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Truly Me logo (2022).

Truly Me (originally American Girl of Today in 1995; shortened to American Girl Today in 1996; renamed Just Like You[1] in 2006; renamed to My American Girl in 2010; and renamed to the current name in 2015) is the line of clothing and dolls that are intended to reflect a more modern time than that of the Historical Characters.

Unlike the Create Your Own line, this line is not customizable or able to be designed by the purchaser, and has never been available as such.

History[]

See: History of the Modern Line

The line was launched in 1995 and has gone through several iterations and changes, with several major changes in name branding and dolls available.

Dolls[]

The line has had a total of 117 dolls released, with different combinations of skin tone, eye color, face mold, and hair colors and styles that are intended to resemble children of various ethnicities and looks. They are intended to resemble an older child within an age range of about eight to twelve years.

While it is commonly assumed that the dolls are customizable, American Girl has stated this modern line is not and has never been available to be customized.[2] Purchasers from the Truly Me line can only pick from the currently available doll selection, and parts cannot be mixed around, swapped, or adjusted. The only way Truly Me dolls can be modified at purchase is ear piercing, selecting dolls without hair, or adding hearing aids; ear piercing and hearing aids must be ordered at time of purchase and bald dolls are either available by calling in to Customer Service or ordering the ones available on-site. Thus, if a doll does not come available with a specific set of looks--e.g. hazel eyes, dark skin, the Jess Mold, and red curly hair--one cannot be made or modified in this line (and is only available through the Create Your Own line at a higher cost, if the options are present).

American Girl does not assign official races or ethnicities to any of the dolls. The dolls' colors are defined only in terms of three skin tones--dark, medium, and light—though several molds have implied ethnicity. This allows a purchaser to decide the ethnic background of her doll herself without being tied to a race. (These terms are also applied to Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins.) Unlike other lines such as the Historical Characters, Girls of the Year, World by Us, or Contemporary Characters, the dolls are not named or characterized by American Girl directly. Instead, purchasers are encouraged to name and create the doll's personality themselves.

It was common for a time for American Girl to release a modified version of a Girl of the Year after she is retired; these are sometimes called "Not!Doll's Name" by fandom.

Many of these dolls are turned into various custom characters by older collectors e.g. unique historical characters, uncreated characters from the historical books, true-to-life historical characters, and characters from other fandoms. This is due to the fact that the doll's anatomy across 18" dolls allows modern dolls to fit any historical clothing.

Doll Numbering System[]

See also: Visual Chart of Truly Me Dolls (1995-2022) and Visual Chart of Truly Me Dolls (2022-Present)

The numbering system for the dolls was originally tied to the mail order ordering codes. With the modification of the ordering codes, the numbers for the dolls are determined partially by release order and partially by American Girl. The dolls are numbered in the display cases at American Girl Place and also referred to by number on the website and in physical catalogs.

The numbering system was restarted in 2022 with the revamp of the line, with numbers now having three digits and starting with #100.[3] Older dolls prior to the 2022 revamp were no longer available for purchase in stores but are still in stock on the website.

