A five-year old boy identified only as “Sam” chose to wear pink slippers to school, saying, “ninjas can wear pink shoes too,” sparking an adult freakout. The boy’s older sibling posted the photo to Facebook, after their mother had too, but she removed it when the comments — from adults — got out of hand. Interestingly, Sam didn’t get a hard time from his classmates.
The photo, and the debate, have gone viral. On Facebook alone the image has 128,877 likes and has been shared 22,214 times.
“Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5 year old brother Sam wearing a pair of shoes he picked out for his first day of preschool,” Sam’s brother or sister, identified only as “Have A Gay Day” on Facebook, wrote:
She explained to him in the store that they were really made for girls. Sam then told her that he didn’t care and that “ninjas can wear pink shoes too.”
Sam went to preschool and got several compliments on his new shoes. Not one kid said anything negative toward him about it.
However, my mom received about 20 comments on the photo from various family members saying how “wrong” it is and how “things like this will affect him socially” and, put most eloquently by my great aunt, “that shit will turn him gay.”*
My mom then deleted the photo and told Sam that he can wear whatever he wants to preschool, that it’s his decision. If he wants to wear pink shoes, he can wear pink shoes.
Sam then explained to her that he didn’t like them because they were pink, he liked them because they were “made out of zebras” and zebras are his favorite animal
What does it say about society when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?
The Huffington Post notes “the photograph was the subject of a heated blog posted on The Stir. In the piece, blogger Mary Fischer disagreed with Sam’s mother, saying she wouldn’t let her own son wear pink shoes to school because it would “subject him to being bullied or treated unfairly all because most people associate pink with girls and blue with boys.”
“Yes, I get the whole ‘we should let kids be free to express themselves’ thing, and I’ll be the first to say ‘more power’ to this mom for taking a chance and letting Sam go off to preschool in his pink zebra print flats.Somehow I’m guessing if my son were to put on that same pair of shoes — he wouldn’t even make it through the five-minute bus ride to school in the morning before someone laughed at him, asked him why in the heck he was wearing pink shoes, spewed all sorts of mean jokes his way, or told him he was dressed like a girl.”
She then adds, “Bullying is bad enough as it is without handing tormentors their material on a silver platter.”
Fischer’s blog post right now has 177 comments. A quick glance seems to show about a three to one support for Sam and his family’s choice to support him.
Perhaps the best comment comes from Jess Townsend:
Author: YOU are part of the problem.
Remember J.Crew President Jenna Lyons, who painted her son’s toenails pink, and the subsequent right wing freak out?
As The New Civil Rights Movement reported last April, the online catalog spread showed Lyons playing with her young son Beckett, and painting his toenails pink — a shade she says in the piece is his favorite color. “Lucky for me,” the copy reads, “I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
There are real issues in the world. Wearing pink or blue really isn’t one at all.
Now, let’s see how long it takes Dr. Keith Ablow to freak out!
Image via Facebook
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