People should be allowed to express themselves however they want to, so long as they’re not hurting anybody else, without being judged. For example, my son’s long hair is constantly criticized on Instagram. Recently, I posted a photo of Cree and my brother having a beautiful moment together (above) but instead of people focusing on the love between them, the whole conversation was about Cree’s hair. I ask Cree all the time whether he wants me to cut his hair and he’s like, ‘No, mommy, no!’ So I’m not going to cut it. Why are people so fixated on the gender stereotype of boys having short hair and girls having long hair?
Here’s another example. My makeup artist, who is also a friend, has a son who decided to wear black nail polish to school. She was called and had to go to school, pick up her son, and take off the nail polish because he was being bullied. Not only that, the teacher told him to take it off. And it’s like, okay, would you have done the same thing if it was a young girl who had on pink nail polish? I just don’t understand why we have to be boxed in when it comes to expressing ourselves.
I think boys are affected by gender stereotypes more than girls are. If a girl is playing with a truck I don’t feel like there will be as big of an uproar as if a little boy is playing with a doll. I grew up dancing and if my son wanted to dance and sing I feel like it’s more accepted for a girl to be a ballerina and start dancing at a young age as opposed to a boy. It really, really bothers me.
On a similar note, Cree’s playroom is full of colors and he also has a kitchen set (above) in there. A mom asked me, “How do you feel about Cree having a kitchen set?” I was like, “What do you mean? He’s going to grow up and I’m hoping he’s going to be able to cook for himself and not always have to depend on a woman to cook for him.” Like, I don’t see what the problem is. But there are some moms out there who feel like Cree shouldn’t play with a kitchen set. They think kitchen sets should be for girls to play with because girls are the ones who should grow up and be in the kitchen. But, if my son wants to grow up and be a chef one day, so be it.
Then, earlier this month, I posted a photo on Instagram of my husband kissing my son (above). It was amazing how it caused a total uproar! Some people were saying that my son was too old to be kissed by my husband. And I’m like, “Wow, if this were a girl and her daddy and it wouldn’t be an issue.” I felt like it was a gender thing. People were looking past a beautiful moment where a father was showing love toward his child. Why? I’m just so annoyed with and worried about a society that looks past actions of love and thinks about things like gender and age. His father can kiss him on the lips as long as he wants to.
We need to get past gender stereotypes. If we don’t allow children to do certain things because of their gender we’re limiting their ability to express themselves—and that freedom of expression is where joy comes from. If something makes a child happy, he or she should be able to do it, regardless of gender.
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