This Mom Is Photographing Her 5-Year-Old Son In Dresses To Shatter Stereotypes
Crystal Kells' son, Cian, loves wearing dresses.
Cian gets to choose what he wears every day and, according to his mother, "99% of the time, he will choose wearing a dress over a shirt and pants/shorts."
"His favorite thing about them is the twirl," she told Metro.
"He always has a choice of what to wear. I of course support his choices with love and respect. I was raised very liberally, so when he expressed an interest in wearing dresses, I thought, why not?"
Crystal, however, knows there's a stigma associated with boys wearing girls' clothing, one that she feels is unjust.
"I’m all for equality among the sexes. If little girls can be celebrated for being and doing things like a boy, why can’t a boy be celebrated for embracing things that are feminine?"
So she decided to create a series of photos that celebrate her son's sense of fashion.
She hopes that her photo series will inspire other parents to change their views on gender-specific clothing.
"I wrote a blog about my son and shared some pictures of him with hopes to inspire people. To inspire people to love themselves and their children just as they are."
The series came about organically. Crystal's been compiling photos from shoots with Cian over the past year.
Crystal also says that she encourages Cian to dress appropriately for the activities he's engaging in. If he's going go-karting and pants are safer to wear, she'll ask him to dress differently then. She does reinforce the idea of allowing him to choose what he wears entirely himself, though.
Cian's enthusiasm and freedom taught Crystal a thing or two about herself.
"He has inspired me to love myself, to have confidence when I didn’t have much before. He has taught me to love more and judge less. I wanted to share all of that with other people.
She's also not letting the negative feedback she received for posting photos of her son online in dresses get to her, and has only continued her photography to celebrate Cian's freedom of expression. She wrote about it in a touching blog post.
You can check out more of Crystal's work on her website and Facebook page.