Friday, January 7, 2011

Princess Boys: Should Boys Wear Dresses and Sparkly, Pretty Things To Kindergarten Class?



This little boy who fancies hot pink dresses and remarkable ruffles and sparkly, pretty things—he makes me giggly and hopeful and wishful that the world could be as evolved as his mama and his daddy, who allow him the indulgence of prancing like a princess not just in the family playroom but out on the playground at his elementary school.
But mostly, he makes me worry. Scared even. And when I’m not applauding her for going all the way hard for her son’s right to just, like, be, I’m wondering just what in the hell was she thinking buying pink dresses, purple tutus and ballet slippers for her son and telling the whole wide world he’s a “princess boy?”
Yup—I went there. Watch the video below, then hop on over to the MyBrownBaby page on Parenting.com's The Parenting Post to see my take on the cross-dressing 5-year-old whose mom lets him wear tutus and sparkly stuff to kindergarten class.



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18 comments:

  1. I saw this too. Honestly, I don't know what to think. The world is changing so fast, I can't keep up.

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  2. OK.. my first thought was the child doesn't need national media exposure for this. He's just a little kid. Allowing him to be interviewed at such a young age regarding cross dressing, bothered me as a mom.
    My son is 21 and does not remember what he liked at 5 years old. I don't even remember. They are allowing this child to be stamped and branded before he has a chance to cognitively understand anything about life.

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  3. Playing dress up is one thing but walking around town and parading him on tv is another.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

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  4. More than anything he just doesn't seem happy. That bothers me. Write the book, allow him limited space to express himself but keep him off of TV. I don't think I've seen him smile once.

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  5. I applaud this family for letting their son be himself, but I feel like she's exploiting him. Writing the book so people who come into contact with him on the regular was a good idea, but he does not need to be all over the internet and TV at this age for this. I saw this story a couple of months ago and was on the fence, but seeing it blow up like this definitely makes me feel this is too much.

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  6. I saw this and i was speechless, i wasn't sure as a parent how to respond because i don't know if she's setting him up for discrimination or what in a sense, but i think she just exposed him, and when he gets older and sees this what is he going to think about himself!!! I don't know all i can say is a silent prayer and don't be judgmental!

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  7. I saw a plug for her book last week and well, I too was at a loss for words. I am torn. I mean I understand her desire to let her child be himself but I'm not too keen on the public manner in which she has chosen to do it. Sure, in her home, no problem but this is a cruel world and not as accepting as her home may be.

    All I can say is "poor lil' chile, poor, poor lil' chile".

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  8. I disagree. I think the book is wonderful. And I think giving him the message that it is ok to be who you really are at home, but better not do it at school because people might make fun of you would be more damaging then telling his story. Someone has to go first and break the barriers. Yes he is only 5, but what about Ruby Bridges who was just 6 when she was the first to integrate her school in New Orleans? Like her, this little boy has the love and support of his parents in facing the ugly people out there that tell him he is different or wrong for doing what he is doing.

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  9. I agree that the national TV exposure is wrong. The book and helping him explore his likes and desires, ok. Keep it local and let the small community that he is a part of be his world. He will decide when he is older how far he wants to take this.

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  10. I applaud this mom for supporting her son and allowing him to be who he is. If you saw the entire video, you will see that she started off journaling about her feelings. Then it led to her writing the book, and to her book being published, etc. And she also talked about getting responses from all over the world of similar experiences. The world is changing every day. When we can embrace it through a child's eyes we can better understand. This is how her son feels and what makes him happy. So be it.

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  11. What I most agree with is when you mention what if the kid changes him mind when he turns seven and wants to stop cross-dressing -- just wear jeans and Timberlands to school? Those were my thoughts exactly. I love it when parents support their child[ren] wholeheartedly and even go above and beyond to prove their loyalty, love, and support. But as you stated, I really think this has a lot to do with setting boundaries. At this age, he is simply not equipped to handle the things that may come his way as a result of his parents "showing the world" their "PrIncess Boy" and attempting to teach us all tolerance and acceptance. I just feel like the mere fact that they had to write a book about it, parade it all over television, and gather up all his teachers and school administrators (even the janitors!) on Halloween is proof that as a Nation, USA is simply not fully ready for this. Especially in a young boy.

