If you're a parent looking for a doll to help inspire your daughter to be active and play sports, you may have noticed that there is a bit of a gaping hole in that area. You’ll find shelves and shelves of Barbies, Bratz dolls and many more big-headed, skinny-bodied dolls, but jock dolls? Not so much.
Enter Get Real Girl action figures.
The female action figures are meant to empower girls between the ages of 4 and 8 with four characters: Corey, a surfer; Skylar, a snowboarder; Nakia, a basketball player; and Gabi, a soccer player. Aside from playing different sports, they each hail from a different continent, have their own passports and travel adventure stories. The action figures have realistic body proportions and bendable joints so that they can stand on their own, kick a ball or shoot a basket while looking more like an actual human being than a disproportionate humanoid doll perpetually stuck on her tippy-toes.
With all the dolls already on the market, why bother creating another line? Because girls still aren’t involved in sports as much as boys. Three out of five American girls still don’t have the opportunity to play sports at school—and that’s despite Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education and on the playing field.
Girls also don’t stick with sports as much as boys do. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, girls in the U.S. drop out of sports at double the rate of boys because they lack female athlete role models. Girls of color are the ones who are most affected by lack of opportunity and drop-out rates.
Will multicultural, multiethnic sporty action figures fix the issues that keep girls from being as active in sports as boys? No, probably not, but seeing these dolls and playing with them will spark girls’ imaginations and encourage them to engage in actual sports. They're also a great way for girls who are already interested or passionate about sports to see themselves represented.
It’s important that girls play sports in school because of the obvious benefits to their health, the boost in confidence and the building of relationships, but it’s also important later in life.
"A study using state-level data concluded that an increase in female sports participation leads to an increase in women’s labor force participation down the road,” researchers with the National Women's Law Center reported in 2015, "and greater female participation in previously male-dominated occupations, particularly high-skill, high-wage ones."
A cool fact: more than four out of five women who are executives played sports while growing up and told researchers that lessons they learned while playing sports have contributed to their success in business.
Seems like a no-brainer that Get Real Girl action figures are long overdue. We owe them to our girls.
The Get Real Girl action figures need your help to get on the market, though. You can help by donating to their Kickstarter campaign here by Saturday, Nov. 19.
Photos via Get Real Girl