Rachel Giordano set out on a Saturday afternoon to enjoy a local art festival and purchase an Easter outfit for her 5-year-old daughter, Maddie. The mother and daughter visited Martha’s Miniatures in Denison, Texas, which carries various fancy dresses and suits for children.
However, soon after making their way to the outfit little Maddie was seeking, the store clerk accused Giordano of child abuse, saying the mother was wrong to “encourage” her daughter’s clothing selection.
You see, Maddie had no interest in the frilly dresses located in the front of the shop – she had her eyes set on a suit. Her mother explained to the local CBS news affiliate:
That’s kind of just how she’s different. She wants to wear a suit and tie. And, Easter is a perfect time for it because there’s always cute stuff out.
Giordano said her daughter has preferred suits to dresses since she was three years old and they buy a suit every year. Maddie cried as they were leaving the store; however, she was all smiles while trying on her suit and tie at another store.
Meanwhile, the store has removed their Facebook page.
Isn’t that typical? Narrow-minded bullies like the woman in this store tend to disappear — not because they feel they were wrong or plan on apologizing — but to slither away from confrontation.
On a positive note, it is refreshing to see fellow, like-minded parents who not only accept their children for who they are – but also support them. This little girl knows what she likes. Letting her wear a “boys” suit is not abuse in any sense of the word. Abuse would be to force the girl to dress according to what society dictates and be someone she is not.
When my youngest son was four years old he asked to take ballet lessons. We enrolled him in a local ballet school and shockingly, the instructor of the class was not receptive to having a boy dancer. In front of our little boy, she told my husband:
We are working on our recital piece which is a butterfly dance – boys don’t like butterflies.
My husband glared at her, astounded that she would so casually attempt to crush the dreams of a 4-year-old. At that moment, and not another second later, we withdrew him from the school and sought out another one. Fortunately, we have a professional ballet company that operates a school in our city. They welcomed our son with open arms and he now is in his third year of classes, loving every minute.
The point is, these little ones don’t look at life through gender-tinted glasses. Society, not actual desire, dictates what is appropriate for each gender. Some little girls like to wear pants and suits and some little boys like to dance in the ballet – both are completely appropriate and okay. In fact, I dare say I think the children that are supported in their uniqueness may just be stronger in the long run.
The greatest defense against bullying in our society is not conformity; it’s self-esteem. That’s not to say that children who grow up in a home that is secure in the fostering of their individuality will get through life unscathed from the hate-filled sentiments spoken by loudmouth jerks. However, they might make it through with a realization that the jerks’ opinions really don’t matter that much in the long run.
Watch the news report from CBS-DFW below: