It’s bright and early Saturday morning. My two kids, who are 5 and 2.5, start the day by jumping on me in my bed. “Mommy, please get up and play with us!” “Ugh!” I glance down at the clock. It’s 7 am.
Did I mention I am not a morning person? I roll over and groan, “Ten more minutes.” I know they’ll be back in 5, jumping on me again! Suddenly my eyes open.
It’s 7:15, and the house is quiet.
I know what that means—TROUBLE! When all is silent in the house, my children are typically up to no good!
I walk out in the family room, expecting to find toys strewn all across the floor or to see the kids watching television when they don’t have permission to do so. But instead I find my daughter dressed in her Elsa costume from Frozen and my son dressed in her Anna costume. They’re both twirling around the floor like princesses do. Both are laughing hysterically, and turning so much that they are becoming dizzy.
I have to admit. At first I am a bit taken aback. Should I take the dress off my son and say, “Well you’ve had your fun, now it’s time to get dressed and start our day.”? After all, that is what I’ve been taught I should do. Boys shouldn’t wear dresses, they say. Right? But instead of doing that, I just let them be. They are having so much fun and doing nothing wrong. Why shouldn’t I just let them continue?
By about 9:30 am, it’s really time for them to get dressed so we can start the grocery shopping, Saturday morning grind.
My daughter pleads with me. “Mommy, can I please wear my Elsa costume while we go shopping?” I start to take the Anna costume off my son, and he begins to scream bloody murder. He’s holding onto his costume for dear life. I realize by his signing and motioning that he too wants to keep his Anna costume on while we shop.
What do I do? Do I let him do what he wants, or do I take that costume off and dress him in his “typical boy clothes”? Then it all hit me. Why am I even asking myself this question in the first place when I have no hesitations about letting my daughter keep her costume?
My daughter and my son love the movie Frozen. To them, Elsa and Anna are superstars. To them, being a princess means that you are a spectacular being with magical powers.
It’s time for me to take a look at myself. Why would I prevent my son from being happy, because he was so happy to be wearing that costume? What am I so afraid of? What other people think of me or of my son? The comments they may make and how those remarks could affect or hurt him? Isn’t it better to let him be who he wants and wear what he wants? Isn’t it better to teach him to have confidence in himself and what he loves despite what others may say?
When we see young boys portrayed in the media or in marketing, they’re always shown climbing, rough-housing, getting dirty, or playing with cars and trains. You know, hyperactive boy things. We don’t really see pictures of boys playing kitchenette, taking care of their baby dolls, or dressing in princess costumes. Our sons will grow up in a society that tells them to repress their emotions, have no empathy, show no mercy, man up, and squelch anything inside them that is viewed as “feminine” or “weak”. Must it start already?
On this day, I decided to let him wear what he wanted. I wanted to show him, even at his young age, that he should be confident in his own skin and not worry what other people say about him.
So . . .off we go—leaving the house in full princess garb. Monoprix here we come . . . me, Elsa and Anna!
And when we got there, do you know what happened? Nothing! No one said anything.
I was waiting for the first comment about what beautiful daughters I have. I had prepared an entire speech for the first person to ask why I let my son wear a princess costume. But in fact, no one made any comment. Not at the grocery store, not at the market getting vegetables, not at the butcher, and not at the park after all that. That’s right folks. I made up that entire dialog and drama in my head, and my son never knew the difference.
But one thing is clear . . . he certainly was happy in his Anna dress. And the best part was watching him twirl endlessly with his sister in the bright sun of that beautiful Indian summer September day.
Does your little boy want to dress up like a princess too? Share your story and your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article initially appeared on Apiki.co blog.
"Anyone that know us, knows we generally let Caiden make his own choses, to an extent. Well he has decided on a Halloween costume. He wants to be Elsa.He also wants to be Anna. Game on.
Keep your masculine bullshit and slutty kids costumes, Halloween is about children pretending to be their favorite characters. Just so happens this week his is a princess." Paul Henson
This Norwegian dad dressed up in an Elsa costume with his son to show him it was important to “let it go” and be himself.
Laura Drewett is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pourquoi Princesse. She’s also a mom to a boisterous, vivacious little girl and a calm, cuddly little boy. An American, she lives in the south of France with her husband and kids.