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Writer and photographer Gina Wagner's daughter recently received one of those much-coveted American Girl dolls as present, and as all parents of siblings know, it wasn't too much of a surprise when her 6-year-old son Miles started asking when he could get an "American Boy" doll. And despite many companies' moves towards more gender-neutral toys, there's no such thing as an "American Boy" doll. So what's a mom to do?
Well, if you're Wagner, you make one.
That's right, the creative mom of two literally decided to take matters into her own hands and transform an old Madame Alexander cheerleader doll she purchased into a little boy that closely resembled her son. As she shares in a blog post about the project: "So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I'd give a girl doll a makeover to resemble a boy (but not just any boy ... my boy)." By using acetone to remove the doll's makeup and giving it a quick haircut and some new clothes, a brand-spanking new doll was born.
Wagner shares, "In all, I invested less than $50 and a couple hours to give my son the doll of his dreams."
Her son is thrilled with the end result and has named his new buddy "Fred Jones" according to his mom. Just look at this adorable beaming face!
As for critics who say boys shouldn't play with dolls? Wagner tells Today, "I don't really give much energy or thought to that," she said. "I'd ask [critics] what they're afraid of. So far, my son has pretended that his doll, Fred, is a father, a brother, a superhero, a coach and a rock star. He gets to practice empathy and role-play." And those are wonderful things for every child to get the opportunity to practice.