How a request for a blue butterfly devastated facepainter

Why are butterflies only for girls?
Why are butterflies only for girls? Photo: Shutterstock

It's hard to imagine why on earth a parent would shame their child for liking nature, but gender roles are still doing weird things to people. Some still believe that boys should be tough, and into soldiers and fighting and being overtly physically tough, while girls are allowed to be softer, enjoying butterflies, rainbows and flowers.

Even the simple act of getting a child's face painted is apparently still fraught with the weight of deep meanings, as Twitter user Sanduhruh found out recently.

Sanduhruh is a clown, and recently she described an interaction she had with a little boy and his mother when he came up to have his face painted.

Last time I checked, having a butterfly painted on your face as a child has not been found to cause any kind of social dysfunction, and yet parents continue to place heavy meaning on the tiniest of actions and shame their kids into conforming to some outdated gender stereotype.

What those parents are doing is teaching their son to be ashamed of his softer side; to hide his love of things that are construed as less masculine, and to toughen up. It's this toxic approach to masculinity that causes boys and men to clam up and not learn to process their feelings, to act out in violence rather than talk about their feelings. Compared with that, is a butterfly really that bad?