e163. The Secret World of American Girl

episode artwork for the Secret World of American Girl

Pop culture fandom is defined by a hierarchy dedication. It’s easy to watch nine Star Wars movies; how much of the Expanded Universe do you know? Anyone can watch a couple dozen Marvel movies, but “the real fan” has bagged and boarded Silver Age originals! Sure, maybe you’ve sat through all 11.5 hours of LOTR, but what can you quote from the Silmarillion. No matter what your fandom there is likely some deep dive gatekeeping test of knowledge of extensive lore and devotion that you have either undergone. Perhaps you excelled. Perhaps you failed. Perhaps you rejected it. Perhaps you are now the gatekeeper that administers thesis tests to others. But… your fandom is weak! All fandoms are weak! Because your fandom clearly pales in comparison to the complex and intricate collectibles, nostalgia, lore, and even gatekeeping that is the world of American Girl.

On this week’s episode Hannah and Katya are joined by fashion historian Monica Geraffo as they reminisce on their childhoods and indoctrinate Mav into the secret World of American Girl as well as discuss the culture, complex history and deep fandom surrounding it… both good and bad. Join us for a fascinating look at the toys, books and culture and share your thoughts in the comments below.

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