.
Maybe that last goal got a little ambitious, because 2019's Blaire is much more down-to-Earth. She helps with her family's farm-to-table restaurant operation and has a million ideas for their foray into the wedding business. But in her storybook, called simply Blaire, she also contends with texting mix-ups and the issue so many girls currently face, which is how to balance face time with Facetime.
It's nice to see the doll series tackle something so real. Who hasn't seen a group of kids "playing" together by all staring at a phone or tablet? And by the time they're in middle school, preteens will sit on a circle and each look at her own screen—physically together but a million miles apart. Maybe Blaire can teach the young kids a valuable lesson before tech-creep gets to them.
The book and doll are $115; the book itself is just $8 and can be bought separately, but per usual, American Girl has made Blaire super-cute with big, bouncy curls, so good luck keeping your kid from asking for the whole package. It's cool, though, that "remember Blaire" could become your go-to code when you see your kid disengage from a friend and start to watch, you know, a YouTube video instead. Maybe adults could use that reminder every once in a while too!