I’m A Boy…

Should I be offended when someone calls my boy a girl?

You expect it when they are babies. Often our gorgeous children don’t look like a boy or a girl. Just these sweet smelling babies gurgling away in white baby grows with a little halo spinning around them. And that’s OK. I accepted it in the early days. Often the distinct lack of hair does make a difference. I get it.

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As they grow older the white and lemon clothes disappear and quickly identities are formed. Pink and Blue. There are a growing number of brands just like one of my favourites, Little Bird by Jools Oliver that cater for gender neutral. Unisex clothing. Is this where we have been going wrong? Do clothes need to be gender specific in order for our children to be identified correctly? The answer is no. Is this where the confusion lies? The answer is no. Or at least it should be.

Maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic. Maybe I sound like I’m being precious. Maybe you agree with me. Or maybe I should just accept it and laugh about it. I have done so for so long. Enough is enough.

To me it’s not ok. It does bother me but more importantly it bothers my boy. Who, despite my feelings towards the subject is more important. His upset has enraged me. It has upset me. Our gorgeous boy is fast approaching 4-years old, in 30-days actually. Eek. He looks like a boy, he behaves like a little boy, he is a little dude.

So, why is it that my boy is mistaken for a girl? He doesn’t wear dresses, he doesn’t walk around talking about princesses, although he does like a fair few. He’s a little boy that loves trains, football, climbing, playing pirates, watching Toy Story, every possible super hero and let’s not forget dragons. Even if he played with dolls, which for the record is absolutely fine I still wouldn’t be happy with him being called a girl. 

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Until recently he has been oblivious to these comments. Hence my silence. It’s just something that I’ve ignored. That was until our recent holiday where he was referred to as a girl more than once. What is more upsetting is that he is aware of it now. It upset him. It upset me to hear him say… mummy why did that man call me a girl? I’m a boy. Why do they say that?

At the grand old age of 47 months, saying it that way makes me still feel like he’s my baby. I’ll save that for another post. What I was trying to say is that our gorgeous boy shouldn’t be concerned with this. It isn’t something which should be on his radar. He should be consumed with play. Nothing more. No worries. He shouldn’t be questioning himself.

And that’s when the mummy guilt hit me. Is it my fault? Our fault? It’s our choice for him to have long hair. On the whole we dress him. We pick out his clothes. We have to accept some responsibility, yes he has long hair but how many boys do these days? I think it’s because he’s just so pretty. With all that said, he does not look like a girl. Does he?

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What do I do? What do we do? The last thing we want is for our boy to be upset! To me kid, you have cool hair. To me kid, you are amazing. Not to be questioned. Just to be loved. You are perfect.

I’m not going to cut his hair and I’m not going to change the way I dress him. I just wish people would think twice before making a judgement on the sex of a child. That second glance and you’d see he was a boy.

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KA x

And then the fun began...
Modern Dad Pages

51 thoughts on “I’m A Boy…

  1. To be honest he does look like a girl, he has a stunning face which as he grows up will be in his favour but with longer hair it does make him at first glance look like a girl ( and let’s face it that is what most people will do before deciding) especially as girls wear trousers and boyish clothes all the time.
    Explain to him, show him male role models with longer hair so he learns to ignore their mistake. But the straightforward talking person in me does think, you must of seen it coming growing his hair? My worry is, as wrong as it is, depending on the other children you are leaving him open to the bullies. It might not happen but for me it wouldn’t be a risk I would take, like I won’t let mine wear Thomas the tank engine underwear now he’s at school as much as I would love him to because he loves those pants I had to make the decision to protect him. By the way my son has dolls, regularly puts his sisters dresses on and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid about not letting him… But I wouldn’t let him push the doll past the cruel kid in his class either. It’s so hard and I hope your community is one where if he likes his hair it can stay because it looks gorgeous x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When she was a baby, our daughter was constantly mistaken for a boy. Everyone assumed she was a boy. She could have been wearing a frilly dress and a tiara, and people would walk up to us and say, “How old is he?” People just don’t look that closely at kids that aren’t their own – so they’re probably not the best reasons to cut your son’s hair unless he wants it cut, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, its so sad that people judge kids purely through the length of their hair! Lil G is incredibly cute and his hair really suits him. I think as he gets older and his face is less child like it will be more accepted by the peer group – look at teenage boys now, loads of them seem to go for that longer hair look. Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout hon Xx

