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Things We Saw Today: A 2-Year-Old Girl Chose a Doll at the Store and It’s Now International News


Today in heartwarming viral media, a South Carolinian 2-year-old named Sophia was allowed to select the doll of her choice at Target. She chose a black doll and was questioned about the choice by the cashier, who asked if she wouldn’t prefer a doll that looked like her, according to Sophia’s mother. Sophia proudly stuck by her selection, and this is now a story covered by dozens of outlets around the world.

The tale of Sophia and her doll has all the hallmarks of what makes a story go viral. It features an adorable child, points to the children as our better future, thumbs its nose at out-of-touch and out-of-date social mores, and is generally something happy to applaud while the rest of the news concerns the dumpster fire Trump Administration and horrific gassing deaths in Syria.

I guess I’m just a little thrown by the breathless, wall-to-wall coverage of this event. Sophia’s mom’s Facebook post has been “Liked” 520k times and shared more than 200,000 times. Type in “girl 2 doll” on Google News and you’ll get an endless scroll of articles. I’m glad that Sophia chose her doll without prejudice and it’s cool to see her story resonate with so many—but part of me just keeps thinking: Really?

In 2017, is it front-page news that a white girl should want a black doll? Is the shocking part the cashier’s inappropriate questioning, which doesn’t shock anyone living in Trump’s America? “She picked the doll out herself,” specifies Metro’s photo caption, as though this were a thing hard to believe. And while dolls have certainly diversified in their appearance, what about all the little girls and boys who still can’t find one that looks like them in the first place?

Am I just too jaded that I’ve lost the ability to understand why this has dominated world headlines? So many questions.


(via, well, everywhere on the Internet, image: Brandi Benner’s Facebook page)

Moving on …

    • That’s so, so Raven: a spinoff of Raven-Symone’s Disney show classic has been ordered at, you guessed it, the Disney Channel. “The new show finds the best friends played by Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol as divorced single mothers raising their separate families in one chaotic household.” OK, I am officially old.
    • Fangirl clothing hub Her Universe has put out a call for its design competition, so start up engines if “geek couture” is a thing that you can create.
    • Game developer Zoe Quinn’s book, “Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate,” is available for pre-order.
    • Harvard has named 23-year-old physics Ph.D candidate Sabrina Gonzalez Pastericki “the next Einstein.”

No more news for me today, I think. What’d you dig up, friends?



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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.