"American Girl" dolls are as popular as ever. If you're the parent of a young girl, you are well aware of the expensive dolls, and all the accessories and extras that go along with each collection – not to mention the American Girl Places where girls can take their dolls to the cafe for lunch, and then, of course, to the spa to get their hair done.
One of the main reasons the American Girl franchise remains so successful is they not only have specialty dolls from different decades, with different histories and back stories, but they also have an option for you to build a doll that looks just like you. From ethnicity to hairstyle, every girl can customize their doll to look just like them.
Like most 10-year-old girls, Melissa Shang loves American Girl dolls; unfortunately, she can't get her doll to look exactly like her – because she has Muscular Dystrophy and American Girl doesn't feature any disabled characters. So Melissa and her older sister took to the internet, made an adorable video directed at the toy company and started a petition to change the face of American Girl.
It's no wonder the petition already has 130,000 signatures, here's what it says:
When I was seven, like most of my classmates, I fell in love with American Girl dolls – historical and modern girls with stories about overcoming obstacles. I’ve read all of the books, seen all of the movies, and even visited the American Girl Place in New York City. For the past three years, I’ve asked for an American Girl doll for Christmas.
However, none of the American Girl "Girls of the Year" are like me. None of them have a disability.
Being a disabled girl is hard. Muscular Dystrophy prevents me from activities like running and ice-skating, and all the stuff that other girls take for granted. For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help: I want other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.
As of now, you can buy a wheelchair as an accessory for any doll, but apparently no specific girl has a story or book about being disabled. There are plenty of other disabilities that aren't represented by the $40 wheelchair accessory as well.
American Girl hasn't responded to the petition yet. (BuzzFeed)