There have been a lot of steps taken to remove the gendered stereotypes that surround kids’ toys. Stores are removing the gendered aisles and letting toys just exist on the shelves based on categories. Toys are being marketed more directly to kids instead of specifically to boys or girls.
This is all wonderful. But there is still a stigma placed on kids for playing with toys or engaging in activities that aren’t “meant” for their gender. And that is sad.
In a new viral video, father of two, Mikki Willis of Ojai, California, shows off the results of his son’s latest visit to the toy store.
Four-year-old Azai picked up a Disney Princess Ariel doll and you know what, his dad was pretty happy about it.
How would you feel if your son chose this??
Posted by Mikki Willis on Friday, August 21, 2015
“How do you think a dad feels when his son wants to get this [doll]?” Willis asks. “I let my boys choose their life. Choose your expression. Choose what you’re into. Choose your sexuality. Choose whatever.”
On the one hand, can I get an Amen? Willis is a great example of how parents should act—and let’s please remember that choosing a doll or choosing a dump truck does not define a child in any way.
But on the other hand, I wish we didn’t have to celebrate Willis’ reaction. Wouldn’t it be lovely if it was just seen as the norm for parents and society to accept kids no matter what toy they choose to pick up off the shelf, or to delve even deeper, no matter what gender identity the choose?
Until we reach that point, until we can all let go of these societal gender expectations, I for one am very grateful for Willis and for all the parents like Willis, who teach their children that you can indeed “choose whatever” despite what the world around you says.