Monica Ahanonu may be a model, but she isn’t always happy that people are staring at her.
That’s why, even after being absorbed in a big event, wearing a white designer gown, putting on make-up, and strapping her heels, she still felt a nerve flutter.
“I don’t like people who like to see me,” she explained in an interview today. “I like to dress up and wear crazy things, but I don’t like people looking at me at the same time.”
Still, at the behest of a friend, Ahanonu set up a few photos on the street to capture her look. While her friend was taking a picture, Ahanonu noticed that her father and his toddler were nearby and she was waiting to see her pass by. “It was sick that they were waiting, so I told him to go, and Dad said his daughter might take a walk across the street,” Ahanonu explained. And she added that she didn’t mind waiting. After all, she felt timid because people weren’t good at staring at her.
That’s an interesting part of the kids, Ahanonu, 31, said. They do not understand the anxiety that adults accumulate throughout their lives.
In a video taken by a friend of Ahanonu Share on Instagram, A little girl pushes a toy stroller in front of the model. The girl then pauses, prolongs the size of the 5’5 “model a bit, and then turns the toy stroller so that she can touch one of the flower appliqués in Ahanonu’s gown. And while Ahanonu is laughing, the girl’s father takes her hand.
This video became a hot topic online and had nearly 4.7 million likes as of Friday.
One of the most moving moments for video commenters is when the little girl turns around and reveals that the stroller doll is also black.
A user replied to the post, “Girls !!!!!! Level for this”. This post contains hundreds of heartfelt emojis in the comments.
“Baby knows an angel when he sees it,” another person writes.
It was a moving moment, especially given the long-standing taste for dolls in the past and the race-based prejudices that contributed to them.
In the 1940s, Dr. Kenneth Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps (both psychologists), conducted a series of experiments known as the “puppet test.” This experience was an effort to investigate the psychological effects of segregation on black children aged 3 to 7 years. The children were asked to identify the doll race, assign each one a “good” and “bad” trait, and share which doll they like.
by NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.“We found that prejudice, discrimination, and separation created inferiority complex among African-American children and hurt their self-esteem,” Clarks said.
In 2010, CNN commissioned another investigation It sought to determine if these racial prejudices had changed. A survey of 133 children found that white and black children still prefer white dolls, nearly 70 years after the first test.
Ahanonu, a black woman with a mother from Uganda and a father from Nigeria, remembers the early days of the race at the playground.
“I and my brothers were the only black children in our elementary, middle and high school,” she explained. “(We) had a black doll, but I don’t think any of my friends actually had one.”
The little girl in the video may not yet have experienced how racial aspects affect women of color like Ahanonu almost on a daily basis. She also seemed unaware that their short interactions were enough to make Ahanon feel encouraged.
“It was a confirmation like’OK, I think it looks good’,” she said today, which adults didn’t feel that real.
Ahanonu said the exchange made her feel hopeful for the future.
“Hopefully it’s a good sign that things are less divided as we move forward,” she said. “These generations don’t seem to be much more divided than our previous generation … it’s obviously not noticed by us for a long time, even when we’re young. It’s a subconscious thing that I didn’t notice. It’s cool to see it, and I’m curious, hoping that the (younger generation) subconscious is different from what ours and what our parents were. I am. “
Meanwhile, Ahanonu hopes she will one day be able to learn more about the girl.
“I wish I could talk to her dad so much. I would like to ask him about her and what they thought about it,” Ahanonu said.