A mom declared her love and support for her toddler son's choice to wear a tutu after a stranger reportedly questioned her parenting decisions.
Jen Anderson Shattuck says she was walking with her 3-year-old son Roo in the park last week when a strange man accosted them and demanded to know why he was wearing a skirt.
"She shouldn't keep doing this to you," the man reportedly said to Roo. "You're a boy. She's a bad mommy. It's child abuse."
After the stranger snapped a photo of them and left, Shattuck called the police.
According to a Facebook post from Shattuck, Roo wears his tutu almost everywhere — churches, stores and trains — and they never had a problem until now.
"If asked, [Roo] will say the tutus make him feel beautiful and brave," she wrote with evident pride on Facebook. "If asked, he will say there are no rules about what boys can wear or what girls can wear."
She paired the Facebook post with an incredible photo of Roo in his glittery tutu.
"I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear," she wrote. "I will show him, in whatever way I can, that I value the person he is, trust in his vision for himself, and support his choices — no matter what anybody else says, no matter who tries to stop him or how often."
Many parents like Shattuck are breaking away from social norms and empowering their kids to make their own choices without gender's limitations. And this shifting in parenting styles could have a big impact. Research suggests that unnecessarily gendering things like toys may prevent children from developing a full range of interests and talents.
As of August 29, Shattuck's Facebook post has received over 50,000 likes.
Shattuck told Scary Mommy that she shared her story to show the world the strength of a parent's love — and she is stunned at how well it was received..
"I had absolutely no idea the post would go viral, nor was it my intention to write a viral post," she wrote to Cosmopolitan.
Meanwhile, her message inspired the hashtag #TutusForRoo, with photos of people supporting Roo.