Posted by: laurakoepsell | January 16, 2014

The Lesson of the Boy in the Pink Ballet Flats

The Lesson of the Boy in the Pink Ballet Flats

I know we talked about this story in class, but I thought I would post the article! Major props to the mom for letting her son be himself. I only wish more parents could learn to embrace and support their children’s interests and preferences, no matter the gender roles assigned to them. Also that children would learn to embrace and support their own interests and preferences along with their classmates’ and friends’. 


  1. I think it is so great to see parents today closing the gender gap and allowing their children to express themselves in ways past generations thought unimaginable. So the little boy wants pink shoes – so what?! Freedom of expression definitely correlates with demonstrating feminine qualities and clothing choices in males, and vice versa. However, I think that many parents are hesitant to do so due to media scrutiny, and the general public’s assumptions and conclusions they would make by seeing boys or girls in non-traditional ways.

  2. I agree with what both of y’all are saying. In one of my sociology classes we discussed how society shapes everyone. My professor discussed how society tells men to be strong and dominant and if they cannot be that then they are not living up to their true potential. My professor also pointed out how because society is telling me to be aggressive we are basically creating murders. Society puts so much pressure on everyone to stick to their “gender roles” and when people don’t they get ridiculed for it. The pressures of society is what is causing people to hurt one another and themselves. So I’m glad this woman allowed her son to pick whatever shoes he wanted instead of forcing him to wear shoes that were considered for boys.

  3. I think that this mom is a pioneer for boys who defy the gender roles set for them. I think society is more accepting now of girls wanting to play and wear boy things because its “tomboy.” However when boys want to wear and play with girl things society just cannot accept it. I wonder how long it will take for society to not see this as such a big shock, hopefully with more moms like this it will come soon.

  4. I agree with each persons comment about the parent for supporting her sons choice to wear “feminine” shoes. The mother and her son are both great role models for how kids should have the option to really explore aspects of gender.
    As I read this article, I wanted to completly disagree with the other parents reactions and label them to be the reason gender roles are a problem in the first place. Unfortunately, I believe they bring up a good point. It is possible that this son will be made fun of and it could cause a devistating reaction from the boy. We do not live in a perfect society where just because it is the right thing to do, they will just accept that the boy wanted pink shoes. It is a hard fight and an even harder decision to use yourself or your son, in this case, to be a pioneer for the “right” choice.

  5. I agree with the comments from my classmates above me. It is wonderful that society has finally started to accept women who wear jeans rather than dresses, prefer the color blue over pink, want their hair to be short instead of long, etc., but it is a shame that it seems as though much of society still hasn’t accepted boys who want to wear feminine-like clothing or act feminine. If it is okay for girls then why isn’t it okay for boys, too? It makes me happy to hear that parents out there support their children, allowing them to make their own choices and give them the freedom to wear what they want to wear- whether it is considered to be too “feminine” or “masculine” or whatever. It all starts with one person to make a difference, so maybe (and hopefully) if we start seeing more parents with this attitude, then society will eventually catch on and adapt the same or similar ways of thinking and make this idea more socially acceptable.

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