In response to Crazy Grad Mama’s post on Raising a boy in a world of gender stereotypes
Sweat was dripping down my forehead. I had just finished ironing a little oxford shirt in piqué cotton, in the most stylish baby pink color. It matched so cute with the gray herringbone vest, blazer and dress pants. This was the outfit for my plus-one for the wedding I had been invited too. I felt pretty pathetic having a three-year old as my plus-one, but hey, back then, being a single mom I Iearned to quickly get over myself.
I turned to my son and started dressing him, fidgeting with those tiny buttons of his shirt, tucking it as neatly as I could in his dress pants. If Instagram existed back then, he would be SOOO #ootd #boystyle #cooltoddler #hipsterboy and any other popular hashtag I don’t know the existence of. Now it’s time to find me something fancy and not too outdated in my mom closet. I stare away at my closet, until I hear a little squeal.
My hipster boy is plucking at his shirt.
“Shirt is not pretty.”
I try to coo and convince him with a neverending ‘Onohoneyitisbeautifulyouaresuchahandsomeandbigboy’ but it’s hopeless.
“Pink shirt is for girls. Not pretty.”
I try again to make him see it from my picture perfect point of view but he is determined. Every minute he’s looking unhappier, to the point he’s about to cry of desperation. I sigh. I pull a worn out petrol shirt from his closet. It’s already slightly too small and it looks dark and gloomy with his gray herringbone suit. But it’s the only dress shirt I can find. I hold it up to him. His eyes light up.
“Blue is for boys. Blue is pretty.”
He smiles triumphantly.
I turn to the ironing board again. I think I have to shower again before dressing myself. Damned shirts. Damned society for hijacking a color for one sex only.