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  12. I think the consensus is that the parent here is being supportive, but I think especially as parent we have a responsibility to try to look down the road a bit further that making our child[ren] happy all the time. Yea he may be happy now, but do you think this will play out if "princess boy" turns to not-so-princess man.

    In our society it is conform or be crushed (unless you get on tv then you have a chance. I am pretty sure we will see them on Twitter or Facebook if they aren't already there). I think they are setting this kid up to be a pretty confused individual. Are we going to have to change the definition of prince/princess? We are a society defined by our cultural definition of things, is this safe?

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  13. This bothers me. He is five. I'm not saying this is or isn't just a phase for him but my feeling is, with young kids, they are exploring their world and will try out just about any role play they can come up with, which is good. It's being imaginative. My 3 year old son occationally likes to wear my daughters pink headbands and necklaces and - dare I say it - says his favorite color is pink from time to time. He also says his favorite color is black. So what! I'm not going to put him on Oprah about it.

    Who knows if half of the reason this boy loves to dress up like this so much is because of all the attention his mom gives him when he does it.

    I've seen this a lot lately. Starting with the lady who dressed her four-year-old son up as the go go boots girl from scooby doo, pink wig and all, for Halloween. And the title to her post on her blog was "MY SON IS GAY". Now do you think she had an agenda there?

    As parents, shouldn't it be our job, our responsibility, to protect our children? I hate to say to help them "fit in" or "be normal" because that is not what I'm getting at and I am all about encouraging individualality, but try to help our children avoid being teased, ridiculed, or persecuted. I wish it was different, but we do not live in a perfect enough world. And to believe that this little boy will go to school dressed like this and not get made fun of is being naive. Some could make the arguement that every child will get teased but lets not make additional reasons for tormenting to take place. It is our job, as parents, to be an advocate for our children and do everything possible to help their lives be easier, not harder, especially when they are so little they are too young to understand the social implications of what they are doing means. This lady is putting her son out there as a target and putting a stamp on his forhead.

    I am fine with letting him dress up in frilly outfits if he loves it. But have him do it at home and get him a variety of "dress ups" to add to his collection. Encourage him to switch costumes from day to day - fireman, winnie the pooh, cowboy - whatever! Heaven forbid some GENDER NUETRAL costumes.

    I guess what it comes down to is, it really bothers me that some parents seem to be using their children to push social issues. This boy, as well as the one I mentioned above, will obviously feel the pressure that their mothers wrote them off as gay from the time they were five and feel like that is what they are supposed to become, whether they are or aren't. Don't get me wrong, I am ALL FOR the acceptance of gays. But I think it is wrong to push our children one way or the other or try to label them early on. Just like it drives me crazy when I see moms telling their daughters they are going to be cheerleaders from the time they are old enough to walk/talk. Encourage a variety of interests. Let kids try out new things. Don't label them to be something until they are old enough to decide for themselves.

    Sorry, I came across this in a rambling sort of mood, so that was probably an overload of opinion there. But that's how i feel :).

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  14. I just think the little boy looked very sad. Especially at the end when the hist as asking him questions.

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  15. I agree with Angela above. He didn't need media coverage, now he is stamped with this sort of stigma, what if he decides next year he doesn't want to dress this way anymore, he is still s going to be labeled as "princess boy." But I am glad the mom stepped up and decided to write a book about the fact that her son is different, it is so important to embrace our kids' personalities and the ways they choose to express themselves. Life is too short to force children into a certain category, let them live!

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  16. While I fear how others in this oh so mean world will do, I applaud her for loving the child God gave her.... Has I aid to another friend - he'll either grow out of this, or grow into some fab pumps... and in either case if nothing else, he'll know his parents love him.

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  17. It is an unfortunate day when parents seek attention for themselves or their child through such antics, that is how I see this situation. It is one thing to be a progressive parent and let your child be the character that every child is but to completely erase gender lines is a bad idea in the long run. Why throw such a curve ball at a child this early; just let the child be a child without overdose amounts of social influence.

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  18. At the turn of last century, women in pants? Sorry ladies, the 21st century is mens liberation. Like it or not, even if you shun us. Women complain about not having a fair shake in society, but actually want ALL and men only deserve HALF. GUYS wake up to thier agenda.Don't let them control your choices by spreading the "gay" rumor to keep you subserviant to them. Let us all chose who we want to be...our divercity is our strength which led us out of the caves...There are many shades of gray between "men" and "women".

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