Amy Przeworski Ph.D.

Don't Worry, Mom

The Bravery of a Princess

Pint-sized inspiration to be who you are

Posted Oct 30, 2014

I wondered what his parents thought when he picked that out at the store. Did they question whether they should get it for him? Did they wonder if other kids would tease him for his choice? Or did they embrace it because it was his choice and his happiness is what matters the most?

I have friends who have made similar choices; parents who have raised their boys wearing pink boas and My Little Pony costumes. These friends love their kid completely, including loving the bravery it takes to be who they are despite it defying social norms. I wish that we all had that bravery and embraced our choices and our personality the way that little boy dressed as Anna did.

But too often, we get stuck in gender roles and can't find a way to get out of them. Stores have separate boys' and girls' sections, even from infancy, and no matter how hard you try, it's difficult to find clothes that are gender neutral so too often you end up smothering your daughter in pink and purple ruffles and bows and your boy in sports-themed blue clothing. Movies and tv shows teach kids what their roles are--boys are meant to be princes who save damsels in distress, girls are meant to wear gowns and wait patiently to be saved. And although there is a trend in recently produced tv shows and movies to feature girls as pirates, superheroes, and doctors and to demonstrate that princesses can be brave and even save a prince sometimes, there still aren't many models for boys teaching them that they can be who they want to be. There still aren't many shows teaching kids to embrace one another's differences and be who they are.

So this Halloween, and for every day from here on, I will think about the bravery of this little boy and his happiness in being himself and feel inspired by parents who love their child and stand by him just for being him.

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