American Girl of Today/Just Like You/My American Girl/Truly Me Dolls (1995-2022)
Just Like You 1 Just Like You 2 Just Like You 3 Just Like You 4 Just Like You 5
Just Like You 6 ★ ♦ Just Like You 7 Just Like You 8 Just Like You 9 Just Like You 10
Just Like You 11 Just Like You 12 Just Like You 13 Just Like You 14 Just Like You 15
Just Like You 16 Just Like You 17 Just Like You 18 ★ ♦ Just Like You 19 ★ ♦ Just Like You 20
Just Like You 21 Just Like You 22 Just Like You 23 Just Like You 24 Just Like You 25
Just Like You 26 Just Like You 27 Just Like You 28 Just Like You 29 Just Like You 30
Just Like You 31 Just Like You 32 Just Like You 33 Just Like You 34 Just Like You 35
Just Like You 36 Just Like You 37 Just Like You 38 Just Like You 39 Just Like You 40
Just Like You 41 Just Like You 42 Just Like You 43 Just Like You 44 Just Like You 45
Just Like You 46 Just Like You 47 Just Like You 48 Just Like You 49 Just Like You 50
Just Like You 51 Just Like You 52 Just Like You 53 Just Like You 54 ♦★ Just Like You 55
Just Like You 56 Just Like You 57 Just Like You 58 Just Like You 59 Just Like You 60
Just Like You 61 Just Like You 62 Just Like You 63 Just Like You 64 Just Like You 65
Just Like You 66 Just Like You 67 Just Like You 68 Just Like You 69 Just Like You 70 ●★
Just Like You 71 Just Like You 72 Just Like You 73 Just Like You 74 ♠★ Just Like You 75 ♠★
Just Like You 76 ♠★ Just Like You 77 Just Like You 78 Just Like You 79 Just Like You 80
Just Like You 81 Just Like You 82 Just Like You 83 Just Like You 84 Just Like You 85
Just Like You 86 Just Like You 87 Just Like You 88 Just Like You 89 Just Like You 90
Just Like You 91 Just Like You 92
Retired Prior to 2022 / ♦ Remodeled / ● Bald Dolls / ♠ Boy Dolls


Truly Me Dolls (2022-Present)
Just Like You 100 Just Like You 101 Just Like You 102 Just Like You 103 Just Like You 104
Just Like You 105 ●♥ Just Like You 106 Just Like You 107 Just Like You 108 Just Like You 109
Just Like You 110 Just Like You 111 Just Like You 112 Just Like You 113 Just Like You 114 ●♥
Just Like You 115 Just Like You 116 Just Like You 117 Just Like You 118 Just Like You 119
Just Like You 120 Just Like You 121 Just Like You 122 Just Like You 123 Just Like You 124
Just Like You 125 Just Like You 126 Just Like You 127 Just Like You 128 Just Like You 129
♥ Re-Released / ♦ Remodeled / ● Bald Dolls / ♠ Boy Dolls

Meet Outfits[]

See Modern Character Meet Outfits

Meet Outfits are the outfits the dolls are sold in; they are updated roughly every two to three years to reflect updates in children's fashion.

Meet Outfits for American Girl of Today, Just Like You, My American Girl, and Truly Me Dolls
1995: Mix and Match Outfit 1996: First Day Outfit 1998: Red Vinyl Jumper Outfit
2000: Urban Outfit 2002: Go Anywhere Outfit 2004: Ready for Fun Outfit
2006: I Like Your Style Outfit 2008: Star Hoodie Outfit 2010: Real Me Outfit
2012: True Spirit Outfit 2015: Lilac Dress 2017: Truly Me Outfit
2018: Truly Me Boy's Outfit 2020: Sparkle and Shine Outfit 2020: Casual and Cool Outfit
2021: Cool Camo Outfit 2021: Skater Dress Outfit 2021: Girly Graffiti Outfit
2022: Zebra Dress Outfit 2022: Show Your Artsy Side Outfit 2022: Show Your Sporty Side Outfit
2022: Show Your Strong Side Outfit 2022: Show Your Sweet Side Outfit 2022: Show Your Wild Side Outfit
2022: Show Your Sporty and Strong Side Outfit 2024: Pretty Plaid Outfit
Male Meet Outfit / ★ Unique Meet Outfit / ♦ Simultaneous Meet Outfits /


Outfits, Accessories, and Furniture[]

See: List of Truly Me Outfits, List of Truly Me Accessories, List of Truly Me Furniture

Along with the dolls, American Girl releases outfits regularly that are intended to reflect the current or recent fashion trends for modern children. Outfits generally are assumed to have a life cycle of about two to three years, while accessories and furniture tends to last for upwards of three to five years. This can be shorter or longer; many holiday outfits, for example, only last through a single holiday season before retirement. Outfits and accessory sets reflect the styles of the era they are released in.

Starting in Fall 2016, Modern Mix and Match Sets that consist of multiple à la carte items began to be released; these are advertised in various combinations, and consumers can purchase as few or as many of the components desired.

With more acknowledgement of disabilities, accessory sets have included references to disability beyond the use of a wheelchair and glasses such as diabetes, hearing aids, allergy and asthmatic needs, assistance animals, and other physical disability and health needs.

