Gender Specific Boots?

I’m sitting here, at a local restaurant, and I just finished eating a bagel. Yuri has finished his bagel and is playing with a couple other children in the play area – both are a little bit older than him. The other children are brother and sister and both parties have already been warned to share and take turns on the slide by parents. Then I hear the little girl (who is closer to Yuri’s age than the boy) say, “Why are you wearing pink?”

Instantly I felt an urge to defend my baby boy. But there was no need to. I hear these words come from my little dude, “These are my boots. They have polka-dots on them. We went to [a local sports store] and mama got me these ones because I liked them… and I really like them.” This statement was made by someone of such small stature, yet it made a huge impact on my heart. I don’t need to defend him from other people’s children because he can do it by himself… just by being himself.

Yuri Taylor, just a boy of the age of three, has given me more inspiration in these short years than any of hundreds of people have given me in all of my life. I tell almost everyone I meet that I learn more from him than he does from me every single day. The story he told that little girl was the absolute truth. Exactly the way it was told. He needed rain boots, there were black ones, camouflage, and sparkly polk-a-dots – they all light up – and he wanted the polk-a-dot ones. I even tried to talk him into getting the black ones, but the words were pointless, he insisted on the polk-a-dots. I worried about other children hassling him and poking fun. What happened here today is exactly why I worry. Yuri was able to fade those fears slightly.

I don’t necessarily blame the parents for the little girls obvious boy-girl stereotype. It is something to hold against society. What’s it matter if a boy wears sparkles and polk-a-dots and pink? Or if a girl wears all camo and super-hero apparel? That ‘s just it – it doesn’t matter. If my kid really wants some pink, shooting star, and rainbow socks – not simple white ones – then he can have ’em.

All I can hope is for other parents to teach their children to understand without any judgement. Because a bullied child is heartbreaking to any parent.
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20 thoughts on “Gender Specific Boots?

  1. April C. says:

    I wish these stereotypes didn’t exist. My one-year daughter often gets called out as a boy because she doesn’t wear pink all that often and has superhero shirts and we’ve chosen not to pierce her ears until she decides she wants them.

    This post was beautiful. Almost as beautiful as your little boy.

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  2. Stereotypes need to get some boots made for walking and take a hike πŸ˜‰ So glad you allow your son to express his personality…sounds like he’s got a beautiful, confident soul.

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    • I like that.. “stereotypes need to get some boots made for walking”.. I have always found that self-expression is one of the greatest coping mechanisms within “the real world”. I try to encourage my little one whenever I can. πŸ™‚

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  3. I learn so much from my kids. They are teaching me what it means to break the stereotypes. My son likes his nails polished and my daughter only wants to wear her brother’s Lightning McQueen shoes!

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    • To be honest, there are stereotypes that I can’t seem to un-grip. I believe we all come across them from time to time. The important thing is that we recognize it and take the time to contemplate whether it is something to make a big fuss about or to simply not.

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  4. ahh the stereotypes. when i found out i was having a girl, i wasn’t thrilled with the idea of being submerged in pink, frill, high pitched screaming, Barbies, etc, etc. though i’m a woman, i’m not very girly. but more than anything i was happy she was healthy and i figured the rest would work its way out– i wouldn’t be buying any pink crap or turning her into a princess. and i didn’t. not until she started asking for it after turning 1 and got her first baby doll that toted around for a good 8 months everywhere she went. then the way her eyes would light up at the sight of pink… i knew i was in trouble. now my 4.5 year old is ALL girl. i mean, she’s everything i feared about girls. haha. i’ve heard her talk about Boy things and Girl things and i’ve always set her straight but man it’s hard when everything is either pink or blue.

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  5. This post was amazing! Stereotypes are harmful, and allowing children to do what they want is one of the best things parents can do today. Hell, I wore my brother’s clothes for years! Freedom of expression is, for lack of a better word, liberating. Well done πŸ™‚

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