Mum Fights Gender Stereotypes With Powerful Instagram Campaign 5 years ago

Mum Fights Gender Stereotypes With Powerful Instagram Campaign

My little boy is a total wild-child.

Like; I am talking proper whirlwind, a digger-obsessed, dino-loving, can't-stay-clean-for-more-than-four-seconds boy.

But; that does not mean that he does not think it's totally fun to play fairies (in full costume) with his big sister. Or that he hasn't been known to toil away hours playing with her My Little Pony castles. Or pretend cook up a storm in the little Ikea play kitchen in our big kitchen.

He also LOVES pink, and will cry big fat crocodile tears if he is not allowed the pink car seat when we are going anywhere in mama's car.

And wouldn't he? Pink is a lovely colour. Toy kitchens are tons of fun. And as for fairy outfits; God; sometimes I wish they made them in adult sizes too.

The thing is; he is doing these things now, because he is two. He has yet to ever be told that he can't, because they are for girls.

And when he reaches an age where someone will tell him that, I will try my very hardest to tell him that they are wrong. And that he can like pink if he so wishes. And that boys cook dinner too (and while play dough pancakes are still all he makes in that toy kitchen, I like to think they are in a way preparing him for a life of sharing dinner duties with his future wife.)

And I am not alone in feeling like little boys are forced into very rigid gender stereotypes from a very young age. Australian mum Martine Zoer, whose clothing line Quirkie Kids offers pink T-shirts for both girls and boys, recently launched the #StillABoy campaign and Instagram account after facing criticism that her business was "robbing kids of their gender."

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"I started using the hashtag #StillABoy as a way of saying, 'Hey … a boy who wears pink is still a boy, just like a girl who wears blue is still a girl,'" Zoer told The Huffington Post.

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When she started noticing other parents tagging photos of their sons with #StillABoy, she decided to create an Instagram account to share the photos.

The gender stereotype-bashing account shows that boys can have a wide spectrum of interests -- from playing with action figures and roughhousing to gently holding hands, playing with dolls and nurturing pets and little siblings.

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As a mom of two little boys, Zoer drew inspiration for the project from her sons Tyler and Tristan. "My boys have taught me so much," she said. "They have so much energy and little common sense. They are wild and sensitive at the same time. It’s a challenge to raise boys in touch with their feelings in a world where they are told to 'man up,' 'suck it up,' and be a 'tough guy.'"

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"I hope the campaign becomes a celebration of boyhood and gets people talking about what it means to be a boy," Zoer continued. Though tradition tells us boys are made of "snips, snails, and puppy dog tails," the mom said, "boys can also be sweet and kind and caring. And yes! A boy who likes pink or plays with dolls is #StillABoy."

What do YOU think? Are we forcing children into gender stereotypes or do they have an innate draw to things that are either considered "masculine" or "feminine"? Join the discussion with us on Twitter at @Herfamilydotie

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