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Which US Olympic Gymnast Is Your Favorite American Girl Doll?

Which US Olympic Gymnast Is Your Favorite American Girl Doll?

by Brina June 2, 2019

American Girl dolls! Growing up in the late 90s as pre-nerd, I was unimpressed by Barbie and vaguely horrified by the idea that anyone would ever want to be like a Bratz. American Girl Dolls, however, were everything.

For the uninitiated, each American Girl comes from a different period of US history. They come with a series of six books that teach young readers a bit of history as well as a bit about growing up. Are the books somewhat formulaic and nauseatingly moralizing? Yes. Are the dolls and their accessories overpriced? Yes. Did I still lust after Kit’s rolling desk for years? Absolutely.

And of course, while writing this post, I took a real trip down memory lane and listened to the soundtrack of Circle of Friends: An American Girl Musical. So that was my Sunday morning.

Anyway, enough nostalgia. Let’s get to the point: which US Olympic gymnast is your favorite American Girl Doll??

Felicity - Alicia Sacramone
Of all the girls, Felicity has the most spunk. She’s also the most rebellious - literally, as she helps participate in the early days of the American Revolution. She’s a bit of a klutz in real life, stumbling clumsily through dance class. However, her strength and coordination come out when she needs to vault up onto her beloved horse Penny. That sure sounds like Alicia Sacramone to me!

Samantha - Simone Biles
Raised by her grandparents, Samantha has some immediate biographical facts in common with Simone Biles. But more than that, Samantha finds her voice over the course of her story. She starts out happy and innocent but, as she learns more about the life of her less privileged friend Nellie, she feels compelled to speak up about the injustices she sees around her. We’ve gotten to watch Simone go through the same transition over the course of her career. Today, she’s well aware of her power and not afraid to use it.

Kit - Samantha Peszek
For reasons I can’t explain, everyone always thought Kit was the cool American Girl. Maybe it’s because she’s blonde and spunky. Maybe it’s because she goes by a short, boyish version of her full name. Maybe it’s because, I dunno, she had cool friends. (Will the hobo, anyone?) The gymnast that comes to mind is the current “queen” of the gymternet, Sam Peszek. Like Kit, who had to hustle to make ends meet during the height of the Great Depression, Sam has shown she can hustle through her simultaneous careers as a commentator, a podcast host, and a gymnastics camp owner. Plus, she’s just inexplicably cool.

Addy - Gabby Douglas
Addy’s story is one of strength in the face of prejudice. She and her mother survive a harrowing escape from slavery only to find that racial discrimination is a daily fact of life in the north as well. I can think of no gymnast who has received more undeserved criticism than Gabby Douglas, from early comments about her hair to the outrage at her stance during the national anthem in Rio. Throughout, Gabby’s gymnastics remained unaffected and she stayed strong.

Kirsten - Shannon Miller
When first thought about Kirsten, I couldn’t really remember if she had a personality aside from being, like, dutiful and blonde. That sure sounds like the message of a 1996 fluff piece about Shannon Miller. However, taking a closer look at Kirsten’s story, you notice how she was able to get shit done no matter the circumstances. Your friend just died of cholera? Whatever, still gotta travel halfway across the country to start a new life. And if there’s one thing to be said about Shannon freakin’ Miller, she got shit done.

Molly - Aly Raisman
Molly is the American Girl heroine of the World War II era, dealing with life on the home front while her dad is stationed abroad. She’s a lively character with a tendency to daydream, and she shows herself to be a natural leader throughout the series. This sounds like everyone’s favorite two-time Olympic team captain, Aly Raisman. Like Molly, who practices and practices to earn the part of Miss Victory, Aly has worked hard on her dance skills and performed the best double L turn of her life at the Olympics in Rio. And I bet Aly would be super down to grow a victory garden - even if it included turnips!

Josefina - Kyla Ross
Josefina is one of the quieter, more thoughtful American Girl dolls. She wants to be a healer, and pursues this goal with the help of her godmother, Tía Magdalena. This sounds a lot like Kyla Ross, who has always brought a quiet strength to her beautiful gymnastics. She’s majoring in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, which is probably the modern-day version of using a mallow root to treat your friend’s rattlesnake bite. Also, Josefina was always “the doll with earrings,” and Kyla… has her ears pierced, so there’s that.

So there you have it! I know American Girl has come out with some other dolls in more recent years, but these were the dolls of my childhood, so they’re the only ones that matter. If you think I got any of these wrong, let me know in the comments!

Tags: Random Nonsense