Rosemary Donahue
July 01, 2016 10:13 am

It’s so important for young kids to have toys that look like them — a point that was reinforced by the letter Meredith Bailey, a mom from Boston, wrote on Facebook this past Tuesday. She wrote the thank you note to the company that makes American Girl Dolls, because she and her daughter Mia were shopping in a store in Natick and noticed that a doll who didn’t have any hair was on display.

This was an important thing for Mia, who was diagnosed with alopecia at the age of four years old. She had been given an American Girl Doll with no hair for Christmas last year, which she loved, but she had noticed that there were none of that particular doll on display in the store — when she asked her mother why, she didn’t really have an answer to give. This brings to light the issue of representation, and why it’s important for kids to see characters that look like them in media and on the shelves of toy stores.

Meredith was thankful that the doll was on display, and wrote the following post on the American Girl Facebook page:

The full text says:

I have always been a loyal supporter of your company. I still have my Pleasant Company dolls from 1988 that my daughter now enjoys. I was so happy to start my daughter with her own collection. When she was 4 she was diagnosed with alopecia. This past Christmas my she received a doll without hair and nothing has thrilled her more. She did ask at one point why they were not on display at the store. I did not have a good answer to give her. Yesterday, we made our annual birthday celebration with her best friend to the Natick store. On the second floor we hopped off the escalator and there in front of us was a display with doll a without hair! My daughter was ecstatic! Then we saw them in 2 more spots in the store! These dolls were not hidden in the back and had to be asked for. They were there for all to see, especially for my daughter who wondered why they were not out before. This may feel to your company to be “no big deal”, but to little girls who may feel “alone” and so desperately want to see dolls that reflect their beauty—it means more than you know. I cried many happy tears yesterday. Thank you so much for including ALL children. ❤️

It has 18k reactions so far, and nearly 3k shares. We’re so glad Mia got the chance to see herself represented in the store.

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