If you couldn’t guess by now, I’m all about combatting gender stereotypes. So, when I discovered a new social media campaign aimed at breaking down stereotypes for boys, I was all about it.
Mom Martine Zoer, whose clothing line Quirkie Kids sells pink T-shirts for both girls and boys, has launched the #StillABoy campaign and Instagram account as a reaction to criticism that her business was “robbing kids of their gender.” She explained in The Huffington Post:
“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.’ I hope the campaign becomes a celebration of boyhood and gets people talking about what it means to be a boy”
The Instagram account illustrates that boys don’t have set interests–they’re individuals with varied preferences, ranging from enjoying to playing with action figures, holding hands, and playing with dolls. Zoer is no stranger to the worlds of little boys, as she is a mom to her sons Tyler and Tristan. Unfortunately, she feels raising boys in a world where they are so many gendered expectations and assumptions is difficult to watch:
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“My boys have taught me so much. 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.'”
It’s so crucial to reinforce that there’s no right or wrong way to be a boy or girl, woman or man. And it’s never too early to start having these conversations about gender with your kids. Don’t forget to visit @StillABoy_ on Instagram to see Zoer’s collection of photos (and while you’re at it, check out her @StillAGirl account).