These Little Boys Are Quashing Gender Stereotypes Without Even Trying

08/21/2014 02:30 pm ET | Updated Aug 21, 2014
Ilana Wiles

By Ilana Wiles, Mommy Shorts

A few weeks ago, I posted about that tearjerker of a commercial -- the #likeagirl ad campaign for Always. If you haven't seen it yet (because you've fallen in a sinkhole and were just recently rescued or something), go watch it now.

In response, people posted hundreds of photos on my fanpage of their badass daughters climbing, throwing, racing #likeagirl. But there were other photos, too. Photos of little boys playing house, wearing princess dresses, vacuuming the living room #likeaboy.

I know #likeaboy doesn't exactly have the same connotation as #likeagirl because the point of the original commercial was that we need to turn #likeagirl from a bad thing into a good thing. But when boys partake in so called "girl activities" it shouldn't be looked upon negatively either. It's important to praise boys for being sensitive and nurturing, just like we praise girls for being strong.

As a reader named Tiffany commented, "There needs to be a male counterpoint about #manningup. I'm so tired of hearing people tell my son what he can and cannot play with because it's not boy enough. When he was two-years-old, he fell in love with a stick unicorn. It was a soft plush toy with a big honking sparkly horn. I bought it for him immediately. I remember him walking around with his prize possession and people stopping me to say that letting him play with 'girlie toys' will make him gay. First off, who the hell cares. Second, he was two. He had no clue of gender roles and what's appropriate for a boy. He just liked what he liked. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a man tell my sensitive little guy to 'man up', as if having emotions is only a female thing."

It's also interesting to realize how much we as parents determine what our kids play with. I noticed Mazzy always beelining for the matchbox cars at her friend Charlie's house before I realized she needed her own set.

Kids are kids. Most like to try new things and don't think along gender lines. We shouldn't either.

Here are 12 awesome photos of little boys showing off their sparkles, their nurturing side, and their housekeeping abilities. Kudos to all the parents who are most proud of their kids when they are acting like themselves.

  • 1 Feeding Baby #likeaboy
  • 2 Having A Tea Party #likeaboy
  • 3 Painting Nails #likeaboy
  • 4 Rocking a Snow White costume #likeaboy
  • 5 Trying on heels #likeaboy
  • 6 Vacuuming #likeaboy
  • 7 More vacuuming #likeaboy
  • 8 Playing Dress Up #likeaboy
  • 9 Wearing princess heels #likeaboy
  • 10 Changing a doll's diaper #likeaboy
  • 11 Feeding a baby #likeaboy
  • 12 Rocking a tutu #likeaboy

Thanks to everyone who submitted pictures on the Mommy Shorts fanpage and the Baby Sideburns fanpage!

Here's to kids being kids.

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