Mum shares how she decided to let her two-year-old son wear a dress to her wedding.
Cairns mum of 3, Joanna Minuzzo, 39, gave her son three outfit choices – including a kilt from her home country of Scotland – but he quickly became intrigued with his two older sisters’ dresses.
Joanna’s son first divulged his love for frocks in January this year, after asking his mother if he could wear his sibling’s dress which has a Minnie Mouse face on it, shares Daily Mail.
At first she told him no, as she felt it wasn’t socially acceptable for boys to wear the garments, but she soon questioned her response.
A week before her wedding, Joanna borrowed a beautiful blue dress from a friend for her son to wear during the day.
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Heartwarming photographs show Najee helping his son get into his outfit and the toddler’s delighted face as he frolics in the ensemble.
When Joanna first saw her wedding pictures of the men getting ready, she was overcome with emotion and was humbled with how her husband embraced their son’s outfit choice.
Cruel critics have told her that in doing so she is ‘making him gay’ – which Joanna says is completely ridiculous.
‘I am raising children who feel secure enough in themselves to be true to who they really are,’ she insisted.
‘To be kind and inclusive to others too. We have a generation of adults who are too afraid of being themselves because of the fear of being judged.
‘I want my children to know that the only person’s opinion of them that matters is their own,’ said Joanna.
‘My children trust me, they can come to me when they have problems and they know I won’t judge them. My seven-year-old has amazing emotional literacy and I’m so, so proud of that.’
She recalled: ‘The first time my son wanted to wear a dress, part of me wanted to tell him he couldn’t wear it, but I stopped and asked myself why.
‘There’s no reason why he can’t. He is just a normal little boy who likes pretty clothes. It started as a like for Minnie Mouse but it’s extended from there.
‘To start with I told him no because boys don’t wear dresses. Then I thought why not? Why can’t he wear it? Who makes these rules? Who is he hurting? He is happy, why am I fighting it? Don’t sweat the small stuff.
‘From there I’ve held onto that. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only a toddler in a dress, a happy toddler at that! He looks so cute in a dress too! Why am I fighting him and insisting he dress in bland clothing?’
Joanna explained: ‘He had three outfits for our wedding. I ordered a kilt months before from Scotland and had this vision of him wearing his kilt and waiting with his dad at the altar.
‘He took one look at it and wouldn’t even try it on. I tried to put it on him over the course of a few weeks but he didn’t want to wear it. He was getting upset every time I brought it out.
‘Then his dad bought a suit that matched his. Again, we took it out and tried to get him to wear it and he wasn’t happy about it. I couldn’t even force him to try it on, nor would I want to.’
The mother-of-three admitted that once her daughters’ dresses arrived, she suspected that she would have to get a similar one for her son.
‘I waited until about the week before the wedding and my friend loaned me her daughter’s blue dress,’ Joanna said. ‘We showed it to him and he was so happy. He loved it! There was no going back.
‘We brought the suit to the island and took it out for him to wear but he didn’t want to wear it. We kept the dress hidden from him and only brought it out when we knew he wouldn’t wear his suit.’
‘I don’t want my children thinking they have to conform to stereotypes that don’t serve them’, she explained. ‘I can’t stand it when people tell my girls to be lady like. What the hell is that anyway? Who makes these rules and why are there different to rules for men?
‘Equally I can’t stand it if I hear, “boys don’t cry”. That really grinds my gears. We end up with men that can’t express how they feel and an unequal society, it’s just toxic.
‘My son likes to wear them [dresses]. He is two, he doesn’t even know he is a boy yet or that there is a difference between him and his sisters. It’s not complicated, I don’t have to dress him in traditional boys’ clothes just because that’s the norm and acceptable.
‘There may come a time soon when he doesn’t want to wear a dress or girls’ clothes. I will be guided by him.’
She added: ‘I don’t really see it as a big deal or anything inspirational. I am just letting my son choose what he wants to wear and I’m being respectful of that. Obviously, he has boundaries in terms of practicality but that’s it.
‘I’m not doing anything revolutionary or new, I am being respectful of my children’s choices. It’s not harming anyone, it’s not that big a deal to allow your children that little bit of autonomy.
‘He may grow out of it, he may not. Either way it doesn’t really matter, what matters is he is happy, he is healthy and he is kind. The fact that we are having this discussion shows us that as a society, we have a long way to go in terms of accepting people’s individuality.’
Good on you mum! This is how you raise well adjusted children. Do you agree? Share your comments below