April 14th, 2011


Of flowers, boys, and men

Almost no clothes for boys have flowers on them. Nor toys, nor accessories.

This has really struck me as I've shopped for and sorted through kid and baby clothes this past year, and presses on my mind, especially this week after Brian brought home some nice sunflowers to put in a vase.

We want guys to buy flowers, right? And to grow gardens and potted plants, and pick flowers from them to decorate the home, as my father has done all my life?

So why this complete lack of flowers for boys? What kind of message are we sending? That they can admire lovely things from a distance, but can't own them or take care of them? That girls can dress themselves in the most cheerful colors nature offers, but boys either can't or have to think of them differently. (as fruit colors, or better yet, colors for cars and trucks??)

It's considered an insult to call a guy a pansy, but there's a reason why Bloom County's "Dandelion break" struck all the right chords. Flowers help relax the mind and body, reduce stress, and generally make life more pleasant.

I mean, I can see why a pansy became the symbol for a complete lack of "manliness". The petals come off the stem with little pressure, are flimsy, and bruise easily. But what about Tulips? Roses? Sunflowers? Begonias? Bright flaming Indian paintbrush? Brave little crocuses? Warm friendly buttercups? Tasty clover?

Right now most "unisex" clothing is plain, striped, or has animals on it. Really cute animals. Which is all well and good, but I'd like to see Unisex clothing with flowers. Bright, bold daisies and sunflowers. And maybe some jungle flowers, to go with all those animals.

Because boys should be taught to walk with beauty, too.