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  4. About a month ago my son has the best long hair. Till his waist. I love its color as its got highlights and lowlights and he looks so different from other kids. It made him unique. But he went to me and said he wants to cut his hair because some of his classmates in school calls him a girl. I explained to him that hair length doesnt define gender but how can I tell that when his classmates are teasing him. I have to give in to his request but my heart was broken when we did cut it. Peer pressure won. #thetruthabout


  5. Hi Kerri-Ann, We had exactly the same thing with my son Seb. He has the most gorgeous naturally kinky hair and we grew it long into a fab indie style. He looked so cool and like no-one else in his class, an individual. Then we moved and he changed schools. He was nervous, like a fish out of water so when someone called him a girl he said he wanted his hair cut and I was devastated. At the end of the day, he was 8 and it was his choice so we went ahead. He’s had short hair ever since but I really hope he grows it long again one day, it really suited him. Lots of luck for you, he’s a gorgeous boy. xx

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  6. He is a gorgeous boy and most definitely does not look like a girl! I do find it outrageous how some people just go by the length of a childs hair to determine (wrongly) whether they are a boy or a girl. Fab post! #TheTruthAbout

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  7. I think it’s a real shame that people judge by one thing – hair. We shouldn’t have to fall into stereotypes and act accordingly but if it’s upsetting your boy then perhaps ask him what he wants to do? At 4 years of age, he probably has a view on it. x x

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  8. Ahh love this KA. I love little bird things because of the vibrant colors and the gender neutral as I have a boy and girl and bless MM heart she is always being called a boy all the time. Not sure how that comes about but I think the modern world needs to catch up and realize anything is a boy or girl thing these days. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me I hope you are enjoying my blog hop and thanks for all the linky support! #sharewithme

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jenny, it is hard isn’t it, people do need to update their outlook. I do think it is the older generation, a comment like this hasn’t come from the younger generation! Your linky has grown so much, you should be very proud, I only wish I had the time to comment on more than a handful x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a wonderful post lovely!

    He looks like a little boy. Yes he’s beautiful but I’ve never even considered him resembling a girl. I had short hair as a young girl and was always referred to as a boy, it used to enrage me. People are just a bit ignorant about certain things like hair length, clothing colours aren’t they? Xxx

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  10. I really enjoyed this post KA. I am the opposite and have a little girl who on the outside looks very much like a little girl with her beautiful long hair, but she just wants to be a boy. And when I say that I am not exaggerating, she will ask to wear boy clothes, turns her nose up at anything girly, wants to play with ‘boy’ toys etc. I don’t know if it’s just a phase but we are just letting her embrace it whatever. It’s a funny old thing really. And your son is a beautiful beautiful boy, don’t listen to people who say things about his hair. I think he looks great. x

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  11. Aw, I’ve had exactly the same thing happen with my son and I was surprised how angry it made me. He doesn’t generally have long hair but on that occasion it did need a bit of a cut but he likes it longer, it’s ‘skater-boy cool’ these days don’t you know?! The thing that annoyed me was the way it hurt my son. He went very red in the face and looked like he was trying hard not to cry. The man who said it was old and balding and actually really drunk so I did make a bit of a childish retort! (oops!) I just explained to my son that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. As long as he is happy with his look, who cares?! I make it entirely his decision what he does with his hair and clothes (he’s 9 now but has been VERY opinionated on these topics from a very early age!) And we all agree that other people’s comments shouldn’t mean anything (but it doesn’t stop them hurting, sadly). Just rise above it dear. (That’s what my Nan would say!!) There will always be people who feel it’s their right to comment on things that are nothing to do with them. Let’s all agree to ignore those people and rise above! xx

