"We can either teach our kids to run away from who they are and what they love — to try and please other people — or teach them to have the courage to be themselves."
Scott Stuart's son Colin has been an Elsa superfan ever since watching Frozen as a 3-year-old. "He fell in love with Queen Elsa," the 37-year-old said of his son, reports PEOPLE. "He loved everything about her, and of course, wanted every toy and costume available. He had an Elsa doll that he was so proud of. He would take it everywhere and show it to everyone." Colin's adoration for the Disney princess grew with age and when Frozen 2 was about to hit theatres, the youngster told his dad that he wanted to wear an Elsa costume to the movie.
However, as the date of the film drew nearer, Colin started to get worried that people would laugh at him. "I feel that in a moment like that, we can either teach our kids to run away from who they are and what they love — to try and please other people — or teach them to have the courage to be themselves," Scott told BuzzFeed. "We chose to teach him to be himself. And to support him, I wore an Elsa costume too." As promised, Scott — who works as a graphic designer at a children's hospital and is a children's book author — matched Colin in a blue gown and blonde wig. The beautiful moment was captured in a now-viral TikTok that's been viewed over 10 million.
"I would hope people could look at this video and see a child having the courage to be themselves, and know that if they have the courage to do the same, there will be someone who will stand with them too," Scott said. He revealed that although Colin does love "traditionally-male characters" such as Batman and Spiderman, his favorites have always been the princesses and queens. Sadly, the young boy has already faced negative comments from others for his preferences.
"One day he came home from preschool completely distraught because someone said that Elsa was for girls," Scott explained. "That day I resolved that I would always support the things that he loves, even if they challenged my (or society's) expectations of him." Since the video that went viral across social media, Scott has shared several photos and videos discussing his parenting styles and empowerment beliefs. "I have a super simple rule as a father," he wrote in a 2019 Instagram post. "If my son wants to do something outside a gender 'norm,' I'll do it too so he sees it's totally OK to be both a man AND wear a dress."
"I didn't always have that rule," he admitted. "When he first fell in love with Elsa and wanted to dress up as her, I would feel so judged walking down the street next to him, and I projected that onto thinking he was judged. Then I came to a realization. Maybe as parents, one of our toughest jobs is figuring out who our child really is and what they really love, and allowing that to shine as brightly as possible. What makes me the proudest? He is completely and unashamedly himself. I wish I had that as a kid."
Colin’s fearless attitude has also inspired Scott to write a children's book about gender roles and empowerment. Titled My Shadow is Pink, the book tells the story of a boy who struggles to accept his pink shadow because it is different from the rest of his family members, who all have blue shadows. "It’s about a boy who has a pink shadow that likes princess, fairies & 'things not for boys'... but he wishes he had a blue shadow like everyone else in his family," Scott explained in an Instagram post. "He learns that everyone has a shadow they wish, at times, was something else... and he has to learn to love and accept his shadow as it is."