"Now, how do you think a dad feels when his son wants to get this?"

That's the question YouTuber and proud dad Mikki Willis asked viewers, while holding a mermaid doll in a video posted online on Aug. 23, 2015, his son, Azai, trying not to smile in the background.


Some dads wouldn't be cool with their sons playing with Little Mermaid dolls or, you know, playing with dolls at all. But after a few chuckles, both Willis and Azai yell happily, "Yeah!"

Because this is great.

GIFs via Mikki Willis/YouTube.

Willis decided to support his son's decision to get whatever toy he wanted, without letting gender stereotyping get in the way. And — judging by the outpouring of support in the video's comments section — he's not alone in encouraging his son to like what he likes, stereotypes be damned.

The video — which Willis captured after a trip to the toy store for Azai to swap out one of his birthday presents — is gathering steam online. In just about two days, it's already garnered more than 236,000 views.

I'd say that's no coincidence, seeing as it touches on one very hot topic.

Gender stereotyping in toys is one issue making waves right now.

Just this month, retail giant Target announced it was phasing out boy-girl references throughout its stores in sections where "suggesting products by gender is unnecessary," such as toys, kids' bedding, and entertainment.

"There is no 'boy side' or 'girl side' to childhood," Melissa Atkins Wardy, a children's retail expert and business owner, told Upworthy in support of Target's decision. "Why would we tell a kid they can't like cars or pirates or fairies or pink? Go for it, kid."

Willis would agree — why limit what toys his son should and should not enjoy?

Willis explained that he wasn't at all surprised when Azai selected the mermaid toy.

"Many are asking me, 'How did you feel the moment Azai chose that doll?'" he wrote in the video's description. "The honest answer is, it didn't surprise me at all. Azai is equally fascinated by princesses and robots."

Check out the heartwarming video below:

For some people, every day is Independence Day. For Janis Shinwari, this will be his first 4th of July as an American citizen. And boy, he earned it.

"If I was in Afghanistan—if I didn't come here, I wouldn't be alive now. I would be dead." Shinwari told CNN Heroes in 2018. Shinwari risked his life for nine years serving as a translator for U.S. forces in his native country of Afghanistan. He risked his life everyday knowing that should he be caught by the Taliban, the consequences would be severe. "If the Taliban catch you, they will torture you in front of your kids and families and make a film of you." Shinwari said. "Then [they'll] send it to other translators as a warning message to stop working with the American forces."

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