Mom proud of girl’s reply when Target cashier asked why white girl wanted black doll

Sophia with her doctor doll.
Sophia with her doctor doll. Facebook

A Charlotte area mother and daughter are getting national attention for an awkward shopping moment she says played out when a cashier at Target questioned why her 2-year-old daughter, who is white, wanted to buy a new doctor doll, which was black.

Brandi Benner, a Clover, S.C, resident, says the incident happened at a local Target. CNN retold the story this week, with the headline: “Girl, 2, defends her choice of doll to cashier.”

It started, Benner says, when the cashier suggested Sophia might rather choose another doll, one that looked like her.

“She does (look like me)!” the toddler replied, according to Benner’s Facebook post on March 31. “She's a doctor like I'm a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl...And see her stethoscope?”

Sophia apparently didn’t get the skin color difference. But Benner was upset and says she was poised to make a rebuke.

“The woman...asked, ‘Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?...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,” Benner said on Facebook.

The cashier dropped the issue, and Benner is now saying the experience confirmed to her that we aren't born with the idea that color matters.

The Observer reached out to Target for a comment on Benner’s post, but had not yet heard back Tuesday morning.

In a follow up post Facebook on April 2, Benner says she has been “blown away” by reaction to the incident. The Facebook post has been shared nearly 186,000 times, with 465,000 comments.

“Our family has received so much love, support and encouragement from complete strangers and that is just proof to me that there is so much good in the world,” she posted.

“The cashier was an elderly woman and I believe she was completely ignorant to what she was truly saying. I feel like in her mind she was being helpful and making conversation with my daughter. I'm not saying her ignorance makes it okay, just proves her white privilege.”

As for accusations some have made that the story is fabricated, Benner says that is “just hilarious to me.”

“I had no reason to make up an entertaining story...I never could have predicted it would spread like wildfire! But I'm thankful it did.”