The princess costume and the trick-or-treat dilemma
From the LA Times: Glendora moms face a difficult choice on their son’s choice of holiday garb: Protect his independent spirit or his tender feelings?
A few weeks ago, the 4-year-old boy’s desire to trick-or-treat as a princess sparked a dilemma for his two moms, Anna and Louisa Villeneuve: Which do you honor and protect, your child’s independent spirit or tender feelings?
“My first reaction was ‘He wants to be a princess? We’re there!‘ ” said mama Anna. But almost everybody she talked with about Luc’s intention told her, “Whoa; that’s a bad, bad, bad idea.”
For a girl who grew up wanting to dress like a boy, Luc’s choice felt like a blow against stereotyping. “But I’m trying to leave my inner activist at home,” she said, “and just do what’s best for my son. “It’s one thing to say ‘Son, you can be anything you want. Our society needs to be less uptight.”
It’s another thing entirely to consider how a boy in a princess dress will be treated when all the other boys are trick-or-treating in Superman or Power Rangers costumes.
“I want to encourage him to stand up and be himself,” she said. “But my 4-year-old is too little and too fragile to know where the social boundaries are. And I don’t want his feelings hurt on what should be one of his happiest nights.”
All year long, he’s been donning princess garb in the dress-up corner at his preschool. The adults in his life are fine with that. The little girls, however, have a problem with it. “Boys can’t be princesses,” they tell Luc, designating him a “wizard” instead.
The moms still haven’t decided what costume they will allow Luc to wear. Luc liked a “prince” costume, then wanted to be a “cannon”. Read the rest of the story here.
I do applaud these women for considering the social implications of a boy dressing as a princess. It is not normal for a young boy to want to dress up as a girl. That is why it is the parents’ responsibility to teach children the social boundaries of our society. And if they allow him to break those, they must be prepared to help young Luc deal with the consequences.