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Boys in dresses. Yes or no?

(558 Posts)
spidermama Thu 30-Jun-05 11:34:06

My DS (3.5) loves dresses and butterfly tops and glittery sparkley fairy type stuff. I have no objection. I even bought him a couple of dresses of his own to stop him raiding long-sufferine DD's wardrobe. My only slight worry is teasing from other kids. He wants to wear a dress to pre-school today. What do you think?

Chandra Thu 30-Jun-05 11:39:27

Just for the teasing part of it I would avoid it. Though I wouldn't mind at wearing them at home. Children can be very cruel sometimes and you don't want him to feel labeled, would you?.

I still hear the friends of DH talking between themselves of school years and I normally hear, do you remember X?, yes the one with the snotty nose, the one that couldn't climb stairs properly, etc.

Blu Thu 30-Jun-05 11:39:31

When I left DS in his pre-school nursery this morning, they were all dressed up, with the boys choosing an qual mix of super-hero style cossies 9brought from home, I suspect) and glamourous sari-type utfits.

At our 'tea-group' yesterday, DS spent the whole afternoon looking exactly like a bangkok ladyboy - naked to the waist, long chiffon skirt with beads, tassles and those little metal twinkly thinkgs dangling off it. And a butterfly mask worn as a hat. Neither the other boy - being a cowboy - or the girls - selected fairies and mermaids - commented at all.

DS is nearly 4.

I think strangers on the street might comment, thouhg.

QueenOfQuotes Thu 30-Jun-05 11:39:53

ermm no I wouldn't let him - unless it was a 'dress up day' - think he might get teased quite a lot from the other kids.

spidermama Thu 30-Jun-05 11:51:38

Aside from what others think, does anyone have a personal objection to boys wearing dresses?

spidermama Thu 30-Jun-05 11:52:54

I've told him he might get teased for wearing a dress and he says he doesn't care. Who am I to argue? He's so happy in a dress.

AnnieQ Thu 30-Jun-05 11:53:41

I don't have a personal objection to boys wearing dresses, but I think you'll open him up to all kinds of bullying if you let him do it outside the home.

AnnieQ Thu 30-Jun-05 11:54:39

Do you really want to label him as different and leave him open to bullying at this early stage?

vickiyumyum Thu 30-Jun-05 11:56:00

to be honest when i first read this i thought it was a joke. sorry don't mean to cause any offence. but i would say no, even if you let him at home, i'm sure that most of the children at pre scholl wouldn't even notice but just that one comment from one of his friends could really upset him. i think perhaps i would let him wear a sparkly badge or something instead.
but bless him though, i somtimes feel like dressing my ds (3.5) in a dress as hes got such pretty girly lashes and long curly hair i thin he could get away with it!

vickiyumyum Thu 30-Jun-05 11:56:58

no no personal objections, just concerned re teasing/bullying and i would ask my self would i let him wear a dress to school when he is 14?

LittleStarsweeper Thu 30-Jun-05 11:58:03

Nah dont think so. At home, no problem. My DS likes dolls and insists on taking one out with us. I would prefer to coax the teddy into his arms but oh no! I made sure it is a boy dolly in boys clothes, dont get so many stares then

AnnieQ Thu 30-Jun-05 11:58:37

And you say "Who am I to argue? He's so happy in a dress" ..... my dd is happy running around just in a pair of knickers, but that doesn't mean I would allow her to go to pre-school without her clothes on. You have to set limits on what is appropriate, regardless of how much children want something. And I don't really think sending him to pre-school in a dress is appropriate.

tarantula Thu 30-Jun-05 12:00:36

On a personal level I can see nothing wrong with it at all and think that its about time men were 'liberated' as it were in their dress modes. Women wearing trousers has now become accecptable and I think that men wearing skirts should be fine too.

Id be very worried about the teasing tho too so Im not sure what Id do in your situation. Dss on many an occasion has wanted to take out toys with him that were quite girly (he was into polly pocket when younger) but soon learnt that he would get teased for this so tended to keep them at home after a while.

