A father had the best response to his son's mermaid doll

YouTube/Mikki Willis

A little boy received two presents that were the same so his dad took him to a toy store to exchange one.

Azai chose a Little Mermaid doll and dad Mikki Willis had the best reaction ever.

Mr Willis asked in a video he created of the moment:

Now how do you think a dad feels when his son chooses this?

To which Azai responds:


Mr Willis posted the clip on YouTube because he wanted to remind people of how much we all need to feel accepted.

He said on his YouTube page:

I let my boys choose their life.

We say yeah, choose it!

Choose your expression, your sexuality, choose whatever. 

In the video Mr Willis promises his sons that he will love them no matter what life they choose.

When asked how he felt the moment Azai chose that doll, Mr Willis said:

It didn't surprise me at all.

Azai is equally fascinated by princesses and robots. 

One moment he's all boy, the next he's expressing a softer, more angelic side.

He said that behaviour for him was more "authentic than playing one note all the time."

He adds however that upon seeing the specific doll his son had chosen, and the range it was a part of, he was forced to resist the urge to speak out about it.

Mr Willis asks: "why don't we chose a more realistic doll" - he doesn't want his sons exposed the idea that women should be "built like a Barbie."

The clip ended up going viral, over four million views but there was a little backlash, much to dad's disappointment. It read:

If that were my son I'd beat the sh*t out him!

Mr Willis said he decided not to delete the comment as some had suggested and instead reached out to the user in an attempt to start a conversation as he believes differing opinions offer an opportunity to expand his "understanding of the human race."

The person responded and apologised for the comment and said he wrote it because he wanted to see how people reacted.

The user added:

I support anyone who have a different sexual preference than mine.

The dolls debate

Going back to Mr Willis' point about the realism of dolls, there have been debates on the matter over recent years.

A similar doll, Barbie, and the idea it is bad for self-image was defended by lead Mattel designer Kim Culmone in an interview with Fast Company.

She explained why the company still produces toys with measurements that if real, would result in a woman with half a liver who would only be able to walk on all fours. She said:

Barbie’s body was never designed to be realistic. She was designed for girls to easily dress and undress.

Time reports that expert in child psychology Dr Sharon Lamb of University of Massachusetts was surprised over Culmone's comments. She said:

But those boobs…

I don’t think Barbie’s breasts were designed to help Barbie’s clothes go easily on.

Mattel's Culmone carried on and suggested that mums are to blame and not dolls. She said:

Girls view the world completely differently than grown-ups do.

They don’t come at it with the same angles and baggage and all that stuff that we do.

Clearly, the influences for girls on those types of issues, whether it’s body image or anything else, it’s proven, it’s peers, moms, parents, it’s their social circles.

Dr Deborah Tolman, professor of psychology and social welfare at City University of New York told Time she wasn't surprised Mattel turned to home influences. She said:

It’s such an old story, let’s just blame moms for everything

She also pointed out the growing body of work that shows the negative impact dolls can have on young children, like a 2006 University of Sussex study that claimed thin dolls "may damage" a girls body image.

HT People

More: The 'realistic' Barbie doll Lammily just got her first period

The Conversation (0)