The Importance of Doc McStuffins

Leave it to the Irish to come up with one the most positive television programs geared toward  the preschool set in ages. To top it all off, Doc McStuffins is a African-American. Comes from a home with a mom and a dad. And instead of playing on a tablet all day, she is out using her imagination for the greater good of broken toys everywhere.

Doc McStuffins airs on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior and the first time I ever saw the show I was ecstatic. As a grown-up black woman, I still believe there are too few really positive black women in the media and in popular culture. I mean, if I had a daughter what would she do while I’m watching Melissa Harris Perry? The answer is clear. That well-adjusted kid (with afro puffs?) would be watching Doc McStuffins.

Doc is six years old and aspires to be a doctor. But no waiting for the future. With some help from her stuffed animal friends she is already an excellent doctor now. Working to fix toys, no matter how large or small the problem.

The program has won rave reviews thanks to its positive portrayal of the African-American family. Yes America, it is good for everyone to see – every now and then – that not all little black girls are living like Penny from Good Times or Hilary from The Fresh Prince. Believe it or not, there is an “in between.” Not all are abused and misused and not all are spoiled brats. Yes, there are plenty of each, but I venture to say there are even more like Doc and those are the ones you see least often.

As Americans, we love extremes. Extremism is what grabs our attention and in many ways it is what is awarded. Yet we are surprised and saddened by extreme violence. We make the world we live in.

If we instead focused on and gave attention to characters like Doc, we could make it a better place and have more well-adjusted girls growing up and going out into that world. Beyonce and Rihanna are extremely sexy for little girls, but most six-year-olds know all the words and moves. Staying inside all day on a tablet is making kids extremely anti social, but that only seems to be a problem when they get to school and it is realized they are not functioning socially as they should.

Doc isn’t perfect, she’s real. She is what my generation did as kids. We played. With toys. Sometimes in our rooms and sometimes outside. Our parents encouraged our creativity and were voices always telling us right from wrong.

Yes, Doc McStuffins is a real girl. She was once the norm and there is no reason she cannot be again.

If your little girl (or boy) is not already a fan, introduce him or her to this great character and program. If you do not have children of your own, share Doc with your nieces, cousins, or kids of your friends. If we do not financially support positive images for black girls to see, they’ll continue to only relate to the booty shaking, baller wives that some of us apparently are supporting. Buy the toys and DVDs, watch the program, show that there is a market for normal, positive, well-adjusted black girls.

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