Corinne Tan is the first Chinese-American Girl of the Year

By Leah Asmelash, CNN

The latest “Girl of the Year” doll from American Girl is the first of Chinese origin in the line.

The famous doll maker on Thursday unveiled Corinne Tan, a Chinese-American skier, as 2022 Girl of the Year. “Girl of the Year” dolls, which were introduced in 2001, differ from other American Girl dolls in being based on modern characters with contemporary stories, rather than characters related to different periods of American history.

“We created Corinne to be a positive role model that our fans can admire and learn as we all work towards a world where everyone is treated fairly and with respect,” said Jamie Cygielman, CEO of American Girl, in a statement.

American Girl has released other Asian American dolls before, including Ivy Ling, a doll ultimately discontinued from its historic line. More modern characters have included Jess, the 2006 Japanese-American biracial “Girl of the Year” doll – but Corinne is the first Chinese-American “Girl of the Year”, the company confirmed.

To develop Corinne, American Girl enlisted children’s author Wendy Wan-Long Shang to create two books on the character, “Corinne” and “Corinne to the Rescue”. Shang said she hopes the others will see each other in the new doll.

“What I really hope is that there is a part of Corinne’s story that makes readers feel seen, whether it’s because they’re Asian American, or because ‘they’re part of a blended family, or because they love to ski,’ Shang said in a statement. “I think when readers feel seen, they realize that they matter and that their experiences matter, and that they are meant to be the stars of their own stories! “

The Corinne doll, plus a book, retails for $ 110, with other accessories also available for purchase.

The release of the Corinne doll comes after more than a year of public hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Last month, a man attacked a 61-year-old Asian woman with a stone, an incident the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

Although anti-Asian incidents occurred before Covid-19 hit, the pandemic has resulted in an increase in public hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Between March 19, 2020 and September 30, 2021, more than 10,000 incidents against Asian Americans were reported to Stop Hate AAPI, which began tracking acts of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans during the pandemic.

As part of this year’s launch, American Girl also announced its partnership with AAPI Youth Rising, a non-profit organization of young people raising awareness about xenophobia against Asian Americans. The company said it donated $ 25,000 to their cause.

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