A father who dressed in a Princess Peach costume – pictures of which went viral on social media earlier this month - has penned an open letter responding to some of the negative reactions his outfit provoked.
John, a comedy writer from Texas, wore the outfit to Dallas Comic Con to match his daughter's Mario costume.
On a post on his blog, which he also shared on Imgur, John related how he'd read a report stating that some fathers "Don't have much say over their Halloween outfits" and end up getting the "raw end of the deal."
"I also have heard 'That's brave,'" he wrote, "or my favorite 'the bible says you should not dress as a woman.'"
His open letter continues: "When you become a parent, it does not take much work to make your child happy. From the time they are a baby to whichever milestone you decide is the one that will define their moment of becoming an adult, it isn't difficult.
"If they want to be silly and express themselves, and want to include you …. you can cling to your masculinity or own hobbies and say, 'No sweetie, I won't play dollies with you, maybe mom will do that,' or 'The game is on honey, go play in your room…' or you can do the little work.
"Her mother and I went through a divorce early this year. It devastated her and the work became a little harder.
"When we are together, I have a duty as her father. I need to assure her that the changes and stress of the world do not consume her. I need to remind her that there is fun to be had in our activities together and that any creative projects or ideas she has the same importance as anything I have planned.
"Sometimes that means I get to wear the Princess outfit. Even if it means snickering from my coworkers, nasty comments from insecure men, religious bible thumpers, or homophobes. I was very shy and introverted at her age. I fight a lot to make sure she never suppresses her silliness because 'People are staring.'
"My job as a parent is hard. It's the hardest one I have ever had. But making your kids happy is not hard. I'll put on a dress, I'll hear my knees pop when I stoop for a tea party, I'll sing along to a pop song I wouldn't listen to on my own in a million years. If anyone else wants to call me a sissy, or worse, then I'll blow you a kiss in my pretty dress, and keep YOUR poor kids in my thoughts."