Gay Uncle Brett Berk: One of my colleagues here at momlogic recently brought to my attention an intriguing little story: the tale of a mom who, lacking a daughter (as well as any sense of shame), took to enrolling her son in beauty pageants. Sashay son!
Now, I'm generally opposed to these kinds of kiddie cavalcades -- not because it isn't hilarious to watch young children stumble around on a stage in movement-restricting acetate ball gowns, butchering the lyrics to "I Believe I Can Fly." No, I hate pageants because I don't believe that young children should be forced to a) conform to stale and retrogressive notions of femininity -- at least not before they're like, 9 b) wear the aforementioned plasticky dresses, or c) perform, particularly if it involves memorizing complex dance routines, strutting around like a slut, or singing on key while smiling.
That said, enrolling a little boy in one of these extravaganzas would be pretty hilarious, if he were into playing with the whole girly thing (see my previous article). It wouldn't solve issues b) or c) but it would certainly go some way toward subverting letter a). RuPaul's Tiniest Drag Race, here we come!
Sadly, when I watched the clip of this kid, he was a butchy blonde brat, all decked out in the world's tiniest tuxedo, and being instructed by his stage mother in how to flirt with the female judges ("Point at the ladies and say, You're so pretty!") Boring! Not to mention the fact that in the same allegedly glorifying clip, the little hellion was shown responding to his mommy's instructions by having a knock-down, lying-on-the-floor, kicking-and-screaming tantrum. Three more strikes against pre-school processionals.
|Brett Berk, M.S. Ed. has worked with young children and their families for over 20 years--as a classroom teacher, preschool director, and research consultant--and is the author of "The Gay Uncle's Guide to Parenting."|