Criticisms and Misinterpretations of the Line[]

Customization/Purchaser Resemblance Misinterpretations[]

Many people over the years have assumed, incorrectly, that the theme or design of the modern line is to have the doll purchased match the recipient. Assumptions have included the idea that modern dolls can be or were at some point during the line able to be customized, tweaked, or designed through the company, that the dolls available are designed and marketed to specifically resemble a child (particularly young white girls), or that "doll matching" the recipient to offer miniature versions of one's self is the intent of the line.

While any doll may resemble a child--especially if the child is female, light skinned, and/or white, as there are and have been more available options in those categories that have been released--American Girl did not offer any customized or designable modern dolls before the launch of the Create Your Own line in 2017. American Girl has never pushed the idea that any doll should specifically or exactly resemble the intended consumer[2] and encourages character creation and creativity beyond close resemblance of the end consumer.

The theme at launch was to show how the current era was part of "history" as well as the past. There were no ads or marketing about having purchasers specifically select dolls that resembled the intended recipient, or any focus on attempts at direct resemblance. One of the first marketing lines was "She's just like you--you're a part of history too!", emphasizing how history was not just events that had happened or people who lived far in the past, but included current events and lives as well. This was promoted by the six blank books that came with dolls which were intended to parallel the Historical Character central series and encourage documentation of the then-present; at least one book was available until almost 2000. Purchasers were suggested to buy the doll they desired, rather than matching a doll's appearance to the recipient. Catalog images said "choose her face" at original launch but the intent is to choose from the available pool of then-twenty dolls; no features could be changed or adjusted.

Truly Me dolls cannot be modified or customized by the company. Outside of bald dolls (which are offered to sympathize with conditions causing hair loss), ear piercings, and hearing aids, dolls only are sold as-is outside of the Create Your Own Line. Furthermore, highly customized dolls or altered dolls cannot be repaired through the American Girl Hospital; if there are signs a doll has been customized heavily or outside of the company, then the doll will be considered unable to be repaired and returned as-is.

During the era when the line was called Just Like You, the misinterpretation of dolls resembling recipients was even more prominent; the misinterpretation still lingered for some time in being able to filter dolls by hair color, eye color, and skin tone online. However, the filters are only that--filters--and are not a custom selection. For example, if a doll is not available with brown hair, tan skin, and green eyes, the filter will not offer a link to the Create Your Own line and simply will not show any available dolls. "Just Like You" was more accurately a marketing idea to emphasize that the doll's characterization, era, and/or personality could resemble the consumer, thus being just like them in that way rather than the doll's features specifically.

The Create Your Own line is and has been the only separately customizable or designable line available from American Girl; it too, is not marketed with emphasis of creating a doll that exactly resembles a purchaser, but intended to offer the chance to design unique dolls.

Lack of Racial Diversity[]

While there have been many dolls released (not including remodels/redesigns) across the life of the line, the majority of the dolls can be mapped visually to a white background and phenotype. This is partially the reason for the erroneous assumption that dolls are intended to resemble end consumers; if one is female, light skinned, and/or white, there have been more available options that can make a purchaser assume that a doll has been "designed" to or is intended to look like the recipient.

The original release of the line included only three dolls with the Addy Mold--two with dark skin and one with medium--and one unique Asian Mold; only four of the first twenty dolls released did not have "light" skin, with two with dark skin and two with medium. Until 2001, these were the only dolls available; no other dark skinned dolls were released until #31 in 2008, and only one other Addy Mold doll was released, #26, before then. 2006 was the first time a modern doll was released with the Josefina Mold, #28. Up until 2008, where the Jess Mold was used for the first time, there had been only one East Asian mold available--#4, who does not share her face with any other dolls and has since been retired. In 2009, two dolls were given the Sonali Mold--the first time a face mold had been used multiple times since release since 1986.

It also seemed for a while that one doll was exchanged for another; for example, #31 came out the same time #18 was retired. This happens with several dolls, however--#3 was retired for #32.

