All I knew for sure when I was younger was that I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to get married and have kids. By 24 I had done just that. Now that my son is a little older and I have another one on the way I’ve become more aware of the popular culture and environment surrounding raising kids these days.
My son isn’t quite school age yet which leaves me in the beautiful span of innocence and happiness. Unfortunately I know that school does loom ahead and will rapidly approach once I have two children in my care instead of just the one.
I often think about how I will react to things that my son will want to do or wear. The outdated example of a boy wanting to wear a dress or skirt or the color pink to school doesn’t warrant much thought given the absence of this trend. What I’ve stumbled upon recently is men and makeup or painting their nails.
A dear friend of mine wears makeup when he performs at concerts. He also has long hair and takes a gender fluid approach to his clothing at times. He has a very loyal following on social media and a wide fan base. He’s more of a local celebrity and someone I might consider underground still. However to me, he’s a healthy example of being who you are, no matter what that looks like. This is what I want for my boys.
My husband, I don’t think, personally has an issue with this. I think his issue stems from having family that falls into the “Good ‘Ol Boys” school of thought. However my husband and his brother didn’t necessarily follow traditional life paths being that they got into computers and video games heavily while they had very academic or sports driven cousins. They both do well for themselves in their respective fields. My husband has built 3 computers since we’ve been together and he’s helped me and several of my friends select new laptops. My brother in law works for a reputable financial firm in IT. Neither have a college degree.
With they way that people are making a living these days there’s nothing to say that my sons have to conform to traditional gendered interests. Just today I saw a video of a little boy who did his own makeup better than I can even do myself. My son has watched makeup tutorials with me and I later caught him putting flour on his face. I had to laugh and also take a video.
While women are fighting for equality I’m also seeing the other side of things where men are getting more into the things that women have traditionally done. Such as sewing clothing for themselves, getting into doing their makeup, wearing colors or articles of clothing marketed for women. I love seeing this. I don’t see why we can’t all be into these things. Men is makeup is well, very beautiful, gay or straight it doesn’t matter. I appreciate the gender fluidity that’s going around. Not everything needs to have a connotation attached to it. Just because a guy wears makeup doesn’t mean he’s gay, and even if he is, so what?
I don’t want my sons to feel emasculated for their interests. It’s my hope that whatever they take an interest in, they’ll feel supported no matter what. It may be a little soon to really be concerned with what their interests will be given that their ages are 3 and -3 months but I like to have an open mind for later on.