Again, on the topic of Halloween costumes, I came across this video for the show What Would You Do? A reality show that documents actors going undercover to see what unsuspecting people would do in certain situations. In this case, a woman and her child are arguing over which Halloween costume is appropriate for his gender (later in the segment, they switch in a girl). The boy wants to wear a princess costume and the girl a spiderman outfit.
It is all mothers who weigh in on the argument, all telling the children that they should dress in gender appropriate clothing. One woman states in an interview after the fact that she was just trying to protect the child from bullies.
Gender norms are something that society has constructed. No one is born thinking that they should wear a dress or play with trucks, they are told to do so by their parents and society. In response to the woman who sought to protect the child from potential bullying, I say that if more people allowed their children to dress anyway that they wanted, whether its a boy who wants to dress as Belle or a girl wishing to dig in the yard with her trucks, then it wouldn’t be so unfathomable to see these children experimenting.
The central issue being brought up is the fact that these children could be showing behavior that indicates that they could be, gasp, gay. Seeing as it is the 21st century and that society is seemingly more open, I wouldn’t think this would still be an issue. Alas, small minded people still exist.
Speaking as a woman who likes women, I can say that I played with Barbies, dressed up as princesses and took part in the game “house” as the mother. What a child may be interested in gives no indication to what their sexual orientation is. It is here that I deem the term” phase” to be acceptable. Children are, by their nature, exploring. They may be into girlie things one day and boyish the next. Or, the “phase” might last forever, leaving you with a boy who likes to dress up as a female character. So what.
I have dressed up in drag in recent years and can say that it is absolutely exhilarating to switch genders, even for a night. It changed the way I walked and presented my self so I encourage everyone to try it (Halloween is an excellent venue folks..).
If everyone was the same, had the same look, the same toys even the same inner self, life would be boring. Expressing yourself is one of the best parts about life whether it be through your clothes, hair or how you share your opinion.
Below is another excellent video of a very opinionated young lady who brings a tear to my eye and hope to my heart that more children, and parents, will someday think like this.