Exploring the ’80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

A big thank you to AG for sending Courtney to love. We absolutely loved learning more about the the ‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl.

‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

You have to love it when your kid asks you if televisions were invented when you were a kid, or they want to know if you were there during a historical event that happened, oh, a hundred and fifty years ago.

But, on one hand I get it. They are learning all about American history on our travels and adventures, and us parents are the ones teaching them. It’s easy for them to make the mistake of thinking that because we know about it, that we also lived through it. It probably doesn’t help that apparently I look like I was around when the Industrial Revolution was heating up.

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

Well, now I’ve got a secret weapon in how to teach my kids about my own childhood: American Girl. Whenever they are curious what my childhood was like, I can just refer them to Courtney Moore’s story. Courtney is the newest BeForever doll from American Girl and her story takes place in 1986, the decade I grew up in.

‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

Growing up in the ‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

It’s a safe bet that if Courtney’s collection has it, that my friends and I had it or coveted when we were younger. She may be a few years older than me, but because I had older siblings, I knew about all the coolest things that that era before many of my friends.

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

Caboodles filled with art supplies and then makeup? Check. Swatch watches? Yes, many of those. My mom had a huge collection and we’d change them up whenever we wanted. The newest in portable listening technology? Yep, I definitely had a Walkman. How about a boom box? Oh, for sure. How else could you listen to your favorite tunes at a party?

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

Me and Courtney

And, to make the comparisons even crazier, Courtney’s story takes place miles from where I lived in California. She has the same color hair I had {shocker, but my red hair comes from a bottle}, the same color eyes, and so many of the same life experiences. I can even fully empathize with Courtney’s situation with her step sister because I had a sister the exact same age.

‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

Of course, the parallels don’t end there. I mean, we both even had the same exact dress, jean jacket, and so many of the same accessories. Those Lisa Frank school supplies were definitely in my backpack, that Lip Smacker necklace was 100% in my fanny pack, and scrunchies were definitely life.

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

Courtney ends up creating her own game in the story, and the hero of the game is a female. Crystal Starshooter is a space explorer who is on a mission to save the earth from solar radiation. In a remarkable coincidence, back in the ‘80s an elementary school friend and I created a board game that was like a space-themed Candyland where we saved the world from asteroids. You just can’t even make this stuff up.

Another funny coincidence: I had this exact same Caboodle when I was younger. Same colors, and basically the same contents.

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

But, on a deeper level, Courtney and I both had the same mission: to give girls the same opportunities boys have. We champion other girls who break into boys’ worlds and shake things up. We encourage women to take leadership roles and make big changes, and we will always fight for what’s right – and that includes fair and equal treatment for women.

‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl
'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

Mall Life of yesteryear

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

When I first said I wanted to make a mall photo shoot for our Courtney doll, my kids were kind of confused. It’s hard to explain to my kids just how important the mall was when I was younger and why we would do a whole photo shoot around shopping.

'80s Courtney Moore from American Girl

What they don’t understand is that, in the ’80s, the mall was not just a store, it was a destination. They have no idea what it would be like to see their favorite huge superstar do a mall tour and they definitely wouldn’t understand that we would actually dress up to go to the mall. We’d start with our favorite outfit and then proceed to add all the accessories our bodies could hold.

Sure, malls are still around and they are even packed sometimes. But, malls when I was young were something else almost entirely. Whereas these days we may go to the mall once a month or so, back in the ‘80s and ‘90s it was a daily meeting place. Tweens and teens would head there numerous times a week just to hang out, watch movies, eat in the food court, and play at the arcade.

Of course, some shopping happened, but that certainly wasn’t the only reason to go to the mall. I can’t even count the number of times I went to the mall and spent an entire day there only to return with zero shopping bags.

Courtney’s ’80s mall

An important part of Courtney’s story is the Orange Valley Mall, where she spends a ton of time {and quarters} at Smiley’s Arcade with friends. It’s also where she goes to get her hair done, to browse books, to see movies with friends, and to visit her stepdad at this store in the mall.

‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

As much as I had tried to explain the significance of malls to my kiddos prior, it only was while immersing themselves in Courtney’s story that they really got it. Now they have all sorts of questions about what stores were my favorites and are shocked when most of them were small mom and pop businesses instead of chain stores like they are used to.

They also realized while reading Courtney’s story that there was so much more to do at malls than just shop. I entertained them with stories of big stars visiting what they now know as a tiny hometown mall, which we almost always pass to go to the much bigger one with our own American Girl store at it.

For the purposes of our mall photo shoot, you’re going to have to suspend disbelief for a moment. I know that American Girl didn’t open stores until the ‘90s because I was the weirdo without kids who visited the Chicago store just because I always dreamed of it. I also know that Kit was not released in 1986, but I didn’t have a Kirsten doll so Kit is my stand-in. Please forgive the discrepancies and enjoy the idea of Courtney shopping for her Molly doll at the mall.

Courtney and American Girl

In Courtney’s story, she also loves American Girl and covets a doll of her own. Growing up, I wanted an American Girl doll more than anything, which is probably why me and my kiddos are all super fans to this day.

Our shopping photo shoot shows her picking out a Molly doll at the store, which I do realize never happened, but it was just too fun to shoot. I couldn’t resist showing the magic that is shopping at American Girl and picking out a best friend to take home.

‘80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl

Some more ’80s fun with Courtney Moore from American Girl

I found a few more ’80s necessities that I had to pick up for our Courtney doll. These aren’t official AG items, but I loved how they told the story of my childhood. I mean, what girl didn’t want the Barbie DreamHouse?

These toys are part of the World’s Smallest series, but they just so happened to fit the ’80s theme and were pretty close to scale. Again, this might require a little suspension of disbelief.

Are you ready to check out Courtney’s full line from American Girl? Beware, because you’re going to want it all!


2 thoughts on “Exploring the ’80s with Courtney Moore from American Girl”

  1. You are too funny. Great job with the little AG store. Really cute. My daughter and I really are enjoying Courtney’s collection and can’t wait to buy and craft more for her.


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