When Breanna Martin, a mother of two in Wichita, Kansas, was growing up, she didn’t see many characters on television who looked like her.
“The Black girls always had light skin, and I have a dark complexion and textured hair," Martin, 29, told TODAY Parents.
That’s just one of the reasons Martin became emotional while watching Disney Junior’s animated series “Rise Up, Sing Out” with her 2-year-old daughter, Seven.
In a clip that is going viral on TikTok, Seven is watching an episode that celebrates Black girl hair care. When two characters begin singing about their sleep bonnets, Seven, who is wearing a cap herself, breaks into a big smile and begins dancing as her family cheers.
“This is why representation matters!!! Seven got so excited to wear her bonnet because she seen the other little girls on TV wearing one,” Martin wrote on Instagram. “You could see her reaction was like ‘Hey, I have one of those too.’”
“It’s a new day and we embrace brown skin, natural hair, and the total black experience,” Martin added.
Martin told TODAY that Seven has been listening to “The Bonnet Song” on repeat.
“Seven sees me sleep with one every night, but now she thinks it’s cool because she sees Taniya and Shawna doing it,” Martin explained.
Martin noted that until now she’d never seen a bonnet on TV. Bonnets help protect curl-textured hair like Seven’s from tangling, frizzing and drying out.
“It’s so important for all children to be seen on television. It helps with their self-esteem, it helps them to love themselves,” Martin said.
Comments continue to pour in on Martin’s TikTok post.
"Representation is so important, I remember when the princess and the frog came out, my mum was 40 and she was so happy to finally see a black princess," one person wrote.
Added another, "This just made me cry. I'm just so happy that Black girls can grow up confident and not insecure that they don’t look like what they see on TV."