Boys Wear Pink, Too

My boy the rockstar, questioning gender assigned colours,

On Thursday, Jasper and I went to the Post Office to post some letters. He was decked out, as all good Rock Stars are, in Ellie’s pink sunglasses which he simply adores to wear. We were waiting in line and Jasper soon had the lady in front of us chatting to him, he’s a ladies’ man, my boy. After some cooing, she lifted her eyes to me and, in hushed tones said to me “Your son is wearing pink glasses.” She waited patiently for the penny to drop and for me to exclaim something about my mistake in letting my precious boy child adorn the wrong coloured sunglasses. Instead, I politely said “Yes, he is.” She regarded me for a moment longer before turning back to the front of the line.

I looked at my happy little man, with his pink shades and thought about he’d been wearing a necklace and carrying a pink handbag earlier in the morning and gave the lady a look for good measure. Maybe she thought she was ‘doing the right thing’, however, I don’t see why there was a reason for her to bring it up at all.

You see, my boy likes pink. He likes pretty things. He likes to dress up and he loves to wear bling. I strongly disagree with the expectation society has that girls wear pink and boys wear blue. Or that, if a boy does indeed wear pink he will turn out to be girly, wimpy and (gasp) gay. James is often nervous about my allowing Jasper to wear these things and I have already had address “boy colours” vs “girl colours” comments made by Ellie since she started Day Care. It’s frustrating. I don’t want Jasper to change simply because he’s expected to fit inside a certain box.

I absolutely believe that he is who he is. Wearing pink, carrying around a bag and wearing bracelets won’t make him something he is not. If he is gay, then he’s gay. If I impose the world’s view on him and forbid him from wearing what he likes because “it’s for girls”, I am doing nothing more than squashing his true self and buying into a view which is false and stifling. Just as having my boy wear blue and only blue will have no influence on his sexuality.

And, anyway, who cares? So what if he’s gay?

What I want for my children is for them to be accepted for who they are, for others to respect their choices and for them to do the same. How can we teach them this when the first thing we do is colour co-ordinate them into neat little packages and discourage them from expressing themselves if their expression happens to be outside the guidelines of what is put forward for their gender?

In the end, all that matters is that pink sunglasses are happy making. Even when worn upside down.



21 Comments

  1. I am SO with you on this!
    Both my boys wear pink and enjoy lots of ‘girl’ things… because they just do! Already my big boy is learning at kinder that some people think he shouldn’t wear pink socks or like Barbie movies… I know this will change him, but I hope that I’ve at least given him a head start by encouraging him to be who is, like who he likes and accept that everyone is different and that is OK!

    • It’s so disappointing that they have to change. All I can hope is the same as you; that I’ve given him a head start and some understanding that we’re all different.
      Thanks for the comment and RT, Kate!

  2. Couldn’t agree more. At this age kids love to experiment. they are still ignorant of what society expects them to be and as far as I’m concerned, the longer they stay that way the better.

    • Absolutely. I have (grand) dreams that everything will have changed by the time he goes to school and he can enjoy just being.

  3. The only thing Mr3 is not allowed to wear is make up. That’s because he’s 3, not because he’s a boy! He pushes a pink pram, carries a handbag and often wears his sisters glam sunnies. I get so many comments πŸ™ I can’t wait for the day we don’t see these things as stereotypes

    • My boy likes to put on lip gloss when we’re all applying, but we don’t do make up, either.
      I can’t believe people are so closed minded to comment. It’s just stupid.

  4. I absolutely LOVE this πŸ™‚ xxx

    • Thank you lovely x

  5. My 22 month old wore a necklace and pink head band to church a few weeks back, and I didn’t blink an eye lid, though I am sure some people did. He is just copying his older sisters, who were wearing the same thing. I took some photos of him instead.

    In China, it is perfectly acceptable to dress girls and boys in pink. My daughter was 21 months old, bald, and dressed in a hot pink dress, and we got many comments asking whether she was a girl or a boy.

    • I love that. My boy’s the same, just following his sister’s lead and why wouldn’t they?
      It’s a pity we’re not taking China’s lead on this, it’s such a non-issue.

