Mothers Slam American Girl Book Advising on Puberty Blockers

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Scathing reviews are pouring into the American Girl website and Amazon, and social media users are blasting the popular doll brand for a 2022 book that advises young girls on pronouns, switching genders, and using puberty blockers.

Part of the criticism surrounds circumventing unsupportive parents.

Others, however, have applauded the book for providing guidance on the topics, sending it to No. 1 on Amazon in the category of Popular Adolescent Psychology.

“A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image: How to Love Yourself, Live Life to the Fullest, and Celebrate All Kinds of Bodies” rapidly drew attention from around the world after a Dec. 6 report in the London-based Daily Mail.

The $12.99 book was released in February without fanfare.

Amazon users suggest it’s written for ages 8–11; American Girl recommends it for girls in 4th grade through 6th grade.

The 96-page paperback by Mel Hammond depicts girls with different body types and skin colors on the cover. It further signals inclusiveness by showing a girl in a wheelchair and another with blue hair.

Hammond also wrote, “Love the Earth: Understanding Climate Change, Speaking Up for Solutions and Living an Earth-Friendly Life” for American Girl.

The 36-year-old company is best known for its lifelike dolls that can be customized by skin tone, eye color, and hair color and style.

The 18-inch dolls that stand on their own often are purchased to look like a child’s twin.

The company sells an expansive line of matching clothing for child and doll, and a library of books for girls on a wide variety of topics. It was purchased by toy giant Mattel—the owner of the Barbie brand of toys—in 1998 for a reported $700 million.

Early in “Body Image,” the author assures young girls that many different body types exist.

Halfway through the book, the Gender Joy chapter takes a hard-left turn.

It prominently features an illustration of an androgynous child wearing pronoun buttons in front of a transgender flag. The chapter defines terms like transgender and nonbinary, and suggests ways girls can express their gender through haircuts and clothing.

“When a baby is born, a doctor looks at the baby’s body parts to assign its sex—whether the baby is female or male,” the chapter explains. “But for some, that assigned sex doesn’t match who they know they are inside.”

Being transgender is not an illness or something to be ashamed of, the author reassures. The text advises girls to talk with a trusted adult, such as a parent or counselor, if they are questioning their gender identity.

By Darlene McCormick Sanchez

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