Remember that Friends episode where Ross had a major problem when his young son Ben chose a Barbie doll for a toy? Well, one Californian dad had no such issue when his own little fella opted to pick an Ariel doll for his Birthday present. In fact, he was so proud of his son that he decided to explain why in a heartwarming video, which has clocked up millions of views since it was posted online just a few days ago.
In a Facebook video, dad Mikki Willis explained that his four-year-old son Isaiah received two birthday presents that were exactly the same. As a result, the father-of-two took his son to the toy store to exchange one of them for something else. Unexpectedly, the little boy chose a Little Mermaid Barbie doll. In response, the clearly proud parent shared his loving words on acceptance.
“I let my boys choose their life,” the dad said. “That’s how momma and I are, we just say whatever. We say yeah.”
“Choose your expression, choose what you’re into, choose your sexuality, choose whatever,” he continued. The kids adorably agree, and enthusiastically shout resounding words of “Yeah!” throughout the video. We dare you to not well up as he turns to his children and says: “You have my promise to love you, no matter what life you choose.” It is beautiful and heartfelt.
The choice not to reinforce gender stereotypes, be it via children’s toys or through fashion campaigns has been a topic of much debate recently. It was reported that US chain Target (following in the footsteps of Wal-Mart Stores and Toys R Us) would be eliminating gender labels from all their children’s toys and bedding. The store announced that it would no longer use signs distinguishing “boys’ toys” from “girls’ toys.”
“In the kids’ bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender,” said Target in a statement on their website. “We never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented.” Swedish brand Acne also took Androgyny, a now fashionable norm, a step further by having a pre-teen boy model their women’s line. The issue is always going to drum up some discussion, but all that aside, the video was an uplifting balm to our souls. In a world that’s only slowly moving towards equal opportunities and acceptance for all, it is wonderful to see such a positive clip earn such a fantastic reaction. The clip has been viewed over 18 million times on Facebook, and it is littered with happy comments.
Watch it below: