Mom Who Let Son Wear Pink Shoes to Preschool Was Asking for Controversy

Rant 322

pink shoesAfter seeing a post on Facebook about a little boy named Sam who wore pink shoes for his first day of preschool, which ultimately sparked controversy from his mom's family and friends -- I couldn't help but feel kind of bad for the poor kid.

Because even though he'd chosen the shoes himself and still wanted to wear them even after his mother explained that they were meant for a little girl, he still wound up with people whispering behind his back and making nasty remarks about him. (Shocker.)

I'm sure you can guess the negative kinds of the things that were said about his pink shoes, such as -- "That will turn him gay." "Things like this will affect him socially." It's just "wrong," yada, yada, yada.

And for those exact reasons, like being unnecessarily teased, ridiculed, whispered about, or looked at in a funny way -- I wouldn't let my own son wear a pair of pink shoes to school. Because at only 6 years old and being in the first grade, I'm just not sure it's fair to subject him to being bullied or treated unfairly all because most people associate pink with girls and blue with boys (and so on and so forth).

Yes, I get the whole "we should let kids be free to express themselves" thing, and I'll be the first to say "more power" to this mom for taking a chance and letting Sam go off to preschool in his pink zebra print flats.

Luckily, he wasn't given a hard time by the other kids at his school, but I'm just not sure that would be the case in elementary school. Preschool is a safe little haven where the kids are still fairly innocent and accepting of new ideas and differences, but big kid school is an entirely different story.

Somehow I'm guessing if my son were to put on that same pair of shoes -- he wouldn't even make it through the five-minute bus ride to school in the morning before someone laughed at him, asked him why in the heck he was wearing pink shoes, spewed all sorts of mean jokes his way, or told him he was dressed like a girl.

And if he were in the same boat as Sam and had chosen the shoes himself and been all excited about wearing them, I know that insults and ridicule from his peers would absolutely crush him -- which would in turn make him less enthusiastic about expressing himself in the future.

I mean, I think I'd feel differently if he were in middle school or high school and could put on those shoes all while knowing he'd probably be bullied for it, because at that point he'd be less likely to take any mean comments to heart. 

But at the tender age of 6? Yeah, his little self-esteem just isn't ready for that sort of torture, and as his mother, it's my job to protect him as best I can.

That being said, if he really wanted a pair of pink shoes, I'd buy him the shoes and let him wear them around the house at home where he's free from outside judgement.

Other than the privacy of our own home, however, we're sticking to sneakers and other "boy" shoes and all other items of clothing. Bullying is bad enough as it is without handing tormentors their material on a silver platter.

Ok, your turn. Would you let your little boy wear pink shoes to school?

 

Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

shoes, bullies, boys

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bleed... bleedingheart8D

Girls wear "boy" colors all the time. People need to get over thermselves. It's a freaking color.

nonmember avatar Celia

^agree

Children are some of the most unbiased creatures on earth which is why the little boy thought it was ok to wear them to begin with. It's not until adults get their panties in a twist about it. Pink is just a color. To make a little boy feel bad wearing a 'girls' color is awful and gives the idea that he is above females. Just yesterday my nephew who is 5 said that women are inferior to him, his parents don't teach him that, needless to say I was very disappointed

amiec... amiecanflie

Wow. Just wow. Get over yourself. He's a sweet little boy who jsut wants to wear cool shoes. We need to stop with all this "boy" and "girl" classification stuff.

proud... proudmomma6804

Uh while it may be just a color the fact is society still deems blue a boy color and pink a girl color. Sending a little boy to school with pink shoes is most likely going to get him made fun of. Not that its right but unfortunately

Pinkmani Pinkmani

This whole "let your kid express themselves" crap should only apply to when the kid can stand up for themselves. Dress them like every other kid until they are able to give an "F.U." on their own. You have no idea what you're doing to their self-esteem at such an early age. 

nonmember avatar kaerae

@Proud mama - no, you're only half right. When did a girl ever get picked on for wearing blue?

bills... billsfan1104

I do not understand why it is so wrong to have gender specific things.  IT doesnt  mean that you dont love your kids, or a bully or mean.  Sometimes I think that mothers who do this, want to prove to the world that they are not homophobic or they are "cool". 


I agree with Pinkmani.  She is absolutly right.

the4m... the4mutts

My kids? Psh. I wouldn't blink twice. My 9yr old son has no shame what-so-ever. Kids have tried to make fun of him for numerous things, and he turns around, looks at them like they're stupid and says "so what?" Can't really argue with that. He's worn pink dress shirts for school pictures, and when a girl told him pink was for girls, he told her "so why aren't you wearing pink?" Then walked off, like a boss.

My youngest son is 3, but man, this kid is a SHIT! I can't imagine what would come out of his mouth if someone made fun of him. The bully would probably end up crying.

My kids never start confrontation. They're sweet natured kids. But living with me, they're all 4 smart-asses, and quick witted. They have no problem handling their own problems.

You have to know your kid, and know what they can take. I DO wish there was no bullying, but it exists. If you're going to let your kid do things that could get them made fun of, you have to know they can handle it, or be pepared to spend 90% of your time at the school dealing with conflict.

Jess Townsend

Author: YOU are part of the problem.

Jamie Murray

I personally don't see a problem.  Now if my son wanted to wear pink. I will explain to him others may not like it, but he shouldn't be afraid of what others think of him.  I would want him to be himself.  Be proud of who he is, no matter what others think of him.  Pink is just a color.  Now my parents and boyfriend may disagree, but it doesn't matter.

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