Monday 19 March 2018

Purple Glasses

Last week I took my six year old son Dylan to the opticians for an eye test.  He has worn glasses for nearly 3 years now and every six months we have a check up where they assess his eyes, usually tweak the prescription ever so slightly and issue a voucher for a new pair of glasses.  The opticians we chose lets the children have two pairs and there is a great selection for them to choose from.

Last week Dylan got to pick his new glasses and as we walked over to the stand with its two boards, the pink one with 'girls' written at the top and the blue board with 'boys' written at the top, he checked with me that he was allowed to choose any pair.  Of course, I told him, although some pairs might not be the right size for your face, they might be best for older or younger children, so you can choose your favourites and we will check with the optician to see if you can have them.

We walked over and he spent a long time looking.  I turned around to chat to his little brother who was in the shop with us and Dylan picked up his two favourite pairs.  One of them had a black metal frame and spiderman jumping down the arms, the other had purple plastic frames and a Finding Dory image on the side.  One was clearly from the boys section and the other from the girls.

It took all my will power to not say anything, to support his decision.  He is six and a half and able to make his own choices.  I have tried to bring him up to know that women and men are equal, that a woman can be an engineer and a man a ballet dancer, that toys and colours and jobs do not have a gender and that his choices are valid and valued.  But still there is a stigma on boys choosing from a girls section.  A girl choosing Spiderman glasses is considered cool, but a boy choosing pink or purple ones is more difficult and I want to do anything to protect my son from hurtful comments and actions. 

But I respected his choice and we ordered his new Finding Dory glasses.  The next morning out of the blue he told me in a very matter of fact way that he thought people at school would laugh at him when they saw his new glasses.  I asked him what made him think that.

"Because some of them think there is such a thing as boy colours and girl colours, but I know that anyone can like any colours because they don't belong to girls and boys".

And he reminded me of his strength, of his individuality and that quiet confidence that lives within him.  He didn't choose the glasses naive to the social impact he may make, he chose them in spite of them, because he is not afraid to be who he is, to like what he likes and to stand up for his belief that any person can like any colour.  My son is confident in his decision, not so swayed yet by peer pressure and I hope he stays that way.  His decision made me more confident, in my decisions and in my parenting, because this is the boy that I raised. 


  1. I completely respect his forward thinking and your definitely raising a smart, strong minded child.
    I personally thinking the frames are very complimentary, soft with his features! I want more of this open mindedness!

  2. Your son is amazing, beautifully written post.

  3. Firstly, the boy's got style! I can totally see how you were conflicted, but it's a testament to both of you that Dylan has the glasses he likes and suits him. Much nicer than harsh drsigns in dark colours. Excellently put.

  4. Aww bless him, I think he looks fantastic in them - good choice Dylan!

  5. He looks so happy with his glasses, super important when he wears them everyday so well done in supporting him with his colour choice. My 6 year old says his favourite colour is rainbow (he finds choosing just one too hard) and that colours are for everyone when someone says pink is for girls.


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