Thursday, March 4, 2010

Girls Will Be Boys, If They Want

I came across this article in Life & Style that criticizes Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for allowing their 3 year old daughter Shiloh to “act like a boy.” I'm not real big on celebrity gossip, but it caught my eye because I am a child development major and someone who is passionate about gender equality and freedom from masculine and feminine stereotypes.

The article says that Shiloh has a short hair cut and insists on being called boy names. Apparently, the 3 year old dresses very masculine.

This article is absolutely ridiculous, and it helps perpetuate dangerous myths concerning gender identity formation and children. The typical 3 year old is just becoming aware of gender. The way a child dresses or wears their hair when they are 3 is of no consequence to their adulthood image. And even if it were, who gives a damn? What does it matter if a woman wants to cut her hair short and wear masculine clothing?

This article tries to insinuate that Pitt and Jolie could be doing their child harm through hair cut and wardrobe choices, which is stupid. I’d be much more concerned about the implications that Pitt and Jolie’s fame could have on the child. I’m tired of media outlets trying to dictate normalcy regarding outward appearances- it has gone on far too long, and tainted too many facets of life. This aggressive and obtrusive attitude towards a 3-year-old’s non-gender conforming behavior is pathetic.

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