It’s 2019, and people are still worked up about a celebrity kid wearing a dress. Megan Fox appeared on The Talk, where she discussed what it’s like to get constant criticism for how she lets her son dress.
There have been a few pics of Fox’s kids on Instagram that have been hit with comments from people who have a real problem with seeing a little boy in a Princess Elsa costume, even though Noah looks cute as heck:
In that photo from 2017, Noah is four-years-old. Now at six, Noah is still very interested in dresses and fashion—and people on Instagram are mom-shaming Fox because of it.
Fox says she has allowed her son to go to school in whatever he wants to wear, but she says that even at a progressive private school in California, Noah will sometimes get comments about how boys don’t wear dresses and boys “don’t wear pink.” Policing gender expression starts very young! Fox says she’s been teaching Noah to deal with it, not to back down on what he loves.
“We’re going through that now, where I’m trying to teach him to be confident no matter what anyone else says,” Fox told The Talk hosts. “He came home and I was like, ‘How was it? Did any of the friends at school have anything to say?’ And he was like, ‘Well, all the boys laughed when I came in,’ but he’s like, ‘I don’t care, I love dresses too much.'”
What’s really sad is that the boys who were laughing were probably taught that perspective from their parents. The reality is that what people wear according to their gender isn’t a scientifically based phenomenon. There are many parts of the world where it’s normal for a man to wear what might be considered a “dress” here. There have been times in history when pink was considered a masculine color. Women now wear pants!
People get taught what is appropriate or not appropriate to wear through cultural reinforcement, rather than being allowed to explore and experiment the way Noah is doing. And these kids love playing dress-up:
It is true that the world can be a really cruel and horrible place and a little boy wearing clothes that are considered “feminine” can face bullying and danger. But that’s because of adults who teach their own children how to behave, rather than how to be accepting, curious, and open-minded. Noah is a pretty privileged position because he has parents who support him and a fairly progressive school to attend. Let’s make 2020 a year where that’s true for way more children.