Please read this blog! This mom rocks!
It’s utterly amazing how even on Halloween, boys, old and young alike, are expected to dress up in “masculine” or at the bare minimum, gender neutral costumes, and will get myriad comments if they decide to go out of that box.
I remember back in late October 2007, I was driving the three kid carpool to our Jewish preschool which consisted of my 2½-year-old-son, our 3½-year-old little neighbor girl, and my 4-year-old daughter. Because Jews don’t observe Halloween, there would be no celebrations at their school — they’d have to wait for Purim in February, the “Jewish Halloween” — but I digress. The kids were comparing notes on their Halloween costumes. My 4-year-old daughter proudly announced she would be going as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. Excited chitter chatter could be heard from all three in the backseat. Next our neighbor excitedly shared that she was going as “Ha-wee Pottuh.” My children had not entered the Harry Potter world yet and had little to say on the matter. But our neighbor had enough enthusiasm for three. She gushed that her mommy was going to paint a lightening bolt on her forehead and she would carry a wand! Then it was my son’s turn to share. He matter of factly stated that he was going as Snow White! Of course his sister was entirely aware of that plan and thought nothing of it. But our neighbor, our 3½-year-old baby of a neighbor blurted out, “You can’t go as Snow White! She’s a girl!”
Now this carpool conversation happened to take place when my Handsome in Pink clothing line was merely a seed of an idea. So I had a lot of energy around this subject. I felt very protective of my son. But I remained calm and reviewed with our neighbor that she was herself a girl. And then proceeded from there, “And what is Harry Potter” I asked? “A boy” she promptly responded. But then she had to think hard about this. I could see the little wheels spinning in her head, her poor little mind just couldn’t comprehend the concept that she was already a victim of gender socialization. She just could not find the words to answer my question, “why do you think girls can dress like boys, but boys can’t dress like girls?”
My son did indeed go as Snow White for Halloween, despite the fact that he was the only one in the family not dressed in the Oz theme. My husband was the yellow brick road, I was the Wicked Witch of the West, we had Dorothy, and that handsome homemade tin man costume just sat by the front door. I have to admit, I was really proud of my boy — wouldn’t even succumb to family pressure!