In a world full of epic clapbacks, a precocious 2-year-old from South Carolina defending her doll selection currently reigns supreme.
Sophia Benner, who is White, was out shopping at a local Target with her mom Brandi Benner, on the hunt for the perfect reward for completing potty training. After spending 20 minutes in the doll aisle, it looked like Sophia had made her choice according to her mom.
“She kept going back to the doctor doll, because in her mind, she is already a doctor,” Benner said. “She loves giving checkups, and if you come in the house, she’ll tell you that’s the first thing you need.”
Sophia was so excited to have her new doll that she carried it all the way to checkout and proudly presented the doll to the cashier, who quickly asked the toddler if she wouldn’t prefer a doll that looked more like her. (Side note: Why would a cashier ask a little girl carrying a doll such a question?) Well, because her doctor doll was Black.
Nick and I told Sophia that after 1 whole month of going poop on the potty, she could pick out a special prize at Target. She, of course, picked a new doll. The obsession is real. While we were checking out, the cashier asked Sophia if she was going to a birthday party. We both gave her a blank stare. She then pointed to the doll and asked Sophia if she picked her out for a friend. Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained. The woman gave me a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, “Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?” Sophia finally found her voice and said, “Yes, please!” The cashier replied, “But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.” I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, “Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?” Thankfully the cashier decided to drop the issue and just answer, “Oh, that’s nice.” This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren’t born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful. #itswhatsontheinsidethatcounts #allskinisbeautiful #teachlove #teachdiversity #thenextgenerationiswatching
But according to her mom, Sophia had a response that I’m sure the Target cashier was not expecting.
“She does (look like me)!” Sophia responded. “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?”
According to CNN Wire, Benner was relieved she didn’t have to defend her daughter’s choice and glad that Sophia wasn’t fazed by the cashier’s question. She’s also proud of her daughter for knowing what is important: The doll’s skin tone didn’t matter. To Sophia, she and the doll share the same aspirations. The proud mom also credits the hit children’s show “Doc McStuffins” with teaching Sophia the word “stethoscope.”
“If she was another child, that could have discouraged her,” Benner said.
The proud mom posted an account of the experience to her personal Facebook page. Since then its’ been shared more than 140,000 times and attracted more than 19,000 comments. Most of them have been supportive messages from other mothers or people with similar experiences.
“I just want to teach my kids love, and that’s included in my own actions,” Benner told CNN Wire, explaining why she doesn’t engage with negative commenters.
As for little Sophia, all she knows is that one day she’s going to be a doctor, just like her favorite new doll. So if you need a checkup, you know where to find her.