Through a photo project, photographer Kitty Wolf shows young boys and their moms that there's nothing wrong with wanting to be a princess.
These days, we (thankfully!) tell our little girls that there's nothing they can't be or do if they just put their minds to it. Whether it's pursuing traditionally feminine jobs, like teaching, or more "masculine" ones, like being a CEO or firefighter, we've reached a period in time where we give girls the uninhibited freedom to determine who they are and who they want to be. But more often than not, little boys don't get the same privilege to do so. When they aspire to conventionally "feminine" occupations, they're thought of as silly or somehow less strong. At a young age, we teach them that to be in touch with their feminine side is to be emasculated. But no longer, photographer Kitty Wolf affirmed. Through her photography project, The Boys Can Be Princesses Too, in collaboration with Chicago based children's party company Princesscapades Princess Parties, she's showing little boys and their parents that there is immense power in the feminine.
The groundbreaking project involves Wolf inviting families, typically moms and their young sons, to get themselves photographed - while wearing princess costumes. Yes, the sons too. Wolf asserts on the project's official website, "When I ran my company, it was on the belief that ANYONE can enjoy the magic, beauty, and empowerment of a fairy tale princess. Unfortunately, I noticed that wasn't always the case. During my time as a princess performer, company owner, and preschool teacher, [I] have seen boys being told that princesses are 'just for girls' or that liking princesses and especially dressing as one somehow makes them weak, inferior, or not boys. They're told it's not manly, or macho, or normal. This leads boys to feel ashamed of their interests, confused, sad, and lonely. Putting on a princess dress doesn't make a boy a girl anymore than putting on a shell makes them a real ninja turtle."
The photographer claimed that a child's wild imagination should never be limited by their gender, and therefore, began the ingenious photo project as a way to show boys that they, just like girls, can be whatever they want. With just a little bit of imagination and creativity to carry them through, they truly could be princesses and live in castles like in the fairytales. Since Wolf began her project, she has worked with numerous mommy-son duos to produce fun photographs of the pairs in beautiful princess costumes. So far, she has photographed mothers and sons as Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Tiana, Elsa, among several others.
Though certain conservative people have criticized the project, feedback has generally been positive. Numerous individuals have commented on the photos of the children and their moms uploaded online, noting how cute, adorable, and happy the little boys look. Several people have even shared their own photos of their sons dressed up as princesses, such as Beth Yount, who shared, "My son was Moana for Halloween. He was in heaven. He simply said he was strong like Moana." Others, meanwhile, have praised the project and appreciated Wolf for her work when it comes to breaking down restrictive gender stereotypes. Needless to say, Wolf is doing important work and showing us what gender equality should really mean.