Parents are ripping a recently published “American Girl” “body image” book that contains a section called “Gender Joy,” in which young girls are urged to ask their doctors for puberty blockers in order to gain more time to weigh their gender identity.
In its description of A Smart Girl’s Guide to Body Image by Mel Hammond, American Girl states:
Every girl needs to learn to live comfortably in her own skin, and this book will show the way! In these pages, a girl will find everything she needs to know about loving her unique self, staying confident through her body’s many changes, and appreciating her body for the life it lets her live. Full of activities, tips, crafts, and real-girl stories, this book is a feel-good reminder that all bodies are worthy of love and respect.
However, Anne Young, the mother of two young daughters, wrote in The Christian Post Tuesday that the popular American doll company “has chosen to strip away all innocence and teach girls how they can leave their girlhood behind and become boys if they feel like it.”
“While on the surface the book appears to present a perfectly upstanding and relevant topic for tween girls, the content of the book is deceptive and dangerous, promoting LGBTQ ideology to potentially millions of young girls,” Young noted, adding:
This book holds nothing back in teaching girls how to change their sex by seeking puberty blockers, making permanent changes to their bodies, and going behind their parents’ back to organizations that can “help” them.
The book, available on the shelves in American Girl stores and online, is marketed to girls between the ages of 3-12. It contains a section titled “Gender Joy,” beginning on page 36, which takes the book in a different direction, Young reported.
“Contrary to what the first chapters appear to promote, the book starts teaching girls that they can destroy their girlhood,” she wrote. “It causes girls to question the beauty of their bodies and even instructs them on how they can find help to change their bodies, including potentially mutilating their distinctly female anatomy.”
Young explained some of the content of the section promoting gender ideology:
On page 38, the book promotes the use of puberty blockers by telling girls to seek them out from their doctor. It reads: “If you haven’t gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity.” Do the doctors mention that these untested hormonal agents are completely experimental for use in treating gender confusion and are similar to the drugs that have been used to chemically castrate sex offenders? I doubt it.
“Is this what American Girl hopes for the girls reading their book and participating in their brand?” Young asked.
She continued that, on the same page, “they cast doubt on a child’s ability to trust the adults in their lives.”
“The book tells girls that ‘if you don’t have an adult you trust, there are organizations across the country that can help you,” Young cited. “’Turn to the resources on page 95 for more information.’ This sickening ideology undermines the most important relationships in a child’s life.”
Young reported the section continues:
[A]gain on page 38 … the book offers more suggestions: “Parts of your body may make you feel uncomfortable and you may want to change the way you look. That’s totally OK! You can appreciate your body for everything it allows you to experience and still want to change certain things about it.”
Young’s shock at and revulsion for the book’s message was shared by many other parents on the American Girl website. For example:
When did American Girl decide to force its worldview on readers of every belief system? Bottom line — this book can be great IF you agree with all of AG’s views on gender identity and the importance of choosing your gender — but for our family, with a Christian worldview that believes gender is assigned by God at birth, this book stepped BEYOND the bounds of anything American Girl has ever before published, and I am sincerely disappointed. It’s obvious this book expresses the personal and political views of the author. I expected better from American Girl.
Another irate parent:
I grew up in the early years of American girl. I loved that AG celebrated girlhood. Whether it comes to young girls through their interests in art, science, being tomboy or more girly- celebrate girlhood. I love that the book encourages to be yourself and positive body image. But what’s not okay is pushing hormonal blockers- and ways to go about it BEHIND parental guidance- to young girls averaging 4-10 years of age. And even for the older AG girls, they are going through an emotionally and physically confusing time with puberty. Don’t add to the confusion! Sexual conversations should not be pushed by children’s companies. Fight to protect child-like innocence!
A grandmother who says to American Girl: “We’re DONE!”:
How dare you as a company betray parents trust by promoting, even profiting, from pushing child mutilation and progressive trans agenda on innocent young girls! This grandmother is no longer buying what you’re selling.
One parent defended the gender identity section and gave the book a five-star rating:
This book contains 3 pages that discuss feelings of Gender Dysphoria. It is very matter of fact and suggests talking to an “adult you trust”. They do state if you don’t have an adult you trust then there are a list of organizations you can reach out to for help. None of those organizations are going to have the medical power to do anything to the child. But they will be able to offer support and hopefully keep a child from killing themselves. Anyone complaining about the book telling kids to go behind their parent’s backs is telling on themselves. Obviously they know they aren’t an adult their children can trust. There is no sexual grooming. The age above clearly states 10+, not 3. Maybe learn to do your own research instead of letting right wing tabloid news do it for you.
At Amazon, parents also chimed in with their disgust with American Girl’s promotion of puberty blockers.
The Daily Mail reported Wednesday that American Girl Doll’s Facebook page “has now been beset with negative comments.”
“One person wrote: ‘Your book is disgusting. It is child abuse,” the report observed, providing photos of the “Gender Joy” section of the book.
One page shared by The Daily Mail shows the author indoctrinates young girls in gender ideology by teaching:
While gender expression is what you show on the outside, gender identity is how you feel on the inside – a girl, a boy, or someone who doesn’t quite fit into either category. 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. Most kids grow up feeling comfortable in the sex the doctor assigned. This kind of person is cisgender. (Say it sis-jen-dur.) But for some, that assigned sex doesn’t match who they know they are inside. A kid who was assigned as male might know herself to be a girl inside, for example. Someone whose gender is different than the sex they were assigned at birth is transgender. Some people don’t feel like a girl or a boy inside – which is totally OK! People in this group are usually called nonbinary and might use a pronoun like they instead of he or she.
American Girl, whose parent company is Mattel, writes about its author Hammond, who reportedly has a master’s degree in children’s literature, that she is “especially interested in improving diversity in the children’s publishing industry.”
“Besides books, her favorite things are trees, rainbows, and dairy-free ice cream,” the bio states. “She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her partner and two mischievous cats.”
Hammond also authored an American Girl book titled Love the Earth, which focused on climate change.
– – –
Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Body Image” by American Girl. Background Photo “Child and Doctor” by Pavel Danilyuk.