Parents have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Doc McStuffins toys. Here's why they're glad.
Thank you, Doc McStuffins! Seriously.
For a whole lot of little kids, Doc McStuffins is a role model.
For those of you out of the loop, "Doc McStuffins" is a Disney Junior program that features a 6-year-old girl as the titular "Doc" whose mom is a doctor and whose dad is a stay-at-home parent.
Doc McStuffins wants to follow in her mom's footsteps and be a doctor when she grows up, so she's getting her practice by taking care of her dolls and stuffed animals, which come to life when she's alone with them. You know, as toys do.
What makes Doc McStuffins stand out for many is the fact that she's black.
For parents who are working hard to instill a strong self-esteem and a sense of pride in their black daughters, Doc McStuffins is particularly important.
I'm a white (adoptive) parent of a black daughter, and I was overjoyed when Doc McStuffins came out. My daughter loved it, and I loved that she was able to relate to a character who looked like her. It's also important for kids of all colors to see diversity in media so that diversity becomes the norm for everyone.
Recently Jamilah Lemieux shared photos of her daughter, who is a Doc McStuffins fan, on Twitter and encouraged others to share pictures of their kids with the hashtag #thankyouDocMcStuffins.
After retweeting a New York Times article from July 2014 that noted sales of $500 million in the preceding year and sharing a photo of her daughter with a cart full of Doc McStuffins toys, Lemieux decided to start the hashtag.
"I love Doc McStuffins!" Lemieux, who is a writer, the senior digital editor for Ebony, and a feminist, told Upworthy. "We covered the launch of the show at EBONY.com a few years ago and I am so happy to see what a huge phenomenon it has become."
Diverse representation in media matters.
I asked Lemieux about diversity in media and toys and she told me that it's important to her because "as a parent, it is a real struggle to find toys and TV shows/movies that look like my daughter, but it is incredibly important to see herself reflected as the norm in media. I work hard to surround her with diverse and positive images of her culture in order to bolster her self-esteem and racial self-identity."
Here are some of the responses Lemieux received on Twitter:
(Get ready for some more super-cute kids!)
And when it comes to diverse representation, "Doc McStuffins" is multi-dimensional.
"Doc McStuffins is a real feminist show!" Lemieux told Upworthy. "Her mother is a doctor, her dad seems to be a stay-at-home parent, at least part time. Doc has diverse interests, particularly in STEM. The show teaches character values, while also presenting science careers as attainable to children of all genders."