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What Happened When My Son Wore a Pink Sparkly Crown to Walmart: A month or so ago I posted a picture of Dalton at Walmart. In the picture he is wearing a pink sparkly crown (and the baby's teething necklace).

Dalton sleeps in and he frequently will come downstairs fully-dressed while Sienna and I are having breakfast. On this day he came down wearing his "running pants", a long-sleeved Incredibles shirt (last year's Halloween costume) and the pink sparkly crown his sister had brought home from school the day before. One of his better outfits, honestly. I was just gathering my coupons for a trip to Walmart so we finished breakfast, and left.

On the way to the store I remembered reading a story by a mommy blogger about a boy wearing a pink headband to Walmart and getting yelled at by a stranger. When I got home from Walmart, I thought I would go comment on the blog post. As I searched the internet for it, I discovered that the whole thing was allegedly made-up. Huh.

Anyway, I let him wear it. And you know what? No one noticed. I don't think he got any more (or fewer) smiles than he usually does. No one stared. No one commented. He kept the crown on all day until the very moment M walked out of her classroom and asked for it back. He may have had an innocuous remark from a friend at school, but seriously - no one cared. We live in a very conservative area and no one cared.

However, this experience, coupled with the recent discovery that "pink and blue" were basically arbitrarily assigned as gender markers (so arbitrarily that pink was originally assigned to boys), has given me increasing interest in the culture of "gender". I am currently reading Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys From Girls in America.


© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.