Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meet Kara Irby, A Real American Girl...

... Magazine paper doll that is.

Kara's paper doll is shown with booklet and outfits worn by her great-great grandmother, her grandmother,  her mother, and her Kwanzaa celebration costume.

Kara is one of several real-live American girls who have had paper dolls created in their likeness by the American Girl company.  The featured girls traced their family roots and sent in photos of themselves along with photos of female ancestors. A punch-out, card stock booklet containing the results of the girls' research was included with each paper doll along with fashions representing clothing worn by the girl and that of the girls' ancestors.  The back of each fashion contains information about the real girl's family member who wore it.  The opposite side of the paper doll contains highlights about the girl. 

Kara is paper doll #38 in the series.  Her booklet includes her profile, her mother's, her grandmother's, and her great-great grandmothers!  At 9, I am sure she enjoyed conducting the research that led to knowledge about the remarkable women in her family, past and present. 

In 1999, when Kara's paper doll was published, she aspired to be a minister (like her father).  She wanted to help make the world a better place.  Kara's booklet states her "great-great-great grandmother helped start a church in Washington, D.C. that's still going strong." I wonder (some 12 years later) if Kara's aspiration has become a reality (she is approximately 21 years old now).

The Real American Girl paper dolls were published in the bi-monthly American Girl Magazine beginning in 1992 through at least 2000.  I am not sure if American Girl Magazine still includes these unique, real-live girl paper dolls in their publication, but you can view headshots of past paper dolls here.


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  1. I love paper dolls. I was not aware of Kara. I only have Addy on my brain. I think I'll visit the American Girl doll store soon.

  2. Hi Vanessa,

    The Real American Girl Magazine paper dolls are separate from the American Girl doll paper dolls. These paper dolls were published in the American Girl Magazine (fashioned after real girls) and not sold along with other AG doll merchandise.

    There are several Real American Girl Magazine paper dolls listed on eBay now, including Kara.


  3. Hi Black Doll Enthusiast,

    I actually own the Kara paper doll! I was a young girl when I used to have an AG magazine subscription, and I remember keeping her doll because there were few Black girls featured. If I have the chance, I will go through my box of paper dolls and see if there was another Black girl featured :)

    1. Thanks for commenting, Mrs. Glam. It is wonderful that you had the Kara paper doll as a child. There were several other brown-skinned real American girl paper dolls in separate issues of AG Magazine. I have all that were made up through the year 2000.



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