Chandra Thu 30-Jun-05 12:02:12

I think at that age, if he says he doesn't care he may well not be aware of the teasing/bullying implications that may follow. There was a French movie about this some time ago, I believe it was called Ma Vie en Rose or something like that, it shows a good picture of things that may happen when a boy insists in wearing dresses (cute but very very sad)

colditz Thu 30-Jun-05 12:02:15

I don't think clothes that are appropriate for girls are inappropriate for boys, and I think a lot of a male's inability to express himself comes from the idea that he is not allowed to do girly things.

spidermama Thu 30-Jun-05 12:10:10

I'm with you colditz. Tell me everyone, is my 3.5 year old boy WRONG to want to wear dresses.
Also, I think teasing is passed down from the predjudice of parents. I fear he will be teased but I'm not willing to compromise his personal freedom due to predjudice of others. Isn't that just passing down our predjudices to our kids. Lucky for him he lives in Brighton where things are a bit more relaxed.

colditz Thu 30-Jun-05 12:13:55

my boy has a baby girl dolly, and he takes it out quite often.

my opinion is this - if he gets teased, and he cares, he won't do it again no matter what I say!

AnnieQ Thu 30-Jun-05 12:15:37

Yes, teasing does come from prejudice, but that doesn't stop it being really hurtful and potentially damaging to a small child. I agree that it's time men were "liberated", but grown men at least have an idea of what is likely to happen if they walk around the streets in a frock. 3 year olds don't, and can also be hugely upset by negative reaction from other people. That's why I think it's inappropriate.

spidermama Thu 30-Jun-05 12:19:53

But Annie I've done all in my power to make him aware he'll be teased. He's fully aware of the issues. I am worried but actaully this will be the fourth time he's worn a dress to school and he was teased a bit but doesn't care. I have a constant dialogue with him about it. He absolutely passionately loves dresses and is obsessed with wearing them. Even if he wants to wear them as a grown man I don't care. Better to be yourself in this life than live a lie for fear of being teased. Must dash. He;s wearing a skirt, with shorts under it in case he wants to change.

paolosgirl Thu 30-Jun-05 12:23:37

Did you ever hear the interview with that famous Holloywood actor (old school, loads of cowboy movies, very macho, from NY, can't remember his name). His mum made him wear a dress to school, and they had literally no money for more clothes for him. He reckoned it scarred him for life. I'm not saying your situation is the same, but I reckon the same bullying/teasing etc would occur - and your son may thank you in later life for protecting him from all that.
Of course, if you lived up here, you could send him to pre-school in a kilt, and everyone would coo over him - not fair, really.

AnnieQ Thu 30-Jun-05 12:23:58

Sorry, but at the age of 3 I think that he is not fully aware of the issues. If he wants to wear them as a grown man who really is aware of the issues that would be another question.

I agree; better be yourself in this life. But first you have to work out who or what you are, and at three he doesn't know that yet, and there's no way that he can be prepared for the negative opinions that he's likely to encounter.

crunchie Thu 30-Jun-05 12:24:19

Go with the dress thing with trs/shorts under he can decide then. There was a boy who always came to school dressed at Snow White in his sisters play dress, so what. They will either grow out of it, or not dependant on genes (or whatever) Look at Kemal, he's fab

colditz Thu 30-Jun-05 12:25:59

But it's really not the same for a 3 year old and a full grown man! Why is it ok for a girl to wear dungerees, but not ok for a boy to wear a dress? It's not fair!

colditz Thu 30-Jun-05 12:27:01

If I had been told as a child I was not allowed to wear trousers I would have been devastated!

Tortington Thu 30-Jun-05 12:30:14

if you have done all in your power to make him realise he will be teased and he still wants to do it. then as a parent i wold just say "no" i think sometimes parents forget they can.

you have a duty to protect your child. you bet you life some little squirt will remember it when he is 6years old. and his social stance may well have taken a completely different road by then. its amazing how children conform to peer pressure even at 5 years old

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