A new social media campaign is supporting little boys by combatting harmful stereotypes about gender and masculinity.
Mom Martine Zoer, whose clothing line Quirkie Kids offers pink T-shirts for both girls and boys, launched the #StillABoy campaign and Instagram account after facing criticism that her business was "robbing kids of their gender."
"I started using the hashtag #StillABoy as a way of saying, 'Hey … a boy who wears pink is still a boy, just like a girl who wears blue is still a girl,'" Zoer told The Huffington Post. When she started noticing other parents tagging photos of their sons with #StillABoy, she decided to create an Instagram account to share the photos.
The gender stereotype-bashing account shows that boys can have a wide spectrum of interests -- from playing with action figures and roughhousing to gently holding hands, playing with dolls and nurturing pets and little siblings.
As a mom of two little boys, Zoer drew inspiration for the project from her sons Tyler and Tristan. "My boys have taught me so much," she said. "They have so much energy and little common sense. They are wild and sensitive at the same time. It’s a challenge to raise boys in touch with their feelings in a world where they are told to 'man up,' 'suck it up,' and be a 'tough guy.'"
"I hope the campaign becomes a celebration of boyhood and gets people talking about what it means to be a boy," Zoer continued. Though tradition tells us boys are made of "snips, snails, and puppy dog tails," the mom said, "boys can also be sweet and kind and caring. And yes! A boy who likes pink or plays with dolls is #StillABoy."
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