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  12. I love his hair and style! Little B has been called a girl numerous times, I’m assuming due to his longer hair, even though he was dressed as far as I was concerned like a boy! Like you said it’s easy enough to ignore (though it bugs) when it doesn’t affect them. The hubby has since asked me to keep it a little shorter which make me sad! Hope he’s ok and bounces back quickly xx

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  13. I completely get what you’re saying and agree that it shouldn’t be how society see’s things.

    He’s a little cutie and any modern male would kill for his lovely locks, I know I would if I could pull it off (I can’t cos of my round face) however you won’t change societies views… at least until he loses his perfect complexion, which hopefully doesn’t happen until he becomes a teenager and starts growing stubble. :-/

    Its a tricky one as you have two options, keep the locks but continue to explain to G that its nothing personal (it is maybe rude in some cases) or if you are becoming concerned its upsetting him too much, to cut the locks back (for a temporary measure) knowing that they will always grow back and he can pull the look/style off too when they do. (unlike me as per above 😉 )

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    • Ha ha my husband says the same about dreaming of having his hair! I agree with you completely, we are in two minds as the comments did upset him last week. I wish I could stop people in their tracks. In most instances I think it is a case of folk not looking at him and just seeing the hair

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  14. I can totally relate and see where you are coming from. My 16 month old get mistaken for a boy quite often. Like you it didn’t bother me initially but now its getting annoying. We have a blue Quinny pushchair, I openly talk about shopping for my kids clothes in the boys section ( they have nice t shirts, sweatshirts.. the list is long ) and she is rough like a boy but I really think people need to learn to think twice. I understand the odd mistake like ” ohh he is so cute”. But my daughter has her ear pierced so I’m thinking what makes people think she is a boy and why does it even matter what sex she is. Do I even make sense?

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  15. Bless him , he looks nothing like a girl you can tell just from photo’s that he is a little boy. My daughter gets called a boy all the time and i have no idea why she is 2 and has long curly hair and wears dresses most of the time the only thing i can think of is because she has a navy coat xx

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  16. my guess if that these people are barely bothering to even look at him. They see the long hair and assume. It’s more a product of most people walking around with their head up their rear than anything to do with your son

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  17. OHMYGOD!! I have EXACTLY this with mine!! In fact — unbelievably — on the weekend we were with a group of friends and one of my friends actually said (very loudly) as I was walking away ‘You need your hair cutting Bertie my boy’. WHAT??? I was staggered.

    I absolutely LOVE his hair. He looks very cool and — unlike her son at that age — doesn’t have a mullet. Both mine wear leggings and both have a beautiful head of hair. And they’re BOYS. 😉 #ShareWithMe

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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  18. He has beautiful hair! 🙂 And I love the clothes, I wish I could get more gender neutral, I’m going to have a look at the make you mentioned. 🙂
    My smallest has long hair as well, and when he was a toddler wearing “typical boy” clothes, someone called him a girl simply because he was wearing an amber necklace! lol
    You just can’t win!

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  19. My son was mistaken for a girl a few times when he was an older baby, I just couldn’t see it! Now he’s a toddler it’s been mentioned a couple of times, he has long-ish wild hair. It doesn’t bother me but it would upset a great deal if he was questioning it when he’s older. As you say, they should not be questioning themselves at such a young age #sharewithme

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  20. I know how you feel, when Noah was young he had lovely blonde slightly curly hair and I loved it, but the ‘oh what a cute little girl’ really got to me then on his first football lesson where he was dressed head to toe in blue the football coach called him a little girl and I snapped, the next day I had his hair all chopped off! The worse thing I have ever done!
    So now when it happens I do my best to ignore it! My boys may appear to be girlie to others – Amber necklaces throw people off to and make them look extra “girlie” but I will not change them just so they fit into that “boy box.”

