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

Rant 321

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

321 Comments

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amber... ambertreas76

Ditto @ Pinkiman's reply!  My son is 4 and he asks to wear his 3 year old sister's skirts.  I tell him no and tell him that they are girls' clothes.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

Yea..I am sorry..but you are setting your child up for unnecessary bullying and torment. If he/she wants to express themselves... let them do it when they actually know what they are doing...not in preschool when lets be honest...its the parents that wanted to make a big scene...not the child. A child at that age doesn't know about "expressing" themselves. Just because he wanted to possibly wear his sisters shoes to school one day doesn't mean you actually let them...

nonmember avatar Samantha

It may be wrong for kids to curse, but id teach my son how to say f.u. Specifically for these situations. If you tell the kid that other kids may make fun of him & he still chooses it, give that awesome little shit some props. If i had a son who was that strong willed & determined & confident, id be proud as peaches.

Anna Bobana

Why are we teaching our kids "dont get bullied" rather than NOT TO BE A BULLY.
This is ridiculous. We need to start breaking down gender stereotypes at a young age so that we can eliminate bullying at it's source

2cuti... 2cutiesmommy

Would you let your girl wear blue shoes?  What's the big deal? 

corri... corrinacs

I dont' see a problem with it either.  My son wants a hello kitty shirt LOL.  I don't know why, but he LOVES hello kitty.  To each thier own.  If he gets picked on, he knows how to handle himself.  He's sensitive, but at the same time, he's 5.

NCISf... NCISfan2003

No way in hell. I have a boy and he will dress like a boy. Not that he would want to wear pinik, he despises pink and purple.

the4m... the4mutts

I wish I could post a picture of my 3y/o in his favorite outfit. Its an orange princess dress that belongs to his sisters, and the dinosaur hood to his halloween costume. He will break down in tears if I make him take it off... why would I od that to him at only age 3? He doesn't understand why he "can't" wear it to the grocery store, so I let him. Nobody has ever said anything rude, and its obvious that he's a boy. Some older people have laughed good naturedly, and told him "ahww what a pretty dinosaur!" He says "yeah! I'm an awesome princess dino!"

They're onl young once. Why neglect myself and them of the only time in their lives when its okay to look like a goofus?

nonmember avatar Samantha

We need to instil confidence in our children starting young. Teach them how to deflect the rude opinions of idiots with intelligence. Fu may not be the best response, but it would be well deserved. Teach kids about their rights & the rights of others. Teach them that if they like something & it is not litterally harming them or someone else, then its no one elses business & no ones right to make them stop. Even at 6 they can be taught this. At 3 or 4 they can be taught this. They need a few hard knocks in life anyways. Let them make their own choices, and if it doesnt work out, THEY will choose not to do it again. Its part of growing up. They need the freedom to make choices, good, bad, & different.

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