Around 2010, the skin tone for "dark" dolls became a lighter, more red-toned brown than previously; the "medium" tone so far appears to be the same. Furthermore, the Addy mold had appeared to be phased out, being replaced with the Sonali Mold for the majority of dolls that can be perceived as black. This was later corrected with the release of dolls such as #80, #85, and #91 who all have a very dark skin tone (and #85 [later #106] having the Addy face mold). However, there are generally very few Addy mold dolls available in the line. Often, dolls with medium or dark skin tones are also given lighter eyes, such as grey or hazel eyes, rather than the more common brown eyes.

These situations leads to some people, seeking more diverse dolls, to make custom dolls. Some purchase Historical Character dolls and dress them as moderns or purchase moderns and customize them to diversify their collections.

With the launch of the Create Your Own line, purchasers may add more options and variance to their collection, albeit at a higher initial purchase cost. The World by Us line is specifically about named diverse characters.

The 2022 revamp introduced use of the Corinne Mold, Makena Mold, and Nanea Mold to the line; this offers more diversity and representation.

Emphasis of the Modern Lines over Historical Characters[]

With Mattel's purchase of the line, the modern line and the Girls of the Year line have received more emphasis--they frequently have the most space in catalogs and in stores and while outfits come out multiple times a year for modern dolls, other lines such as Historical Characters often only receive small releases of items and there is a lack of new items for extended time periods. Some stores are laid out to overemphasize the modern line, giving them more space.

This has sometimes been interpreted as the reason for diminished items and collections for all Historical Characters (which were the initial reason for the creation of American Girl) and that--since unnamed modern characters no longer push a historical or character aspect--the products are seen as a lot more transitional toys or status items instead of educational. However, it is incorrect that American Girl has ever wholly discontinued the Historical Character line at any point. While several Historical Characters have been archived the Historical Character line itself has always remained available, and American Girl has continued to regularly offer various historical characters since the start of the company. Not only has there been regular releases of new characters, but many previously unavailable Historical Characters have been rereleased and/or remain available, even with diminished collections.

With the launch of BeForever in 2014, followed by continued new Historical characters, the Historical Character line continues to get emphasis and focus by the company.

De-emphasis of Unique Character Creation[]

With the switch of the line to "Just Like You", critics initially pointed out that the line no longer emphasized the dolls as characters in time or encouraged writing or creative character design. This was most prominently seen with the I Like Your Style Outfit, which came with a book and CD that had a pop song on it. The critique was that the book did not encourage a young child to begin creating their own stories, personality, or character for the doll. The second book released, Fun with Your Doll, encouraged doll play and creativity; however, after the Star Hoodie Outfit was retired, no further books were included with dolls until 2019, when the book Friends: Making Them and Keeping Them began to be included with every doll.

With the promotion of Innerstar University, the line once again emphasized character creation albeit in the venue of online interactivity. The Me-and-My Doll Activity Set encouraged creative play, but did not heavily emphasize character creation or development. The line continues to offer moderate concepts for doll interaction and creativity in play, including unique traits to consider during purchase and offering ideas for character personality.

The 2022 redesign includes the book All About Us: A Special Book For Special Friends which encourages the recipient to think about themselves and developing a personality for their doll.

Overly Feminine Outfits[]

The line has caught criticism due to the hues of the outfits leaning towards pinks and pastels and the general lean towards more feminine clothes. Many outfits under Pleasant Company varied in both style and colors and several outfits had darker, neutral, earthy tones. Most outfits now are in pastel hues with several outfits having elements of pink and purple. There are fewer outfits that vary in activity and several more feminine activities such as ballet, though sports continue to be included.

This has become slightly mitigated with the introduction of boy dolls. While outfits are mostly displayed on one or the other, they can always be purchased for dolls of any gender.

See Also[]

References[]

  1. This Wiki was started in 2008, when this was the name of the line. Rather than have to systematically change the name of thousands of articles and images and dozens of dolls with every new name change, we continue to use the obsolete name. See Categorizing The Modern Line on our Article Policy for more details.
  2. 2.0 2.1 American Girl's confirmation on non-customization on the official Twitter account.
  3. Several dolls were re-released with modifications and new numbers; for ease of record with the new numbering system, they have been given new pages.
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