American Girl struck a nerve with ‘historical’ dolls from the ‘90s
The makers of American Girl dolls clearly touched a nerve with millennials by calling their two new 1990s-era dolls "historical."
"Didn’t mean to hurt so many feelings today," the company tweeted with a sweat-laughing emoji after fans reacted to the loaded adjective.
It all started on Feb. 22 when American Girl debuted two new dolls from 1999, fraternal twins Isabel and Nicki Hoffman. The adorable duo look as if they just walked out of the 1995 comedy "Clueless" while blasting Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Didn’t mean to hurt so many feelings today 😅 https://t.co/JCMC9dwahp
— American Girl (@American_Girl) February 22, 2023
The twins' backstory, written up on the American Girl website, is peak '90s: Isabel and Nicki hail from Seattle, home of the grunge music explosion. Nicki expresses herself by making homemade 'zines while wearing an obligatory flannel shirt tied around her waist. Is she a Riot Grrrl? We're guessing so! They didn’t mention “My So-Called Life” by name, but we’re guessing she’s a big fan of that, too.
Isabel, meanwhile, exudes girl power in a more glittery way. She's interested in party planning and interior decorating, and she's definitely a Spice Girls fan. Check out that kicky beret!
“Isabel is bubbly, extroverted and very into pop music. Nicki is thoughtful, introverted and passionate about skateboarding,” the website explains.
While the twins and their accessories — which include a clunky desktop computer, a cute purple inflatable chair (remember those?) and, fittingly, a few Pizza Hut-themed items — are definitely adorable, some Twitter users took issue when American Girl called the pair "historical" in an introductory tweet.
"Weren’t the ‘90s just yesterday? As if! Our new historical character twins, Isabel & Nicki, share girl-power goals," wrote the company.
I’m sorry did you just use the word ‘historical’
— Becky Braunstein (@BeckyFromAlaska) February 22, 2023
"I’m sorry did you just use the word ‘historical’" one user responded.
but but, I was born in 1999 and i'm basically a baby , what do you mean historical ? 😭
— Arabella (@sophiaarabella_) February 23, 2023
"But but, I was born in 1999 and i’m basically a baby , what do you mean historical? " another begged to know.
"If you were born in the 90’s you are now considered HISTORICAL! According to American Girl’s latest historical dolls who are TWINS from 1999," NYC-based entertainer Harry Hill wrote in a tweet that American Girl re-shared.
Y2K concerns aside, American Girl offers a huge selection of dolls they call “historical characters.” Some, like Kaya, the Native American doll from 1764, and Claudie, the scooter-riding Black girl living in Harlem in 1922, take us way back. Others, like groovy Julie from 1974 and Pac-Man playing Courtney from 1986, are girls from more modern eras.
In other words, a character from the 1990s was bound to happen. Younger millennials, it's now your time to feel as decrepit as the rest of us.
One good thing about being a part of history? You got a firsthand experience of what younger people only read about in books. Or, you know, hear about in TikTok videos.
Nirvana and the Spice Girls were great. "Friends" and "Living Single" really did change TV forever. And the Y2K scare? Eh, that was over before you could say Tamagotchi.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com