Nationwide — While in a Target store recently in South Carolina, Brandi Benner told her 2-year old daughter Sophia to pick out a prize for finishing her potty training. After spending 20 minutes looking at various dolls, Sophia (who is white) chose an African American doll.
As they were checking out, the cashier asked Sophia’s mom, “Wouldn’t she rather have a doll that looked like her?” And the toddler readily answered, “”She does look like me! She’s a doctor; I’m a doctor. She is a pretty girl; I am a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? See her stethoscope?”
Brandi was so impressed with her daughter’s answer that she posted it on her Facebook and Instagram page, and within a day, the post went viral. Since then, it has been shared more than 140,000 times and has generated more than 19,000 comments. Most of the messages have been supportive messages from other people with similar experiences.
Brandi told CNN that she was relieved that she didn’t have to defend her daughter’s choice, and happy that Sophia wasn’t discouraged by the cashier’s question. She comments, “I just want to teach my kids love, and that’s included in my own actions.”
She also credits Disney’s Doc McStuffins cartoon series for teaching her daughter the word “stethoscope,” and for also teaching her that a person’s skin tone doesn’t matter. “To Sophia,” she says, “she and the doll share the same aspirations.”
Meanwhile, research has shown that children as young as 6-years old are already talking about race. In 2012, CNN’s Anderson Cooper detailed a study that sought to gain insight into the way Black and white children perceive each other.