etta's doll

THIS STORY made me alternately furious and so heartbroken I am literally weepy.

It seems a little girl, Etta, took her beloved doll, "Gracie" to the superfancy "American Girl" store to have Gracie's hair styled. This is a service the American Girl store offers, and little girls love it. They also offer doll "teas" and other special events for little girls and their dolls. My niece, Anna, went with her doll to the Chicago store as a very special treat.

Well this little girl's doll isn't one of the very expensive American Girl (TM)brand dolls. Gracie cost $29.99 from Target. And when Etta arrived at the story with her mom and Gracie, she had a terrible experience. The staff was rude and other parents and children were rude, all because Etta's doll wasn't a "real" American Girl doll.

It's a heartbreaker :-(


georgia said...

That's horrible!

I used to like that store.

karrie said...

I had dinner with a friend tonight and this came up in conversation since we both read a blog that mentioned it. My friend thinks it sounds fake or at least exaggerated for effect, and I tend to agree with her.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Karrie. I first thought it sounded terrible then I scrolled down the comments and while there is probably a grain of truth in it I agree with those who pointed out it was word of mouth from the friends mother. It was also pointed out by some that IF it really happened then the fact that the hair of another brand of doll might be very different from the AG dolls and therefore they didn't want to risk messing it up, is quite legit. The very worst one could say is that one isolated employee lost it in the tact department in handling this. A commenter on the original story pointed out there were ways that she could have not styled the hair of a non AG doll yet still maintained the girls dignity. Again assuming that it actually happened the way it was reported.
That said, how many times has a representative of an otherwise great company acted poorly? I am not going to penalize a company for the behavior of one isolated individual that probably doesn't even reflect company policy.

dewi said...

I also read the comments and believe that this mother took some poetic license in telling a good story. However, one comment did point out that AG website does not state it only styles AG dolls. I think it is misleading the company does not state or post signs at the salon that they do not comb or style other doll makers hair.

Don't get me started on the ridiculous sum of $20.00 to comb a dolls hair. If I still had a young daughter, I'm sure I too would be swindled into wasting $20. bucks.
My daughter is now 20 yrs old and had a slew of these dolls made when they first came on the market (generous grandparents). She loved to cut the hair, sew clothes for them, put makeup and stickers on them and styled them all by herself. If any kid has not tried it, it is so much fun to cut your own dolls hair. ;-)>

If it is the truth the way this mother handled and spoke to her daughter I'm unimpressed and think she is not very clever dealing with her child's emotions and the situation. Children take cues from their parents, it sounds like the mother was heartbroken.

I don't buy the part of the story where other parents jeered at her and her daughter.
I'm a Manhattan parent and have never seen this type of behavior. As parents, we have all been in multiple situations where our kids are disappointed. Typically, most parents around you are deeply sympathetic and give a reassuring look because they could be the one soothing the hurt, sad crying child.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Dewi. I can believe the employee refused to style the hair (whether that's company policy or not, I have no idea.)

I'm *extremely* skeptical of the account of the other mothers' bahavior.

Anonymous said...

I would not doubt that this happened.Haven't any of you been to a "snooty"salon before?

Clisby said...

Surely the snooty set would consider American Girl dolls hopelessly downmarket.

Anonymous said...

This is a doll store it is not a real salon.

Anonymous said...

I guess they must hire professional stylists to cut the doll hair so that's where the snooty salon person comes in.I live in an area where there is tons of money and i have seen some shocking behavior by shopkeepers etc.It is disgusting how affected they can be.You just have to laugh...

Anonymous said...

I apologize for leaving such a long comment, but I've gotta get this out! When I first read the story, I knew it was probably a bit exaggerated. My daughters and I have been to AG Place in NYC a few times, with dolls and without dolls, dressed nicely and dressed not so nicely, and we've always been treated very well. Most of the customers seem to be tourists, and the employees are a mix of different ages and ethnicities. I doubt any of them would be this rude to a customer, especially a six-year-old customer.

If you read the whole blog, it clearly states that Etta is the one who chose to buy the Target doll rather than the American Girl doll. The stylist, even if she was rude, wasn't telling Etta anything she didn't already know...her doll is not a real American Girl doll! And honestly, I don't think there's anything wrong with AG refusing to style other doll brands. It seems pretty obvious to me that if you're going to the American Girl Doll Hair Salon, they will only be styling American Girl Doll Hair. If they damage the hair of their own brand of doll, they can easily replace it. But can you imagine the outrage of a parent/child whose non-AG doll's hair has been ruined by the styling treatment? Then there would be a whole big deal about replacing it, etc.

This morning I decided to read some of the mother's other blog entries. She talks about her cleaning lady, sending her kids to expensive summer camps, the VCR in her minivan, the kitchen and facade renovations on the Brooklyn brownstone that she purchased, a 3-day trip to a spa, trips to Ireland and Italy with the kids, and the expensive nit-picker she hired when her kids got lice. Yet her letter to AG Place implies that her family is impoverished and that her kids dress in thrift store clothing. Yeah, right.

My vision of what really happened: the stylist told the woman that she couldn't style the doll's hair because it's not a real American Girl doll. The woman got mad and argued with the stylist while the kid cried. The other moms got annoyed because the woman was causing a scene and holding up the line, and so they made some rude comments to the woman. The woman writes this melodramatic, embellished blog in order to gain sympathy and attention and maybe some free stuff.

It amazes me that people are saying boycotting AG and throwing away their daughters' AG dolls, just because of this story. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

but hey, this is about EMOTIONALISM in the name of decency. Nobody bothers to find out the facts, they just have a knee jerk emotional reaction because it reinforces what they already believe. Thanks anon before me for being smart enough to do some good fact checking!