Childrearing

White Girls Brought to Tears When Given Black Dolls in Terrible Christmas ‘Prank’ Video

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Three year old girl playing with Asian, African American and Caucasian dolls MRSometimes pranking little kids can be funny. The time one father froze a Barbie doll in a block of ice and gave it to his bewildered daughter who had asked for a “Frozen doll” was worth a slight chuckle. The father who gave his son a banana and daughter an onion instead of a Barbie doll was delightful, because the kids were delighted with their weird presents anyway. “It’s my present!” that little girl squealed, clutching her onion with glee. Those were cute and worth a YouTube post, but I can’t for the life of me wrap my brain around the logic of the parents who posted a video of their young daughters crying with disappointment when they are given black dolls for Christmas.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HSAgOks_wk]

When the girls opened their dolls, they were visibly upset by them. One of the girls gives her mother a look of disgust and an eye roll, like she knows it’s a prank and is waiting for her mother to stop screwing around and bring out her real present. The other girl actually starts bawling and throws the doll back in the bag as though it were on fire. The mother filming the scene guffaws as though that is the most hilarious thing she’s ever seen.

It’s unclear in the video if the dolls were purchased specifically for pranking purposes–the girls are told the dolls came from their Uncle Seth and Aunt Cynthia, whose motivations for buying the dolls are not given–but the mother filming the scene sure seem to think it’s a fabulous joke. She guffaws as the girls’ horrified reactions, but does not put down the phone, because clearly this moment needs to be preserved for posterity, and for YouTube.

It’s hard to imagine any thought process behind the making of this video other than, “Black dolls? My kids will hate this! I will film their disappointment, and then I will post it on the Internet and it will go viral. Clearly nothing but good could come out of airing this charming moment on the Internet.”

From the adult laughter in the video, it sure seems like the grown-ups in the room thought the stunt was hilarious. But as Essence‘s Virginia Lowman asks, why is it inherently funny to give white children black dolls? From the mother’s reaction, it sounds like she thinks this is a hilarious prank, like replacing a doll with something absurd like an onion or a rock.

I feel terrible for the kids in the video. They are just children and do not deserve to be vilified for not liking the dolls, though they certainly look old enough that they should have been taught how to graciously receive an unwanted gift by this point in their lives–you can’t bawl and throw things at your birthday party because your friend gives you one too many Rainbow Looms, after all. But receiving and disliking the dolls that way should have been a private, teachable moment, and the fact that the parents instead used it to make and post this video is appalling. The video isn’t cute or adorable. It makes the children the butt of an unflattering joke in exchange for a tiny drab of Internet fame, and that would be unfair to those girls even if the video were funny.

H/T Essence

(Photo: gengberg/iStockPhoto/Getty Images)