Mom Shares Photos of Son in Dresses to Fight Gender Stereotypes

A mother has shared some beautiful shots of her son wearing dresses to encourage others to break down gender stereotypes (Photo: Instagram/ kellsnaturalphotography)

A proud mother has created a stunning photo series of her 5-year-old son wearing dresses to inspire other parents to overlook gender stereotypes.

Crystal Kells, a photographer from Ontario, Canada, penned a beautiful essay about her son, Cian, on Bored Panda, with a goal to encourage parents to accept their children for who they are.

“This is my son Cian and he loves to wear dresses,” she wrote. “Cian also loves to wear a cape and play Superhero. He loves Ironman, Paw Patrol, Hiking, playing cars, and cutting his hair short to look like other men he sees.”


Crystal went on to say that though Cian is a boy and understands that he is a boy, she doesn’t want his gender to influence what he wants to wear or what he chooses to play with.

“We are teaching him that girls have a vagina and boys have a penis,” she continued. “He doesn’t use his penis to be able to wear a dress, nor does he use his penis to operate the dolls and cars he plays with.”

“His gender does not dictate what he should wear or what he should play with because he does not use his gender to operate or use it. My husband and I are raising him without gender stereotypes.”

Though Crystal acknowledges that encouraging her son to express himself in whatever way he chooses might be seen by some as unconventional and she doesn’t expect everyone to agree with her parenting choices, she hopes that people will respect them.

“What I DO expect is not to be treated like I’m abusing my son,” she says. “What I DO expect is for people to see that my son is HAPPY and realiZe that that is all that matters at the end of the day.”


Crystal hopes that by giving Cian the chance to express himself in whatever way he chooses, without shame, she is showing him that she and Cian’s dad will love him unconditionally.

Though the pictures of Cian are also about having fun with her son and documenting his life, Crystal hopes that by sharing the beautiful images of him wearing dresses (or superhero costumes), she’ll help to inspire other parents to accept their children just as they are.

And while Cian currently identifies his gender to be in line with his biological sex, Crystal acknowledges that this might change in the future.

“Some days he says he wants to be a girl with a vagina and we simply tell him, ‘When you’re an adult, you can certainly make the decision to change to that if you wish’,” she says.


But right now Crystal just wants Cian to enjoy being Cian. “He’s 5. He also wants to be a Mermaid and Ironman. We’re keeping it simple right now lol,” she adds.

“We support our child in whoever they are and look forward to seeing how their gender expression manifests as they age. The most important thing to us is the health and happiness of our son,” she finishes her empowering post.

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