    Your little dude is gorgeous and his hair is beautiful and from his cheeky face anyone can tell he’s a boy! Xx

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  21. Both my boys have been mistaken for girls many times for this exact reason, but I have really mixed feelings about this. It’s a tricky one and completely the fault of society – kids should be free from judgement and free to express themselves, but I also wouldn’t want my three year old to feel conscious or upset about his appearance. It’s really got me thinking. My three year old hasn’t picked up on any comments yet but if it was upsetting him a lot I know I would cut his hair. I wouldn’t like to do it and it would make me angry to do so but it’s not something he should have to deal with. If he desperately wanted it long and had the confidence to deal with the comments then I wouldn’t. The funny this is is that I cut both my boys’ hair this morning because I was sick of it getting matted and sweated on holiday – I’m already mourning the loss of it and I can’t wait for it to grow back! xx One thing is for sure is that it’s certainly not your fault, it’s our conservative country’s. In China it’s normal for boys to be head to toe in pink and men to hold clutch bags! It was refreshing xx

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  22. I use to get the whole is he a girl question when my little boy was a baby. I don’t see it, but it has mostly stopped. it seems to happen if he’s wearing a pink t-shirt. He is such a boy though. Your little boy is a boy, of course he is. It’s obvious, like you say a second glance would confirm that to a stranger. Please don’t let it bother you, i wish people would think before they speak, especially in front of a child. All you can do is make sure your little boy is comfortable in his own skin, that’s all that matters #sharewithme

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  23. He actually looks like a boy too, and a very cute trendy one at that! People are SO Weird aren’t they? When Z was a baby he was in a pram dressed all in blue and covered in a blue blanket, looking very stereotypically like a boy. A couple of old ladies pottered over and commented on what a lovely girl he was! I was a bit speechless!

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  24. It is the longer hair I think. We have a friend whose son had this. He had gorgeous thick long hair too. Sometimes I think people don’t really look properly.
    This is tough for you. We don’t want our children to feel upset or to even have to consider how they look at this age (or for a long time). Parenting is not easy at times. #sharewithme

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  25. Awww bless him, you’ll just have to tell him people aren’t used to seeing such beautiful boys and it’s a good thing. He’ll appreciate it when he’s older. Bless him, I would get the same with Judah as he has such long eyelashes, gorgeous eyes, red lips, he’s just a beautiful boy, and people are silly. People should think before they speak, he’s clearly a boy, they’re just being unthoughtful. I love his hair and think he’s extremely handsome xxx don’t change doing what you do xxx #sharewithme

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  26. Ahh this post has come just at the right time for me!! We were out yesterday at Rufford Old Hall and the lady serving us mistook Lucas for a girl, often it doesn’t bother me but Lucas doesn’t yet realise what they are saying so reading this I can see I would be upset if it was bothering him! I don’t think he looked particularly girly, you’ve probably seen the photo of him, he was in a blue hoody, blue jeans, blue vans and I know that a girl could easily wear the same outfit but I think if you’re looking for a sign of his gender…it’s pretty obvious!! Some people just can’t see past his long hair which is weird because a lot of boys have long hair. Like you, I will not be cutting it anytime soon! Lil G is super cute but in my mind quite obviously a boy! xx

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  27. Love, love love his hair! Gorgeous! It’s a shame people make snap judgments but I don’t think they mean any harm by it. Not that that’s any consolation to an annoyed little boy. Maybe explain to him that people just make a mistake sometimes and he should just politely correct them. He shouldn’t take it as an insult, it probably not intended as one.


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  28. We get this ALL the time!!! It drives me mad, I love longer hair on boys and Tiger also wears a lot of leggings so as a result everyone thinks he’s a girl. He’s still too young to realise at the moment but it must be upsetting for them, Cherry wouldn’t like it if everyone kept referring to her as a boy. If people aren’t sure they should just word things differently x

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