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American Girls Gone Wild

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If you've been to the Grove lately, you know about the American Girl Doll phenomenon: 7 year old girls dragging around $86 dolls with matching clothing that sells for about $80 per outfit for the girl (and $25 per outfit for the doll). Every westside 2nd grader must have a doll, and leaving the Grove without $300 worth of American Girl Place Merchandise is a cause for shame.

Despite the fact that dolls were traditionally for "kids," it seems Mattel's effort here is actually having the opposite effect. Our little American girls are worried about class, brand name, and commercialism. The priorities have shifted, and now they're turning into annoying mini-versions of their middle-class brand-whore parents who learn early that elitism is a virtue.

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