You know that I'm the kind of cranky feminist who gets all in a twist about things like the tarting up of Merida and why do Monster High dolls exist and no, little girls shouldn't dress like sluts, and nor should they be wearing lip gloss.
On the other hand, the totally stylin', fancy-sneakered, well-coifed, thirty-something guy who sashayed down Broadway this morning with this tote bag slung over his shoulder absolutely made my day.
But, I want to unpack this. I'd be appalled if someone handed my nine year old an "Always Wear Your Invisible Crown" bag or sweatshirt. No, you're not a secret princess. You're a sturdy, feisty, smart kid and it's not about your appearance, or your tiara, or your royal lineage, it's about what you can (and will) do.
So, why is it okay for a grown-up gay man* to walk around like a princess? Because he's not a kid? Because he's earned it? Because he's got a deep vein of irony? Huh?
And what does "Always Wear Your Invisible Crown" mean, anyway? Don't give me crap about how it supports self-esteem, like the Toronto school board preaches, because hello? We're not royalty. We don't wear crowns. What do we do? We model good behavior: we read books, and cook dinner, and go to work, and practice things that are hard. We exercise and we challenge assumptions and we think about issues. We read the newspaper at the breakfast table and talk about things going on in the world. We discuss things like "is there a god?" and soda with artificial sweeteners and "where did the world come from?" and the girls who like fashion.
If my kid ever wants to fly that "Always Wear Your Invisible Crown" flag, we're going to talk about that non-existent tiara and about that lack of royal blood and about avoiding crowns later by brushing your teeth now.
* I have no way of knowing if he was actually gay. But you don't spend 25 years working in the arts in NYC and not develop very good gaydar. Trust me.