Photographer Kitty Wolf has gone viral on Facebook with a project called Boys Can Be Princesses Too, which acknowledges something that anyone how has spent time around children will know: kids aren’t as attached to gender as adults force them to be. Lots of little boys grow up watching the same Disney movies as everyone else and idolizing the princesses having adventures, dressing up, and singing their iconic songs, just like little girls do. Unfortunately, there is still plenty of backlash whenever a boy wants to buck those constrictive gender norms and wear a beautiful crown. Even adult dads get roasted by conservatives online for playing dress-up with their kids. It’s a sad state.
That’s why this project has become so important to Wolf, who wrote on the series’ Facebook page that she designed the photographs “to show support for kids and parents of kids that choose to play as princesses, no matter their gender.”
She adds that by “putting more pictures of boys as princesses out into the world, we show everyone that it’s ok to play as whoever you want, even if it’s a boy in a ballgown.”
The images show adults who cosplay as Disney princesses posing and playing with little boys dressed up as their counterpart, making magic and smiling like it is the greatest day of their lives. Just looking at them will bring the exact same smile to your face.
Anna and Elsa:
Wolf was interviewed by Parents, and said that the idea took hold after the release of a Gillette commercial that looked at issues around toxic masculinity. She said it reminded her of little boys being “princess-shamed,” specifically two separate times she saw a boy dressed as a princess—one situation where the kid was accepted and having a ball, and another time when a different child was bullied.
“I could see it upset him,” said Wolf. “I told them we can all be whatever we want to be when we play, and they all continued playing nicely. That interaction sat with me for a long time though.”
“Society seems to have no problem when girls play as male superheroes, like Thor and Iron Man, but lots of people get offended to their very core if a boy wears a princess dress,” Wolf explained to Red Tricycle, in a separate interview.
The more kids who get to feel the magic of acceptance, the better.