Clown Decries Mom Who Wouldn’t Let Her Son Get A Butterfly Painted On His Face

Hotspaces via Pixabay

Parenting is a delicate balance between watching out for your kids and letting them making their own decisions. Sometimes that line is fussy and parents overstep without realizing what they’re doing. Sometimes only someone outside the situation can see clearly what’s happening.

A Twitter user named Sandra shared a story that happened while she was working as a clown and doing face painting. She was working at a picnic, and a little boy who was just 4 years old wanted her to paint his face. His parents were fine with that, but that weren’t fine with what he wanted painted on his face.

The little boy asked Sandra to paint a blue butterfly on his face. Unfortunately, the boy’s mom didn’t let her. She told Sandra, “No, he doesn’t want that.”

Sandra didn’t think there was any reason not to paint a blue butterfly on the boy’s face like he requested. She told the mom, “Butterflies are beautiful, he said that’s what he wants, shouldn’t I paint what he wants?”

The mom still refused to let her paint a blue butterfly on her son’s face. She said, “No give him something for boys.” She also got the dad involved in the decision and asked him, “Do you want your son to have a butterfly on his face?” The dad responded, “No.”

Sandra complied with the parents wishes. Instead of painting a blue butterfly, she painted the more “masculine” image the mom requested: a skull and crossbones.

Sandra felt bad that the little boy didn’t get what he wanted painted on his face, so when she finished painting the skull and crossbones she asked him, “You want a little blue butterfly too?” The boy nodded yes, but the mom overheard and didn’t let Sandra paint even a little butterfly.

The mom said, “You didn’t ask me….You need to ask me.”

As the boy walked away with his parents, all Sandra could say to him is “Sorry.” She wrote on Twitter, “I’m sorry that he is not allowed to love something as miraculous and beautiful as a butterfly.” She added, “I’m sorry that he was shamed for wanting to share in the joy that is the miracle and wonder of nature.”

Then, Sandra pointed out that this is an example of something she sees “all the time.” However, she said it’s worse for boys than for girls. She explained, “Being a tomboy is slightly more normalized. And when girls want skulls and sharks the parents shrug and laugh like ‘haha she’s a kooky kid!’ because maleness and masculinity isn’t a sin.” She continued, “But when a boy want to enjoy something for its beauty, they are told it’s not for them. Not in this house. Not in this family.”

Sandra added that there are negative consequences to parents insisting that their boys only like “masculine” things. She wrote, “We are teaching them that anger & violence are the only things they are allowed to experience. That to value beauty & elegance is shameful.”

She summed up her point by writing, “So the next time you are incredulous about how the govt could shut down our national parks, or build the pipeline, or nuke the planet…Think about what this 4 year old boy asked for and what he got.”

Sandra ended her story by writing that the boy’s mom complained about her to her boss.

This is definitely food for thought, especially if you’re raising sons.

Do you think there’s anything wrong with a boy having a blue butterfly painted on his face? Why do you think this 4-year-old boy’s parents were so determined to have something else painted on his face? Do you think parents are pushing boys to be too “masculine”?