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Boys Can Wear Pink

When I read the story of the mother whose 2-year-old son was harassed by a grown man at Walmart because he was wearing a pink headband, tears literally flowed from my eyes. Before I could even recover from that shocking account someone passed along a photo and article attacking Sandra Bullock’s 3-year-old son for carrying a doll dressed in pink, blaming it on the "gay agenda."

When I saw the picture of Sandra Bullock’s son holding his doll I thought to myself, “He’s practicing to be a good dad one day.” When I saw the picture of the young boy with the pink headband I thought to myself, “He’s so funny! He’ll probably be a creative and vivacious person when he grows up.” But clearly not everyone sees it this way.

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These two boys are toddlers having fun, yet both stories are perfect examples of how gender roles divide this country. They also speak to the “threat” of homosexuality that cause the masses to cringe. Does masculinity have a color? If so, who decided that it does, and why are we blindly following their opinion? Actually, the whole pink is for girls and blue is for boys debacle was created by marketers who wanted to settle on a uniform color in which to sell their wares. It has nothing to do with what boys or girls "like" or are drawn to instinctively.

We need to let go of trying to force our children to be anything other than happy and self-sufficient.

By assigning children a role they should play we overlook the opportunity for the child to truly gauge her individual interests and live a life of fulfillment. Who says allowing a little boy to play with dolls or wear pink will turn him gay or make him less capable of fulfilling his obligations in life? And why is homosexuality seen as a threat to humanity, anyway? Why do we need to protect our sons from being in touch with their natural, caring natures, and how is that "gay"? Is it demeaning to be loving and gentle with others? Quite the opposite, it's actually a sign of strength. Additionally, by blasting these moms who allow their children to play with, and wear nontraditional colors and toys we are telling them embracing femininity is the worst thing a man can do.

We aren’t hunters and gatherers anymore. Today a man can sit in an air-conditioned office all day wearing a pressed suit faced only with the threat of a paper cut damaging his cuticle and still be considered a manly man. We don’t need to condition our boys to be physically aggressive anymore. We need to let go of trying to force our children to be anything other than happy and self-sufficient. As technology has progressed, our brain power has, too. We can now see through the veil of marketing attempts to lump us all in one category so that they can turn us into the perfect consumer and ultimately make a profit.

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Step out of the checkout line. Turn off your television. Allow your little boys to grow up being influenced by every part of their own personalities. Help your sons avoid years of expensive therapy, medication and self-doubt that forcing them to operate within the confines of your expectations will yield them.

Give your children the real gift that life offers them; the gift of choosing who they want to be and how they want to navigate this world. This world is their playground—allow them to have fun.

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