Sunday, September 4, 2016

Meet Ruthie

So I realize I've had Ruthie for quite a while. But I never did get around to introducing her to the blog. I bought her right before I moved, never even took her out of the package because I knew I was leaving, and then took her out when I got to my destination.

I got a really amazing deal on her too-I got the doll and all of her collection except her meet accessories in one purchase. I also have a few Kit outfits that are designated for Ruthie-Kit gets her original school outfit but Ruthie gets the pink skirt set since Kit would turn her nose up at it anyways. Once I purchase the original overalls outfit for Kit, the new chicken keeping set will belong entirely to Ruthie along with the pink Valentine's Day set, the flouncy summer dress, the yellow and pink photographer outfit, and the striped nightie. That's what I love about BeForever-I take a lot of the reimagined outfits and reassign them to the Best Friend characters that have limited wardrobes.1

Anyways, welcome Ruthie!

Despite the original illustrations, Ruthie the doll has grey eyes like Molly, though they are hard to see in a photograph. I'm a fan of the gray eyes though I know American Girl is not because of the risk for silver eye, a common defect in older dolls. Paired with the dark hair, her eyes are really stunning to me. She has lined eyebrows and a classic mold face.

Ruthie has thick brown hair that has very subtle auburn highlights. It has a loose curl pattern to it. It is very similar in look to Samantha's hair but (at least compared to my Samantha) her hair is a bit silkier. That could be due to the age of my Samantha though. She comes in a purple dress with slightly puffed sleeves, a Peter Pan collar, darker purple trim, and white buttons.

From the back, you can see the auburn highlights a bit better. I really love her hair. At first glance, it seems really ordinary-after all, we already have a doll with brown hair with a slight curl. But upon further examination, you see the unique color.

Here's a closer look at her dress. I'm not a huge fan of it, mostly because I feel like very little creative thought was placed into it. I feel the same way about her meet accessories. Most of the dolls have meet accessories that mean something to the character or that interact in some way with their story. Nellie has her Celtic Cross necklace. Addy has her cowrie shell necklace on a shoe string from her brother and she comes in the first dress she had as a free person. While Kit wore her dress before her family hit hard times, it's obvious that her skirt was designed to mimic flour sack cloth. Ruthie's meet outfit and accessories seem like they could belong to anyone. This was just lazy.

The floral print is tiny and forgettable. The only unique quality of the dress is the fact that the button line is off center and that isn't enough to save the garment from being a little boring. The color is a good one for Ruthie-I just wish the design was a little different.

Here's a close up of the Peter Pan collar. I am always a fan of Peter Pan collars. Peter Pan collars were worn before 1905 but they received their name after Maude Adams, who wore the famous collar when she starred at Peter Pan in the New York adaption of Peter and Wendy (Peter Pan is usually played by a woman in stage plays). For a time in the early 1900s, Peter Pan collars were worn by grown women but they later became associated with children's fashion.

Maude Adams as Peter Pan

Ruthie's collar is trimmed with tiny lace and dark purple trim.  

The sleeves have a slight puff and are also trimmed in dark purple. The buttons are small, plain, and white.

The dress reaches to her knees. The line of buttons on dark purple trim reaches all the way to the hem.

She wears the same kind of underwear that Kit wears.

Ruthie comes with a purple ribbon that I am using as a headband. It could also be made into a bow if one wanted to pull her hair back into a ponytail or something. The purple-the same dark purple as the trim on her dress-looks lovely with Ruthie's dark hair.

Ruthie wears a pair of light blue socks-I have no idea why they choose light blue over white when white would have paired better with other outfits-and a pair of black Mary Jane type shoes. I do prefer these shoes over the white canvas shoes Kit wears with her original meet outfit or the red shoes Kit wears with her second meet.

Final thoughts:

Ruthie has been growing on me for some time. I do think she is one of the more poorly imagined characters in the line up, even compared to other Best Friends. The other Best Friends brought more to the table than Ruthie did as a character. Elizabeth showed what the Revolutionary War looked like from the Loyalist side and highlighted how the colonists did some not so great things (seriously, imprisoning someone for their political beliefs like they did to Mr. Cole? Not cool.) Nellie showed that the Edwardian Era and industrialization wasn't so great for all children, giving a much needed counterpoint to the life of luxury and privilege that Samantha grew up with. Emily gave us WWII from a British perspective. Ivy, especially with the mysteries that highlighted some of her family history, gave us a glimpse of what life was like for an immigrant family.

I don't feel like Ruthie was needed and would have actually preferred a Stirling doll. I'm not sure how important, from a historical standpoint, the viewpoint of someone not really suffering during the Great Depression is. I think the doll was unnecessary.

I also feel like the doll's meet wasn't given the thought that it should have been given.

With all that said, I think Ruthie is a very pretty doll-she actually reminds me a lot of my mother in physical appearance. It was also important to me to complete my historical dolls collection and Ruthie was the last one I bought (and then they released Melody but for a time, she was the last doll on my list). I'm really glad I have her and she is growing on me every day!

1 Nellie and Ivy have also both benefited from this and I expect Elizabeth will get a heftier wardrobe from Felicity's relaunch. Nellie now owns the special day dress which looks lovely with her light red hair. She will also own the reimagined bicycling outfit entirely once I get my hands on the original-the two girls share for now. Ivy has been assigned the zig-zag pajamas (I imagine her as having a more daring style than Julie). All three dolls will also be getting the new bed sets. I love BeForever.