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The "HomeLess Doll"-Gwen

  1. Michael Willis profile image79
    Michael Willisposted 8 years ago

    American Girl brand has come out with a new doll that is stirring controversy. Price tag for this doll is $95.00.
    The company has stated that this doll does not help to raise money for the issue of homeless children, although they have made a $500,000.00 donation.

    Is this right of them to do this?

    Personally, I think this is a tasteless way to exploit the real issue of homeless children and prey on the sympathy of others to make millions of dollars for a greedy business.

    The name should be changed or more at least a percentage should be donated for each doll sold.

    Plus....how does this doll look Homeless? What "image" is this teaching children about a homeless child? It in no way shows the reality of it.

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      what does "homeless" look like?

      i was homeless for a while as a child. while i didn't have many of the cute clothes other little girls wore, i didn't dress like a street person, and i was clean.

      no one talked about homelessness then. it was something to be ashamed of. i think the doll raises awareness. American Girl doll buyers are buyers who aren't just buying dolls for toys ...they buy each doll's history and story, which is contained in each book that comes with the doll. each doll is a respresentation of a little girl living in worlds unlike our own. i actually have one...(Samantha). it is one of my favorite dolls because not only is it a beautiful doll, but she reminds me of me in a lot of ways. no i am not a child but i do collect dolls and like dolls that are unique, as American Girl dolls are. there's a doll who wears glasses, so some moms buy that doll for their daughters who wear glasses. they also have a Native American (Nez Perce) doll, a Mexican doll, a doll who lived during the Civil War and is hoping to be freed from slavery, a girl living in the Great Depression, etc.

      if i had a little girl i would want her to play with these dolls instead of Barbie dolls, just because they are a lot more interesting and make her think. i see no indoctrination here.

      American Girl is proud of its reputation and wouldn't do anything they thought was tasteless or crass. they want to introduce girls to other people through their dolls. if this doll had come out when i was a girl, maybe some of those other little girls wouldn't have been so mean to me.

      anyway this is a very interesting topic. i think it would make a wonderful hub, Michael.

      1. Michael Willis profile image79
        Michael Willisposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Cosette. Being a male, well...a hub about dolls would not be best written by me. lol
        But, even though I see the doll made as for profit, that set aside...from your story I would believe you would have a very good inside experience to write about this. Just a thought, if you have not written about it already.

        1. profile image0
          cosetteposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          no i haven't. i didn't want to do it if you were going to. i would like to write about it, if i may.


      2. rebekahELLE profile image88
        rebekahELLEposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with cosette here, AG is a very reputable business and they market to educate and profit. There will always be buyers for AG. There is one of the dolls that I want, even as an adult.

        bringing awareness only helps children. many children want to help those less fortunate. smile

        it would make a great hub article!

    2. arindam1234 profile image57
      arindam1234posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Dolls with so much alluring and attractive dresses can't be the good solution to win the heart of homeless children. it's very bad idea. try to win the heart of them, not to charm them during the devastating condition, it looks very odd

  2. Dame Scribe profile image60
    Dame Scribeposted 8 years ago

    I think they are probably referring to using the word homeless as a means of marketing the message *take Gwen home* or *Gwen needs a home* rather than towards the social problem of homelesseness tongue but their donating that much $$ towards this problem would put a favorable light upon the company. I agree though that the marketing message itself is low but that goes to show how some marketers use *psychological* triggers and tricks to make a sale. hmm

    1. Michael Willis profile image79
      Michael Willisposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      When the local news station was reporting this news, they did say and news article online that the word "homeless" was about real homeless kids, not the take Gwen home.

  3. Dame Scribe profile image60
    Dame Scribeposted 8 years ago

    If the news story did say the sales was geared towards supporting the homeless then it's good business for the doll retailer hmm a common practice as it puts the retailer in a good light for supporting a social cause. Lots of businesses and movie actors and musicians do that...however...if they are NOT supporting a homelessness cause...then it's low, very low marketing tactic.

    1. Michael Willis profile image79
      Michael Willisposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      That is the point of the controversay about the doll. They are using the term homeless for profit, not to give to help with homeless people. Maybe if there is enough attention they will make a change of the name or use some of the money for the homeless.

  4. Dame Scribe profile image60
    Dame Scribeposted 8 years ago

    Well, if there is a comment forum allowed then you can add your voice or check for protesting the Gwen doll..am sure there are sites or even Facebook. hmm as I said though...they are using the message *homelessness* as a way to say to kids...*take Gwen home* . Marketers use all sorts of tricks that some may find offensive but deemed by law, to be legal. It's word usage. Very tricky. One can always make a complaint to the BBB also wink

  5. Michael Willis profile image79
    Michael Willisposted 8 years ago

    Please do Cosette. I will look forward to reading it.

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      oh thank you Michael. tonight i will write it. cheers.

  6. theageofcake profile image70
    theageofcakeposted 8 years ago

    This appears harmless to me.  Cosette adequately justified why this particular doll would inoffensively fit into anyone's collection.  And yeah, its overpriced, but not especially for this brand. 

    Also, the fact that the proceeds are not going directly to homeless children would appear irrelevant when the company had already given a "$500,000.00 donation" (who did that donation go to by the way?)

  7. Flightkeeper profile image73
    Flightkeeperposted 8 years ago

    Not to be facetious or anything but does the doll come with her own WIC card and food stamps?

    I don't understnad that whole American Girl line. Is it for kids or is it for adults to collect? I don't think a little girl will want to play with a homeless doll. The stories that  would be made up is too depressing.

  8. Cher Anne profile image61
    Cher Anneposted 8 years ago

    Weird but I think Malibu Barbie is just as weird.

  9. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 8 years ago

    cosette, here's some info for you. from the AG site. smile

    "As far as my daughter and her little girl friends are concerned there is NO controversy over this lovely doll. The children couldn't care less that some adults are upset that Gwen was once homeless in Chrissa's story. They've all watched the Chrissa movie several times and love playing with my daughters dolls Gwen, Sonali,and Chrissa who stand together against bullies! This is my daughters new fave doll and she loves to style the pretty long blonde hair. All of my daughters friends and her love to play out the scenes from the movie with the dolls which couldnt be possible without sweet Gwen. Since Gwen didnt come with much, I bought her the Licorice outfit she wore in the movie and the violin set that she plays so beautifully. I'm still hoping AG comes out with more for Gwen and Sonali before the holidays. Kudos on this sweet girl Gwen!!!"

    I am: A frequent customer
    Relationship to child: Mother

  10. The Grey Wolf profile image58
    The Grey Wolfposted 8 years ago

    The "Homeless"? What are these "Homeless" of which you speak? Are you talking about the Zionists? They got Israel, sooo...