Two year-old Sophia Benner is making headlines after defending her choice of doll to an ignorant cashier at Target.
Sophia was told she could pick out a prize for finishing her potty training. She and her mother visited a South Carolina Target, where Sophia headed straight for the doll aisle. One doll in particular caught her attention, a doll dressed in a doctor’s lab coat and a stethoscope around her neck that just so happened to be black.
According to Sophia’s 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.”
When Sophia and her mother walked up to the register to check out that’s when the issue of race came into play.
She was greeted by the cashier, who asked, “Are you going to a birthday party?”
Confused, Sophia ignored the question and continued to stare at her beloved prize.
Then the cashier pointed to the doll, whose name is Megan, and asked if she picked her out for a friend.
Benner spoke up, explaining to the cashier that Sophia was getting a reward for using the potty.
“I am not ashamed that’s how I did it, because it works,” joked Benner about using the doll as incentive for potty training.
The woman gave Benner a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, “Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?”
At that point, Benner recalls she was starting to feel protective of Sophia, hoping she wouldn’t understand why the woman was questioning her choice of doll. But just as she was about to speak up, Sophia interjected, “Yes, please!”
The cashier replied, “But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.”
Sophia 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?” her mother said.
The cashier simply responded with an “Oh, that’s nice.” She finished ringing up the family and they were on her way. Sophia didn’t think twice about the exchange, unlike Benner.
Sophia first learned the word “stethoscope” from the TV cartoon “Doc McStuffins.” And her pediatrician allows the little girl to play with the tools in her doctor bag, which led to her desire to work in medicine someday.
That’s why, to Sophia, the doll’s skin tone doesn’t matter — all that matters is that she helps people, just like Sophia wants to do.