A free daily digest of the biggest news stories of the day - and the best features from our website
Thank you for signing up to TheWeek. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Melissa Shang, a 10-year-old girl from Paoli, Pa., has a request for American Girl, the Mattel-owned toy maker known for its popular, customizable mini-me dolls: Release a doll with a disability.
Shang, who uses a wheelchair, has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a form of muscular dystrophy that effects motor and sensory nerves, making it difficult to control muscle activity, including walking, speaking, and swallowing. In a Change.org petition, she says all American Girl dolls have "stories about overcoming obstacles." The Girl of the Year doll — a limited edition figure with a backstory involving current issues — is her favorite, she says, because "they have helped me understand how it feels to be someone else."
She goes on:
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
American Girl has recently made steps toward representing a wider range of kids. Last summer, the company released a bald American Girl, joining Barbie, another Mattel product, in including girls experiencing hair loss. Then, for 2012's holiday season, it added hearing aids and allergy-free lunches to its accessories list.
These additions could be helpful for all kids, not just the ones with the allergies and hearing problems, explained Dodai Stewart at Jezebel at the time:
To help Shang reach her goal of 9,000 signatures, go to Change.org.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.