We’re sending a massive high-five to U.K. mom Haylee Bazen, who wrote an open letter on Facebook to the stranger who shamed her 3-year-old son for wearing a princess dress.
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Bazen and her son, Zackary, were waiting for a bus when they were approached by a woman who asked her if she was punishing the little boy by making him wear a Queen Elsa dress. When Bazen set the woman straight, telling her that it was Zackary’s choice to wear the dress, the stranger responded by telling the mom that she should be embarrassed and that “boys shouldn’t wear dresses.”
It’s amazing that this mom embraces her son’s interests and passions. More than that — she encourages them. Isn’t that what all parents should do for their kids, regardless of whether those interests match other people’s expectations of what they should be?
There’s so much attention — and rightly so — on how little girls are often forced into certain roles due to ingrained sexist attitudes in society. But what about little boys? Sexism goes both ways, after all. If a little girl likes superheroes and plays with cars instead of dolls, most people think it’s cute. Or funny. The worst that normally happens is that she gets labeled a tomboy. Why is it so different for a little boy who likes princesses? Do we really live in a world where people think a boy would wear a princess dress only as punishment?
Modern moms are increasingly called upon to stand up for their daughters, to teach them that anything boys can do, they can do too, and to give them the tools and knowledge they need to assert themselves in a male-dominated world. It’s time more of us did the same for our sons. They too can be whatever they want to be, whether that’s a princess or something else entirely.
In response to Bazen’s Facebook post, other moms have been sharing photos of their own sons in princess dresses. Keep them coming, we say. Let’s let kids be kids and remind random people at bus stops to mind their own business.
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