How would you feel if your son chose this??Posted by Mikki Willis on Friday, August 21, 2015
The pressure to conform to certain gender norms starts early, and for some kids, it begins with the toys they choose.
But there are a growing number of parents wanting to let their children challenge these stereotypes! Mikki Willis, for example, is a father of two who was extremely supportive when his young son Azai chose an Ariel doll as his new toy! The film company CEO posted a video of his reaction to Facebook Friday, and in no time at all, the heartwarming clip was a viral success.
"I let my boys choose their life," says Mikki, who also has a younger son named Zuri with wife Nadia Salamanca Willis. "That's how mama and I—that's how we are. We just say whatever...We say, 'Yeah, choose it!' Choose your expression, choose what you're into, choose your sexuality, choose whatever..."
Little Azai celebrates his father's enthusiasm, waving his new doll around proudly. He literally squeals with joy when dad makes a "promise forever" to "love you and accept you no matter what life you choose."
There was lots of public support for the unconditional love Mikki demonstrated, which was "both humbling and awesome," he later wrote in a Facebook post.
He also shared more insight into his supportive reaction to Azai's choice of toy. "...it didn't surprise me at all," he wrote. "Azai is equally fascinated by princesses and robots. One moment he's all boy, the next he's expressing a softer, more angelic side. For me this behavior rings more authentic than playing one note all the time..."
And while dad had to resist urging his son to choose "a more realistic doll" and stray from the Barbie-esque mold, he explained why he held himself back., writing, "My job as daddy is to provide a safe playing field for my boys to play whatever game they choose, or better yet, create their own game!"
"I trust that by the time they realize the world isn't as accepting as mommy and daddy they'll have such a solid foundation that nothing will shake their stance to fully, and unabashedly be themselves," Mikki continued.
Nobody's perfect, though—Akai's dad also dropped this "tidbit of truth: "As much as I support my boys to express themselves, I admit to deleting Disney's Frozen theme song from our playlist. I just could not hear it again!"
He had to let it go!