      And, my eldest daughter was exactly the same, bald until she was two and even when in pink with headbands people would call her a boy, but put a boy in those things and it’s an issue.

      • it’s the same in India. I see many boys wearing pink and even lilac. I get asked if Xanthe is a girl or a boy when she is wearing a watermelon coloured dress and a bow in her hair. But I’ve learnt that jewellery seems to distinguish the children here. if it’s jingling a lot, it’s a girl. Xanthe doesn’t jingle.

  6. What a Cool Dude!
    He is such a gorgeous little man! πŸ™‚

  7. Actually, my hubby wears pink, and he likes jewelery too. He’s even into making macrame beads bracelets for us {will post on them soon.. so pretty!}. I don’t think he’s any less of a man, and if anybody has seen him, I don’t think they would either. It’s just all silly stereotypes.

    And who said gay men are all sissies who like pink??? I know some who are even more manly than straight men.

  8. He’s so young, pink is just another pretty colour, and he’s having fun. Hope he never stops expressing himself, little cutie.

  9. I agree. I’m not a huge fan of pink so it wasn’t around much when my son was born. He LOVED Dora though and I was impressed when my husband bought him a Dora doll. My house has a lot of pink in it now. It’s like when you have a girl child the pink clothes breed until they overtake the entire house.

  10. I totally agree with you! This whole boy/blue, girl/pink thing should be left behind in the 20th century! But it kills me that toy manufacturers etc still make it so restrictive for kids to express themselves (as you say).
    For instance, a friend wanted to buy her son a stroller but her husband insisted that she buy him a blue one. It seems that blue ones are DOUBLE the price of pink ones. My friend still caved in and bought him a blue one.
    I couldn’t care less. And like you said, if it makes them happy, so be it.

  11. Love this post x my boy is exactly the same.my boy still has a dummy that when gave him when he was little that has a little girl bear on. It’s his favorite. He plays with cars. He plays with dolls. He loves jewellary and dressing up with his sisters. He is perfect just the way he is. Love those pics. X

  12. I feel the exact same πŸ™‚ Liam and Eli both love
    Watching Dora! Lol doesn’t bother me at all πŸ™‚
    Same with the hand bags and Eli always trying to put
    My hair clips in his hair ! I just laugh because he’s trying to
    Act like us πŸ™‚

  13. How hilarious that that woman felt she needed to inform you of this fact! What a crack up. I think you handled it very well.

  14. A few days ago I was lined up at the checkout behind a young family with a little boy in a stroller. The little boy was grabbing at beautiful rainbow bracelets and giggling and kicking his feet. I smiled at him. The rainbow bracelets seemed to make him so happy. It broke my heart a little when his mother cooed to him, “You don’t want that, bubby! Yucky! That’s for girls!” I actually felt myself start to cry. Perhaps I am too sensitive.
    Here I cried again, because this story is wonderful. I’m so glad there are people who allow their children to be happy with who they are naturally.
    I work in childcare and have seen a lot of little boys who love pink, glitter, dolls, butterflies, toy kitchen, and a lot of little girls that love “boy” colours and “boy” things. They are all wonderful young people. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m wrapped to have seen this conversation. I am due to have a son in December. My daughter will be nearly 4. I’ve been quite ‘thing’ about what she wears, but more from a modesty point of view than a colour one. Now that I’m having a boy I’m thinking “in what kind of clothes am I to dress him?” I don’t want to push the macho trucks and dinosaurs blue and brown look onto him. My daughter loves trucks and dinosaurs, and her current fave dress is brown with blue ribbon trim.

    I just know that I have 2 or so years to dress him how I like before he gets an opinion, so how am I going to present him? My daughter was all hand knitted matching cardies and bonnets to start with, then the inevitable frills and cupcakes. She was often mistaken for a boy, even with butterflies all over her tshirt, so I did tend to ‘girl’ her up a bit when we went out, just to save people asking all the time.

    Personally, I ask the parent the kid’s name, which usually gives it away, rather than ask for the gender. ahh, what a mine field, I’m so used to buying for a nice little girl, this boy thing has thrown me.

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