I recently wrote about a 2016 American Girl doll, Melody Ellison, and how impressed I was with the effort to fully diversify American Girl dolls. 2017 has another doll that has attracted the interest of my family: 2017 Girl of the Year - Gabriela McBride! In American Girl's press release, Gabriela is described as "a true talent who uses her passion for the arts—specifically spoken word poetry—to overcome personal obstacles and create positive change for her community." Gabriela launched as an 18-inch doll with a variety of outfits and accessories. One of the other things that makes Gabriela special is that she will be available not just in 2017, but for years to come.
I am excited that American Girl said they are partnering with Scholastic "to connect students with Gabriela's inspiring message and to bring awareness to spoken word poetry, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic to create and distribute Express Yourself, a program for classrooms that empowers students to use the arts as a tool for self-expression. Available in March 2017, the classroom resources give teachers the tools to encourage students to find their creative voices, just in time for National Poetry Month in April."
I often discuss the importance of representation in pop culture. Well, it also matters in regards to toys. I’ve given my daughter a month to play with this new doll. And it is wonderful to see how she plays with it. She feels that the doll looks like her, and Gabriela has even become a part of the family and a relative to Melody Ellison. Seeing the way my daughter cares for Gabriela, especially her hair brings a smile to my face. I also enjoy reading chapters of the Gabriela McBride novel to my daughter. So, I have become a genuine fan of American Girl and respect their drive to diversify!
DISCLOSURE: In exchange for an honest review, I received a doll at no cost.