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The Magpie Ranks: American Girl Dolls

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Listen folks, it’s the holiday season. I’m about to see a lot of family, hear a lot of unsolicited opinions, and be vaguely present during a lot of arguments. Understand when I say that I have to start channelling my judginess somewhere productive. Is this new series another excuse to pander my opinions to the faceless blackhole of the Internet so my rants don’t inappropriately explode out of me like Alien at dinner parties? You betcha. Do I care if your opinions don’t match my own? You betcha. I’m extremely fragile and crave affirmation. And I like to read comments.

Anyway, the first Ranking will be a childhood favorite: The American Girl Dolls. I personally credit the little books that came with them as part of the reason I’m sensitive to others’ backgrounds, am kinda patriotic, and know the basics of Industrialization. I only ranked the classics because the other ones came out after I outgrew dolls around 11 and super don’t matter at all.


1. Addy

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SHE WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO DID ANYTHING OF IMPORTANCE!! ESCAPING SLAVERY WILL ALWAYS PUT YOU AT THE TOP OF THE LIST. The other white characters like, donated soup or learned to stand up for themselves. Addy freakin’ saved her family. All I remembered from her story was that her father delivered ice. I don’t know what you want to do with that information, but now you have it.

2. Kit

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Kit had the cutest hair cut, the best clothes, freckles, and her name was also Margaret, so she’s obviously high on the list. She even had her own movie that came out when I was like 12, and all I remember was that the actor who played her dad was super hot. Also, she’s like the introductory version of Scout Finch so she gets to be #2.

3. Samantha

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Fine, I’m bias. I had a Samantha doll because she looked like me. I even cut her hair when I cut off mine so she could look even more like me (my mom was pissed). Samantha was a royal betch who was loaded and pretended to care about her friend who was a child laborer in a factory. All Samantha did was vacation and piss off her Grandmary so she’s not great but sentimentality trumps logic here.

4. Kaya

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I was friends with a really betchy girl when I was little (like we played Superstar and Stage Manager all the time ((guess who I got to be))) but it was all worth it because sometimes, on special occasions, I got to be Kaya when we played dolls. She even had the painted horse to go with her. It made hours of Princess and Servant almost not dehumanizing.

5. Josefina

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I adored her books. I loved that her father married her beloved tía and that she had wild older sisters. I loved all the little Spanish words I learned; it made me feel really worldly at age eight that I knew not to pronounce the “j” in Josefina. But I didn’t know anyone who had her, so she’s down on the list.

6. Felicity

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I just like her name. Her story was ehhh despite being in a dope time period.

7. Molly

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Whatever, she had a victory garden and glasses. She also was really whiny about her dad being a medic in the army like it wasn’t a brave and noble thing, and fine, I’ll say it, she was a dork.

8. Kirsten

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Last and certainly the least. All that’s interesting about her is that she wore candles in her hair at Christmastime. What did you do the rest of the year, huh, Kirsten??? Truth be told, the only friends I knew who had the Kirsten doll were blondes who lacked imagination. There must be a correlation.

Bonus: Maggie

I had a Target knock-off doll named Maggie, who had frizzy red hair and no backstory, so I made one for her. I pretended that she was an Irish indentured servant who had to pay off her family’s debt by working for the rich American Girl Dolls. Maggie had to sleep on a rolled-up towel but in the cover of darkness would find solace in the books she snuck from the mansion’s library. She wanted to go to school but it was not her destiny. I was a very dramatic child.

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