Guest Post By: Lexie Wilkes
Lately I’ve been noticing the way people look at children and the comments they tend to make.
I think that there is a large group of people in our country that are unaware of the weight of the comments they make to and about children in their presence. I don’t believe that all of these people are close minded, I just think that maybe they don’t have children of their own or maybe they haven’t spent much time around people who live outside of social norms. It isn’t that these people are bullies, or bad people, it’s just that they are uneducated and truly don’t see past the black and white of what they are saying. The fact is that life isn’t black and white, life and people are so many shades of grey in between and maybe it’s a bit ignorant of them, that just means the rest of us need to stand up and educate them on the weight and capacity of their verbiage. I whole-heartedly believe that, because I used to be one of those people.
I babysit frequently, and every child I watch is so different in every way. They are all so incredible though. I admire their authenticity to be who they are and be whatever they want to be. Maybe it is because I live work in New York City, but I notice that these children have the ability and courage to live authentically because they live with parents who not only let them be who they are, but encourage it despite social mores. Parents who give them the most honest, and real sense of safety and make them feel so loved, no matter what they are feeling, or thinking. I think that is so important, and so beautiful.
Just because their home environments are so open minded and unconditionally accepting doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. Which can cause hurt feelings, or misgivings about how these innocent children perceive themselves, or make them doubt who they are or the sense of fashion that they have. even when its unintentional it needs to be brought to light so that people can be more aware of their comments and questions. For instance, I watch a little boy with long beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes. People always ask me how old “she is” or my favorite, “Is that a boy or a girl?”
I feel so hurt for him when they say these things, or ask these questions. Because frankly it is none of their business. And secondly, he loves being a little boy, he just likes his hair long. That’s it, end of story.
My point is that your hair or your fashion style should not have to define your gender. Look at Fabio, Dog The Bounty Hunter, Led Zeppelin, and surfer dudes hangin’ ten everywhere. There is no rule book. There are no guidelines. The lines between female and male fashion and personal style is an imaginary one created by humans. It needs to be erased because there is nothing more beautiful than showing and being who you truly are, no matter if you choose to present it through your hair or your clothes or the color of your nails, your gender doesn’t define you. And it shouldn’t define our children either.