The popular doll maker American Girl is facing backlash for its new girls’ guidebook that reportedly advises children struggling with body image issues to ask their doctors for puberty blocking medications and to seek transgender support without parental consent "if you don’t have an adult you trust."
"A Smart Girl's Guide: Body Image Book" retails on the American Girl website for $12.99.
The cover of the 96-page paperback penned by Mel Hammond shows four girls of varying body weights and skin colors. One’s in a wheelchair, while another has blue dyed hair. The subtitle reads, "how to love yourself, live life to the fullest, and celebrate all kinds of bodies."
The details section for the book on the American Girl website reads, "Every girl needs to learn to live comfortably in her own skin, and this book will show the way! In these pages, a girl will find everything she needs to know about loving her unique self, staying confident through her body’s many changes, and appreciating her body for the life it lets her live. Full of activities, tips, crafts, and real-girl stories, this book is a feel-good reminder that all bodies are worthy of love and respect."
Sharing screenshots of pages not displayed on the advertisement, The Daily Mail first reported that the newly released book targeted to children ages 10 and older advises girls to seek out puberty blockers.
"Parts of your body may make you feel uncomfortable, and you may want to change the way you look," the book says at one point, according to the report. "That's totally OK!"
"You can appreciate your body for everything it allows you to experience and still want to change certain things about it," another page adds. "If you haven't gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body's changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity."
The book tells readers, "If you don’t have an adult you trust, there are organizations across the country that can help you. Turn to the resources on page 95 for more information."
Puberty blockers are medications that block the hormones testosterone and estrogen that lead to puberty-related body changes. They stop things like periods and breast growth, or voice-deepening and facial hair growth, according to Planned Parenthood’s definition.
Parents and others have sounded off on social media.
"A book for girls about body image that tells them they should make permanent and catastrophic change their to bodies if they’re unhappy with them," journalist Bethany S. Mandel tweeted, sharing a link to the Daily Mail’s coverage. "Healthy message."
"Parents should know that American Girl guide books — which used to be pretty good — now promote dangerous gender ideology to little girls as young as 3. If you love your daughters, protect your daughters by avoiding this company," Mollie Hemmingway, Editor-in-Chief of The Federalist, tweeted.
"A 3 year old should be playing and learning instead of encouraged to alter her body," Beverly Hallberg, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, tweeted. "My goodness."
FOX Business reached out to American Girl’s parent company, Mattel, also the maker of Barbie, on Wednesday seeking clarification about the book’s messaging but did not immediately receive a response.