Haylee Bazen from Cambridge's brilliant open letter to a stranger who made fun of her three-year-old son's Disney princess dress has struck a chord with parents everywhere.
Zackary wanted to wear his dress featuring Elsa from Frozen - complete with cape and gloves - for show and tell at school one morning last week. But while the pair were standing at the bus stop, a woman felt the need to tell Haylee that she should be embarrassed by her son wearing a dress, asking:
Are you punishing your son by making him wear that?
Haylee told the Sun she was shocked by the both the rudeness of the question and by the negativity.
If I saw someone on the street in an outfit I didn't like or thought didn't suit them I wouldn't stop them and shame them - why ruin someone's day?
After dropping Zackary off Haylee took to Facebook to vent in an open letter defending her son's right to express himself however he likes without worrying about what other people think of him. Haylee's words about gender stereotyping clearly resonated - to date her post has been shared hundreds of thousands of times:
To the lady at the bus stop who felt the need to interrupt my conversation with my son.
I am NOT sorry you didn't like how he was dressed nor am I sorry that you didn't like our discussion topic of who our favorite Disney Princess is (Snow White obviously).
Zackary is my 3 year old son and he can be who he wants to be. Today he was a Disney princess and YES I did send him to school like that.
Why??? Beacuse [sic] that's what he wanted to wear, because he wanted to show his teachers and friends his Elsa dress, because he wanted to sing 'let it go' for show and tell, because he doesn't understand the gender stereotypes YOU think he should conform to, but most importantly because he is awesome!!
He plays with cars and dolls, princesses and pirates. He rides his scooter or pushes his pram. He wears zombie face painting or lip stick and if he choose to wear a dress he can!!
So next time you see us, dressed as a princess or cowboy, keep your disapproving stares to yourself and unless you want to tell him how great he looks keep your poisonous words to yourself too.
Your [sic] the one that should be embarrassed to leave the house not us!!