We received the following e-mail this weekend from a concerned mother.
To Lighthouse Trails: I just thought I’d pass this on. I have let my daughter watch American Girl movies; they have always been fine. However, I did a search at our local library on American Girl and found a couple of books [the company publishes], & one of the books I requested was very disturbing, It is titled Spa Fun (pampering tips and treatment for girls). On page 18 it tells girls to do Balloon Breaths, Mini Meditations & Mantras! Also, in the book are instructions on how to make you own Zen Garden & laughing Yoga. These are geared toward younger girls; please help warn other parents. I have not & will not let my daughter see it or any other material from American Girl again without reading or viewing it prior.
Thanks for all you do,
T. H. (U.S.A.)
Our Comments: American Girl is a doll company that has had a reputation for selling wholesome dolls; for many Christian parents, American Girl has been an alternative to Barbie Dolls. Once included in American Doll’s mission statement was the goal to “reinforce positive social and moral values.”1 That statement was found on their website in 2000. But American Girl today is reinforcing and promoting New Age practices. American Girl Publishing (a division of American Girl) released a book in 2009 titled Spa Fun. On the back cover, it tells young readers to try a “yoga pose.” Inside, the chapter called “De-Stress” has sections titled “Balloon Breathes” (instructing readers to sit cross-legged and practice deep breathing exercises), “Mini Meditations” (instructs to sit cross-legged and focus on your breathing), and “Mantras.” In “Mantras,” it states: “Add a mantra to your meditation. A mantra is a sound or a word you repeat to help you focus” (p. 18).
The book also tells girls to practice “Laughing yoga”: “Sit cross-legged and take a deep breath. Exhale a few times with force saying ‘Ha-ha-ha!’ (p. 47). There is also a section called “Morning Yoga” (p. 48). On page 42, it tells girls to “meditate” and “take a mental trip to the beach.”
In 2005, American Girl was criticized by conservative and pro-life groups for donating funds to the organization Girls, Inc. which according to one online source promotes abortion rights and acceptance of homosexuality.2
Presently on the American Girl store website, Yoga Gear for Dolls is being sold. The description says:
“Whether practicing poses or finding inner balance, her doll will love this comfy set.”
Spa Fun is edited by American Girl Publishing editor Erin Falligant and Michelle Watkins.
We hope parents of young girls will use much discernment when purchasing books from American Girl. You may get more than you bargained for.
To understand Yoga, meditation, and the New Age movement, read Ray Yungen’s book, For Many Shall Come in My Name.
CHRISTIAN YOGA: Rooted in Hindu Occultism by Chris Lawson
Yoga and Christianity – Are They Compatible? by Chris Lawson