American Girl kicked off the new decade with their annual “Girl of the Year” announcement. The 2020 American Girl doll of the year is Joss Kendrick, a 10-year-old surfer from So-Cal who also happens to rock a hearing aid. We can’t get enough of the important messages of representation, determination, and inclusivity in this doll and her accompanying story.
As the mother of a daughter (and son) who surf – I understand the wonderful lessons in pushing past limits, and getting up repeatedly after getting crushed by waves. Joss’s inspirational character personifies the importance of being open to new things. Joss’s surfing experiences pivot her to see cheerleading through the lens of soaring through the air and finding athleticism in different ways.
Although American Girl has already offered the option of outfitting dolls with hearing aids, wheelchairs, and crutches – Joss is American Girl’s very fist doll with a disability (congenital hearing loss) that is part of her story.
Born deaf in her left ear, with some hearing capabilities in her right ear, Joss comes with (two) hearing aids in a small case, that help her hear out of her right ear. Her passion for surfing and cheerleading come to life through her story, in which American Girl worked with surfing, competitive cheerleading, and hearing loss experts to create Joss’s account of ambition, dedication, and pushing past stereotypes.
Alongside Joss, American Girl committed to a $25,000 donation to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to representing people who live with hearing loss.
Win it! We’re so excited to partner with American Girl to giveaway Joss Kendrick, American Girl’s 2020 Girl of the Year to one lucky reader. Just visit the widget below (U.S. only and all entries are verified), and be sure to check back to see if your name pops up as the winner!