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


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

matobe matobe

Yeah, how 'bout we DON'T? I hate that do many parents are in the "they have to express themselves!" Mentality. Where is the GUIDANCE? Where is the DIRECTION? We should be more in-tuned to what our children want to be when they grow up and GUIDE them in that direction (even though its likely to change a 'hunnit kabillion times' -which is where our adult ability of TRANSITION and ADAPTATION comes in!) as opposed to letting them "express themselves" in a direction that will lead them to self-focus, blatant disrespect for the rest of society and their opinions, because regardless of what you say, what other people think of you determines how far we get in life! You don't get to be a good doctor if people don't like you! If you dress like a Broadway whore, they're likely NOT to hire you at the prestigious boarding school you've been slaving away at becoming a professor at... I'm just saying, if you don't have enough respect for others to abide by (within reason) social "norms" or in the "acceptable" directives of society, then you don't have room to complain when your kid gets picked on or doesn't excel at their dreams. Who's to say someone else won't be hurt or offended by what your kid is wearing? How do you know what kind of shame others are living with? What about the next boy in class whose dad beats him and locks him in his room

matobe matobe

when HE asks for some cool pink shoes? Our mission is to get through this life by reducing stress. We breathe to prevent stress on our bodies. We eat to relieve our stomachs. We work to relieve our needs. We should also be helping our kids to understand how to reduce stress. Not ask for it.

Jamie Lechner

I hate all the power people give to such foolish things. Gender has NO color. For MANY years tights and heels were for MEN! Only now are they seen as "women's things". My son chose and wore pink sleepers with roses on them as a toddler. Painted his nails alongside me and enjoyed getting his hair done. My daughter enjoys hand my down cowboy booys, overalls and mud holes. I do not tolerate sexism in my home nor do I let it determine who my kids are. If you want your kids to be molded more by society than by you... that's your problem. My kids are MINE and will be raised MY way.
Oh yes, and I grew up a FULL-ON tomboy. I can do more under the hood of a car than most men I know. 

momma... mommajenn818

Children need to be taught from a young age to believe in themselves and their choices. Wearing something, or not wearing something, just because everyone else is (or isn't) is just teaching your child to belong, to go along with the crowd. So many people above me said that when they're older and understand what they're getting into, then it would be okay. But you've already taught them by that age to fit in. So, author, I hope that when your child is a freshman in high school, and is told that everyone smokes, drinks, does drugs, etc, that they forget that you taught them to take the easy way out to avoid being teased and suddenly become their own person. I, for one, am glad that I taught my son to be his own person, to not care what anyone else thinks, and to be proud of who he is at all times.


monke... monkeymom1104

First off you can't be "turned gay". And if little pink shoes make my child happy so be it!!. When my son was three he went to daycare with nail polish on and he got slack from a teachers aide there ( his sister was eight and we did nails the night before) lets just say she got quite the ear full picking on a three yr old. I mean really? Any adult that picks on a child has issues. This whole article is off point, it should focus more on teaching parents to educate their children that people are different. And gender is not so black and white.

nonmember avatar Sully

He's wearing girls shoes. They shouldn't be surprised or angry when others find it a poor choice. Kids can be mean. It sounds so progressive that we should teach our kids to be accepting and kind - but they aren't always. Kids zero in on differences, however minor, and can be relentless. And really, would most of you be ok with your male boss wearing womens clothing? Your husband? High heels and a suit at a your daughter's wedding? Why do it to a child, who is ill-prepared for the emotional fallout that could occur.

gamma... gammachris

The kid wants to wear pink shoes. THEY"RE PINK SHOES!!!! WHO CARES??? Warn your kid there are some less evolved creatures on the planet, and let him go. I want my kids to be able to define themselves with their clothing choices. As long as they're decent and reasonably clean, I let them alone.

Arlene Serna

It seems like the adults are the ones with the issue here. Children really couldn't care less. We as parents are supposed to be proud of our children and support all of their choices. If we are ashamed or embarrassed of them then others will see this as a opportunity to ridicule. A good parent would encourage self confidence within their child not make them feel insecure.

Bette Gorlitz

The stupid reactions of adults are more likely to affect him socially. I agree with the mother who let him wear the shoes. He may or may not grow out of his interest in pink shoes depending on his own personality naturally if he is just allowed to be who he is now.

nonmember avatar Samantha

Well put momma jenn. Kids are hard to raise, it seems were damned if we do & damned if we dont, but the one thing we try to teach our kids is to push boundaries, to think outside of the box, to fight for what they believe in. Why are we so determined to put our own view into that mix? They shouldnt be disrespectful of others personal choices, they should be taught how to respect others, and they should be confident enough to make their own personal choices. They shouldnt confine & restrict themselves bc society is doing something different than them & doesnt approve of their choices.

21-30 of 321 comments First 12345 Last