The Internet is flooded with stories about moms who are breaking traditional gender rules and redesigning dolls to inspire and more closely resemble what real girls look like. From dolls with disabilities to dolls with "makeunders" to dolls fashioned after scientists and astronauts, parents are demanding more of these kinds of dolls for their daughters.
But one mother has found that little girls aren't the only ones whose toys need a redesign. When Gina DeMillo Wagner's son, Miles, was getting ready to celebrate his sixth birthday, he asked for just two presents: Legos and an American Boy doll.
"I wasn’t surprised to see a doll on his list, said Wagner on her blog. "He has an older sister, and they play together every day. She loves playing superheroes and various sports with him, and he loves playing My Little Pony and American Girl with her."
Still, she knew that the toy her son wanted — an 18-inch doll similar to his sister's American Girl doll simply did not exist.
"“At first I tried to explain to him that they just don’t make American Boy dolls,” Wagner told Redbook. “I thought he’d eventually lose interest and move on, but he kept asking … and asking. Then, a good friend of mine jokingly said, ‘Couldn’t you just give a girl doll a haircut?’"
"So I decided to take matters into my own hands," Wagner noted. I’d give a girl doll a makeover to resemble a boy (but not just any boy…. my boy)."
Armed with acetone and a pair of scissors, Wagner set about making the doll of her son's dreams. She found a used doll on eBay, removed the makeup, cut the hair, and dressed it up in a Spider-Man outfit that she found on Etsy. The result is Wagner's own American Boy doll. And it's a toy her son will likely cherish for years to come.
Leave it to moms to make things happen. When toy companies don't deliver, moms do every time.