Pink shirts | The Life of K: Pink shirts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pink shirts

The same day Little K woke up with pink eye, Little J woke up excited to wear his pink shirt. The night before he scrambled around, putting together an outfit for picture day. His teachers had obviously reminded the students and Little J was hoping to look handsome.

He wanted dark pants with a belt, nice shoes, and a button up shirt. Funnily enough, that's pretty much what J wears to work every day. Cute! His darkest pants didn't have belt loops so he settled for some jeans and set them out on the floor of his room. He had me stuff a pair of underwear in them and them put his dad's old dinosaur belt on top. Next he put socks and his new lace-up shoes at the bottom of the pants. Last was his light red button up that he wore to my brother's wedding last year. It's the only button up he owns and J had to show him how to roll up the too-short sleeves. My little man went to bed mega excited.

The next morning he rushed through breakfast and toothbrushing so he could put on his fancy clothes. It was raining so his shoes went in his bag. He asked me to comb his hair before putting on his hat. He was ready to rock picture day.

Fast forward to the afternoon. It's time to get Little J off the bus. He tells me proudly that he got a great picture.

We get home and he keeps talking. He tells me how everyone laughed at his shirt. Boys don't wear pink, they said. His bottom lip quivered. He said they hurt his feelings.

The sun was shining as we ate our snack at the table and talked about being mean and hurting people's feelings, and accepting people no matter what they're wearing. I told him I was sorry he was laughed at. I told him that what we wear doesn't change who we are and to never laugh at someone's clothing. I told him to be curious when someone was doing or wearing something different, that it was okay to ask them why, but not okay to laugh.

I really hope he understands. I really hope he isn't the kid who laughs at his friends.

I was upset, maybe more than he was. I posted to Facebook about what happened. To vent. To convince my friends to talk to their kids about differences and acceptance. I was expecting some pats-on-the-back comments. I wasn't expecting an outpouring of support. Friends posting pictures of their kids wearing pink, of athletes wearing pink, of actors and celebrities wearing pink.

Last night, J showed his son his pink dress shirt. He tied his purple tie around Little J's neck.

Today I showed Little J all the pictures that my friends posted. He couldn't believe the football and basketball players and the regular people, including a picture of his dad, all wearing pink. He had a huge smile on his face.

This isn't the first time he's been made fun of at school. Any time he wears nail polish someone tells him it's just for girls. We've taught him to reply that he likes it and can wear it if he wants to. And it's true - he can - and I just hope that he stays true to himself and continues to wear whatever he wants and doesn't make fun of anyone for what they're wearing. We're trying to teach him acceptance and thick skin all at the same time. It's a tough world out there, but anyone can wear pink.


  1. oh my heart breaks for him. Kids can be so so mean and I love that you are encouraging him to wear whatever he wants. My hubby wears pink all the time to show our children that men wear all colours too.

  2. I love how both you and J are so supportive of Little J wearing what he feels comfortable wearing to school. I think it is important for parents to support choices like these that our children make for themselves to let them know that pink is just another colour and nail polish is just something extra and fun to add to your nails. If my son ever encounters these issues, I know that we will tell him what you told your son, and to teach him how to have a thicker skin against the teasing he may receive. Awesome post, K!