“We need to clean that stuff off his toes after the bath, it’s embarrassing.”
When I heard my husband yell this from the bathroom, at first I was confused, because I had just clipped K’s toenails the day before and was pretty sure they were clean. Then I glanced down at my toes and realized my supposedly open-minded husband was referring to our son’s sparkling blue pedicure.
I cringed a little. Wondering, was it actually embarrassing? Have I wronged our son in some way by indulging his request to have blue toes? Will he someday become a drag queen known as Blue Velvet and my husband will point at me and say it’s all my fault?
It was so cute when he saw me painting my toes and asked specifically for me to paint his big toe. He squealed in delight and waved his foot in the air. Then he pointed to the next toe, “Do this one!” So I did. And he proceeded to point to each toe until he had them all done. I had fun sharing the experience with him. He even let me put a little quick dry top coat on and sat waiting for them to dry. I think it was the first time he sat still all day.
I stopped cringing and second guessing myself after a couple minutes and realized screw that, he can have blue toes if he wants. He’s two. Who the heck cares? So I shouted back they are staying blue unless he wants to be the one to try and take it off.
The next morning we were outside when my neighbor walked by. She complimented the blue toes and added “we do the same thing at our house.” That sentiment was echoed again when I posted the photo online. Apparently, at houses all over the world, little boys are getting their toenails painted! Who knew? Well now I do, and I’m perfectly fine with that 🙂 (of course, I will have to eventually take it off because everybody knows toenail polish can survive a nuclear war)
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When I was little, I won a lot of costume contests. But one contest in particular stands out to me because I didn’t win. I came in second and the winner was dressed as a maid. At first I was upset because my mom and I had worked really hard on my black and white jester costume. But then I talked to the maid and found out “she” was a boy. Mind. Blown.
I absolutely loved it. He was dressed as a girl, dressed as a maid! Double costume! I didn’t question it or think it meant anything weird.
Fast forward to now, when celebrities are getting a lot of attention (and a lot of criticism) for letting their boys dress like girls. First Liev Schreiber letting his son dress as Harley Quinn at San Diego Comic Con, and then today on Yahoo News, another celeb letting their son wear a dress to the opera. My reaction – they’re kids, kids like to play dress-up, so what? But the comments were just awful. So bad I thought some of them must be jokes but they weren’t. Apparently, a lot of people firmly believe that men literally must wear the pants and women wear the dresses, and that anything else is a mental illness.
I’ve found there is a lot of acceptance in the costuming and cosplay community for wearing whatever you want. I dress as traditionally “boy” characters all the time. I like to put my own girly spin on them, but still, I’m an over 40 mom dressed as a boy elf and nobody bats an eye.
My only criticism was about the Harley costume- I wouldn’t let an 8-year-old girl wear tiny sparkly shorts and ripped fishnets, so I definitely wouldn’t let my son wear it. But if he wanted to throw on an Elsa dress and dance around the house? No problem. My mom let me wear a boy’s basketball uniform constantly when I was 2 because that’s what I liked (when I wasn’t prancing around in superhero Underroos) and I turned out fine.
And I’m sure these kids will be fine too. However they turn out, they are fine. They are kids and they will change, and they will try things and they will play dress-up. I just find it funny that women once had to fight to wear pants, and now the men have to fight to be accepted in dresses.