American Girl, the long-favored line of realistic dolls and accompanying storybooks, has released its “2021 Girl of the Year”, Kira Bailey. Several parents who purchased the books that tell Kira’s story, however, were dismayed to learn that they featured prominent characters in a same-sex relationship.
According to a December press release from Mattel, American Girl’s parent company, 10-year-old Kira is passionate about animals and the environment. In her book, Kira Down Under, she spends a summer in Australia with her great-aunts Mamie and Lynette.
“As American Girl kicks off its 35th year, Kira joins our lineup of diverse and purposeful characters who star in stories that reflect the realities of the times—whether it’s historical or modern-day,” said Jamie Cygielman, general manager of American Girl, in the press release.
For whatever reason, the American Girl website isn’t forthcoming with the information that Kira’s aunts are in a same-sex relationship. According to Yahoo, parents wouldn’t know what their children would be exposed to until they’ve already bought the book, which explains that Kira’s aunts married “after the law was changed to allow it.”
Several such parents took to Amazon to leave reviews expressing their disappointment.
“I think there should a warning to parents so that they can make an informed choice whether or not to allow their young child to read a story that includes a lesbian relationship,” said one reviewer.
“My daughter purchased Kira on January 1 and was super excited to be one of the first to own the new doll for 2021,” wrote another reviewer, giving an in-depth explanation of the issues with the book. “In her book, Kira visits her aunt in Australia. Unfortunately, as my daughter began to read the book she read that Kira’s aunt is married to another woman.”
“Homosexuality is an inappropriate topic for a children’s book and I am very disappointed that it was woven so blatantly into the story line for Kira,” that reviewer went on. “This type of content should have been made clear in the advertising so that I as a parent could make an informed choice for my child. My daughter and I have read dozens of American Girl books and have always loved them and highly recommended them to friends. Before now, I have never had to worry about American Girl reading material being wholesome for my child. My daughter had no idea what a lesbian couple is and American Girl has cruelly taken away part of her innocence now that I’ve had to explain about that lifestyle. It goes against what I believe as a Christian and was not something I wanted my daughter to be exposed to at this early age. I am very, very disappointed in [American Girl] and will not purchase their products in the future.”
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