Mom defends her toddler son's choice to wear tutus
No one, especially not a child, should ever feel unsafe based on the clothing they want to wear. Jen Anderson Shattuck's 3-year-old son Roo likes to wear sparkly tutus everywhere he goes with his mom — from church to the grocery store.
For the most part, Roo and his mom don't run into any issues in their community. But recently, a man stopped her and Roo and told them that Shattuck was a "bad mother" for "allowing" him to wear his favorite wardrobe piece.
Shattuck shared a story of the encounter on Facebook, in a post shared more than 43,000 times.
Facebook/Jen Anderson Shattuck
"My son and I were accosted by someone who demanded to know why my son was wearing a skirt. We didn't know him, but he appeared to have been watching us for some time," Shattuck wrote. The man seemed to imply that Shattuck was not only "allowing" her son to dress against preconditioned gender norms, but that she was forcing him to do so as well.
"'She shouldn't keep doing this to you,' he said. He spoke directly to my son. 'You're a boy. She's a bad mommy. It's child abuse,'" Shattuck continued. The man also took pictures of Roo even though Shattuck asked him not to, and threatened the concerned mother. She then called the police, who wrote up a report and even complimented Roo on his outfit.
More than anything, Shattuck wants her son to know that he shouldn't feel unsafe or insecure with who he is or even just with how he dresses. "I will not be intimidated. I will not be made to feel vulnerable or afraid. I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear," she wrote.
"I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear." Shattuck's original post has spread across Facebook, and some supporters have even sent pictures of themselves or their children in tutus in solidarity. She wrote another "thank you" post on Sunday.
"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness (and for the many photos you have sent of your dress-, skirt-, and tutu-loving offspring, who are adorable," she wrote. However, Shattuck is keenly aware of those who disagreed with her post. "Know that my goal is not to change your mind or the way you choose to parent. My only goal is to support my son." she wrote.
People are continuing their support for the young boy with the hashtag #TutusForRoo.