The Disney Store is removing gender based labels on its Halloween costumes to encourage children to be whatever they want to be for the upcoming holiday. In addition, the site has labeled all of its costumes as being for “kids” and “babies” instead of for “girls” and “boys.” As part of Disney’s “I am Awesome” campaign boys can choose to be princesses and girls can choose to be Darth Vader.
Now Minnie Mouse costumes can be found right next to Captain America costumes. On some of the outfits, the site has gone as far as not picturing a child model but instead just displays the attire needed to look like the character.
This important move sends a positive message to kids and parents. Children shouldn’t have to be a certain gender to wear a Spiderman costume or dress up as Pocahontas. Halloween should be about finding a costume that makes your child happy. Children should be able to wear what they want without being judged.
One brave three year old boy named Caiden, from Virginia, decided to defy gender biased labels by choosing to be his favorite Disney character, Elsa from Frozen as shown below. The photo that went viral earlier this month displays Caiden making a funny face in his soon to be Halloween costume. His parents Paul Henson and Ashley Ramage said in a statement to Huffington Post that they told Caiden he could choose whatever he wanted and it didn’t matter if the outfit was marketed for a boy or girl.
“As children get older, they distance themselves from their parents. Why start that split sooner than they need to?” Henson told The Huffington Post. “It’s important for children to know that their parents will stand by them no matter what. Ashley and I will do whatever it takes to keep our son happy and not take his innocence and imagination from him.”
Ramage agreed with Henson’s statements, who said parents should never inhibit their children’s development with gender based-thinking.
“I want other parents to realize that gender stereotypes are taught and learned behaviors,” she said. “At three years old, kids are still developing, exploring and discovering. As parents we shouldn’t discourage their individuality.”
Henson said in another statement that he’s considering dressing up as Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, so that Caiden won’t feel uncomfortable.
“Why shame him for wanting to be a princess?” Henson said. “When little girls want to be superheroes, it’s cute. Why isn’t it the same for a little boy that wants to be a princess?”
Caiden’s parents are extraordinary for breaking the mold by letting him make his own decisions and for supporting him every step of the way. As parents we should all support our child’s inspirations and choices no matter what.