When mom Brandi Benner's daughter, Sophia, made it through a successful month of potty training, she thought she deserved a nice reward. Benner took her daughter to Target, where Sophia picked out a new doll — but neither of them expected to be questioned by the cashier.
Thinking that Sophia had picked out her doll for a friend, the cashier asked if Benner and her daughter were going to a birthday party.
"Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained," Benner wrote in a Facebook post about their encounter with the cashier. "The woman gave me a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, 'Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?'"
When Sophia emphatically replied that she did indeed want the doll, the cashier said, "But she doesn't look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you."
To be clear, the cashier meant that the doll looked different because of her skin colour.
Sophia, however, wasn't swayed.
Benner wrote that she herself immediately became angry, but before she could chime in, her daughter responded, "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?"
Benner said that the cashier dropped the issue and responded, "Oh, that's nice."
"This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren't born with the idea that colour matters," Benner wrote. "Skin comes in different colours just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful."
Since Benner posted the photo and her story to Facebook on Friday, it has gone viral, with over 316,000 shares at the time of writing.
Children, of course, still have eyes and can recognise when people have differences. They're not "colourblind." But as Benner wrote, discrimination is learned. Sophia, however, has chosen to see only beauty in the doll (and in herself). The cashier could have meant well, but all our kudos go to Sophia for standing up for herself and what she probably didn't yet know was a racial microaggression.