American Girl Dolls Are Worth The Money

American Girl Dolls Are Worth The Money

Doll: One hundred and fifteen dollars. Outfit: Twenty two dollars. Life Lessons: Priceless
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When I was younger, I had six American Girl dolls. I also had two Bitty Babies, dolls made by the same company. These dolls did not come cheap, but the values I have learned from playing with them are priceless.

Three of the dolls I had — Kirsten, Molly and Samantha — were from the Historical Collection. These were nothing like the Barbies I had inherited from my older cousins; each American Girl came with a story that was all her own.

When I received Molly as a present on my fifth birthday, I soon found out she was much more than a doll; she was an heirloom. She was so cool-looking, with her glasses, braided hair and blue cardigan. There was also a bonus gift with my Molly: a book.

This book, while only a few chapters, was my introduction to World War II. Reading Molly’s book introduced me to Molly McIntire, a nine-year-old girl who comes of age on the American Homefront. Molly’s father was overseas tending to wounded soldiers and her mother worked as a Red Cross volunteer. Molly is a feisty daydreamer who is not a fan of these changes, and it is not until her fourth book that she realizes the War is affecting more people than she thinks.

Then there was Kirsten Larson, a Pioneer girl who my mother won for me at a school fair. Kirsten was dressed very cozily — a red-striped apron over a blue cotton dress. From her book, I learned that Kirsten was an immigrant from Sweden who was currently living with her family in a Little House on the Prairie in the vast Minnesota plains. A tender-hearted girl, Kirsten is not afraid to try new things and loves animals. Kirsten is also quite creative, a trait that comes to her aid when she is in trouble in book five.

My father gave me Samantha Parkington during a trip to New York City. Samantha was quite popular during this time as her books were being adapted into a television movie. Samantha was definitely the most glamorous doll I had gotten thus far: she had brown wavy hair that was topped off with a plaid purple bow and had an elegant dress to match. With her black tights and Mary Janes, I thought Samantha might have been a tad spoiled.

Of course, reading about her proved me wrong. Samantha could have cared less about her appearance, preferring to ride her bicycle or climb a tree instead of having tea or sewing a doily. She also had a big heart — Samantha became friends with a servant girl and gave her a treasured doll when she moved away to the big city. The two were eventually reunited, and Samantha’s uncle decided to adopt Samantha and her friend to create the family Samantha had always wanted. Samantha learned that if you do good things for others, good things will come to you in exchange.

These dolls are now in a Tupperware bin in my attic, waiting for the day when my children are old enough to cherish them. American Girl has been a staple of not just my childhood, but also of my life. They have shaped the way I think of myself and how I treat others; with my dolls, I have discovered how learning about the past can help create our future.

As I enter my junior year of college, I’m over the moon to see the company is alive and well. As the world is constantly evolving, so have the dolls created by the Pleasant Company. Now you can get American Girl dolls with earrings, braces and even glasses. Something truly revolutionary is the bald option, which allows girls to have a doll without hair. Imagine: a girl going through chemotherapy holding a doll that looks just like her.

There are also other improvements being made to the dolls to accommodate their special owners, as shown in the video here:

American Girl dolls are unlike any other toy in the world. There has never been a doll that has the power to encourage a girl that it’s okay to be different, smart and curious.

Cover Image Credit: nationswell.com

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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
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When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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7 Reasons To Get Excited For The Orlando Fringe Festival

Aside from the obvious draw of 100+ shows to choose from, there are so many more reasons to check it out.
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The Orlando Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts extravaganza featuring all kinds of acts from this city and others. It is also the longest-running theater festival in the United States, so it’s had plenty of time to get great. If you want the basics on how to attend, there is an article in the Orlando Sentinel that breaks it down for first-timers. But as we gear up for what is basically Coachella for theater nerds, here are just a few more things to get jazzed about.

1. You’ll finally be able to support your artist friends.

We all have that friend who is constantly involved in some sort of production. Of course you’d love to go and see them all, but who has the time? At Fringe, there are plenty of chances to see a show, since there are performances at many different times for two weeks. And if you have a lot of friends who are performers in Orlando, then I have good news! They will all be in the same place.

2. Two words: food trucks.

There is pretty much no other time when it is socially acceptable to eat a bunch of fried Oreos than at a carnival or at Fringe. Carnivals seem dangerous though, so you might as well just hang out at Fringe, where it’s safe.

3. There’s something for everyone.

Even if theater isn’t your thing, there are more than just a few alternative options available. You can also find concerts, stand up comedy, storytelling, and a whole lot of things that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was a thing."

4. This year, planning is easy.

In their 27th year, the Orlando Fringe has introduced a new way to plan which shows to see. The Fringe-o-Matic allows you to input the shows you’re interested in and create a personalized schedule so you can make it to (almost) all of them.

5. You’ll never have to travel far.

Most of the shows at Fringe are located in or around Loch Haven Park, and venues include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art. These are all within walking distance of each other, and are separated only by a parking lot (which, by the way, is free to use). The only other shows are BYOV, or Bring Your Own Venue, in multiple locations in Orlando.

6. It’s not just local acts.

Maybe if you’re an Orlando native, you’re a little tired of the local scene. This festival includes production companies from lots of other states and countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see fresh faces and shows that are the best of their respective locale.

7. Things will get weird.

Even if you’re a veteran Fringe-goer, you’re definitely in for a quite a few surprises. Last year, I saw a Canadian male burlesque troupe led by a Justin Trudeau impersonator (caution: link NSFW), and it wasn’t even the craziest thing that happened.


The Orlando Fringe Festival runs from May 15th to the 28th, so it’s right around the corner. It’s all happening so fast! But if you’re not hyped yet, maybe you should take a trip to the beer tent.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Fringe

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