What’s a dad to do when his five-year-old son has an affinity for adorable pink dresses? While some God-fearin’ men call for beating their “effeminate” sons (we’re looking at you, Pastor Sean Harris), Nils Pickert took a much different approach.
According to Gawker, the German dad started a father-son “skirt and dress day” tradition, proudly walking through their conservative South German village donning –you guessed it–dresses and skirts.
“I didn’t want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts,” Pickert explained to German feminist magazine EMMA. “And after a lot of contemplation I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself.”
Are you getting teary-eyed yet? Well, thankfully, there are more gender binary-breaking parents out there. For example, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons stirred up controversy last year after painting her then-five-year-old son’s toenails neon pink at his request.
Though we’ve made clear progress, we still have a long way to go before we don’t feel confined to specific gender roles. From LEGO Friends to BIC pens, gender-based marketing shoves us into boxes –and that can get uncomfortable. While I was a princess-loving, pastel-wearing little girl, my girlfriend just really wanted to be Peter Pan as a kid (and still kind of does). I couldn’t imagine how unhappy she would’ve been if her parents had told her that how she dressed was somehow wrong.
To Mr. Pickert: We applaud you. We need you. And most of all, thank you.
Images courtesy of EMMA and J. Crew