Ahead of the new year, American Girl has announced the brand’s first-ever Girl of the Year doll of Chinese descent, and parents are thrilled about the long-overdue step towards Asian American representation among the iconic dolls. Corinne Tan lives in Aspen, Colorado, and she loves snowy outdoor adventures, dogs and hanging out with her little sister, Gwynn — the brand’s first “little sister” doll.
Corinne loves skiing with her dad, and hopes to train her dog to be a ski patrol rescue canine. Her story, written by The Great Wall of Lucy Wu author Wendy Shang, explores scenarios plenty of American kids will relate to, including her mom remarrying after her parents’ divorce, exploring and celebrating her Chinese heritage, as well as the rise in racist anti-Asian hate crimes, fueled by the pandemic.
In a statement to TODAY Parents, Jamie Cygielman, general manager at American Girl, said, “We know representation matters, and we’re proud to welcome Corrine Tan to our lineup of important characters who reflect what it means to be an American girl today. Wrapped around Corrine’s outdoor adventures are important messages about kindness, tolerance, and love — showing kids that they’re never too young to contribute to the larger conversation and stand up for positive change.”
Parents are understandably excited about the long-awaited inclusion of an Asian American Girl of the Year doll. Ria Pretekin, a Filipino-American mom from Illinois, told TODAY Parents, “An iconic American Girl is more than blonde hair and blue eyes. An Asian American girl is also American, and in the wake of anti-Asian hate it would help to dispel the otherness. I’d love for Asian American children to feel the pride of their identities.”
Larisa Courtien, an Asian-American mom of two in New York, added, “It fills me with so much hope. And I hope they don’t stop with just one. Having one Asian American Girl doll is not a catchall — there are so many amazing AAPI women who have made the American Dream their own, who have rich and diverse histories of how they and their families came to America, and of how they continue to love their culture. To see AAPI girls represented by the franchise means so much to me — I hope I can share this with my daughter and that she can see our family and her unique face in such a beloved brand.”
American Girl announced that they’re supporting AAPI Youth Rising, a youth organization composed primarily of middle schoolers that recently launched a pledge requesting schools devote at least one day of Asian history and culture to the school year. Shoppers can snag their very own Corrine online, including her and her sister Gwynn, books and accessories, at AmericanGirl.com.
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