Looking for the perfect gift for the little girl who has everything, from her own pet llama to dramatic ski and swim vacations? If the little girl happens to be Chrissa, a character in the American Girl doll series, a homeless friend may just be the perfect accessory. And if you're a real little girl, wouldn't you just love a homeless friend, too? Or, better yet, a homeless friend doll, for a mere $95?
---------------------------------------(Photo to the right is not the item in question)
Not surprisingly, homeless advocates have objected to the doll, and question the idea that including Gwen in the product line "kind of shows awareness to what's going on in the world," as one mother shopping in an American Girl boutique told a CBS correspondent.
There are between 7,000 and 10,000 homeless children in L.A. alone ... and it's doubtful many, if any, could afford Gwen's $95 price tag.
One homeless woman in a shelter ... said Gwen touched her heart when she saw the doll in its box. The women praised the doll ... until they learned Gwen isn't a fundraising device for the homeless. "I don't even see why you would make a homeless doll, anyway," one woman said ... unless it was being used to raise money to help charities aiding the homeless.
Advocates also worry that the "valuable lessons about life," which American Girl says are taught by the dolls, include the idea that it's okay to be homeless. Tanya Tull, president of Beyond Shelter, told CBS that she's "afraid that [girls are] going to pick up the idea that it's OK, that it's an accepted segment of society that some children are homeless and some children are not."
Of course, most children will probably miss the idea that Gwen is supposed to be homeless, given that she looks pretty much identical to every other American Girl doll, down to her "white eyelet lace dress with embroidered accents." But wait! It turns out Gwen can't even afford a full lineup of accessories; she has to make do with a "pink headband that doubles as a belt." Poor Gwen!
American Girl web site: (I could not find the item mentioned on the site)
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