ABC News’ Juju Chang, Alison Kenworthy and Jen Pereira report:
With 47 million clicks and counting, the “Like a Girl” advertisement campaign from Always is sparking a national conversation on female empowerment and self-esteem.
Now, a gender twist is taking the conversation even further.
Ilana Wiles, creator of the MommyShorts.com blog, loved the ad’s message so much she asked her readers to submit photos of their daughters doing “all the amazing things our daughters do,” she explained, along with the hashtag #LikeAGirl.
But then something unexpected happened.
“It was my readers who started posting pictures of their sons doing so-called feminine things,” Wiles of New York City, recalled.
Soon her blog was flooded with pictures of little boys proudly displaying their feminine side, from putting on polish to playing with dolls, all with the defiant hashtag #LikeABoy.
“We would never want someone to tell our girls that they can’t do the same thing boys can do,” said Ericka Souter, editor at TheStir.com. “But when it comes to boys, we limit them to what we think are the right things for little boys to do and the right ways for little boys to act and we have to ask, ‘Is that really fair?’”
Heather Castic, a mom from North Carolina, posted a picture of her 2-year-old twin boys “playing princess” with their 4-year-old sister.
“That’s what my boys do,” Castic explained. “They emulate their sister and it was actually very refreshing to see other people out there with boys doing things just like my boys do because sometimes you question if it’s normal.”
She says her boys, who love dinosaurs as much as tea parties, are helping to redefine what it means to be “like a boy.”
“I really think the hashtag should have been #LikeAKid because it’s what kids do,” Castic said. “They’re just using their imagination. They’re at an age of innocence. They’re just having fun.
Added Wiles: “Housework and childcare isn’t girly. It is what makes a good man and a strong family. Every little boy should be handed a doll and a toy vacuum.”