My Nephews Don’t Care About Black Cinderella (and that’s a good thing!)

Anything that happened at the end of February is old news in the entertainment world, but whenever I wonder what I should post on my blog, my brain goes blank, so this is at least something. I’m fashionably late. Get it, because this post is sort of about fashion? Oh, you didn’t know what yet. Well, I’m hilarious. That’s the point. But onto my other point…

This about that time Billy Porter wore a dress to the Oscars. Or as I typed into google, “guy that wore dress to awards show” because I don’t really know who he is and I didn’t even watch it, but it popped up on my phone as a story I might be interested in. I used to know a fair amount about television and movies and the people who starred in them, but there are just SO MANY THINGS now, which makes my brain tired at even the thought of keeping up.

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Alright, so he wore a dress and that’s good for him because it sounds like he wanted to wear a dress and feel glamorous and I’m glad he got to do so. Men’s suits are boring anyway. I like the gown part, sort of, but it’s basically the ball gown version of a tuxedo; it’s like taking a boring thing and making it… slightly less boring? Which I guess was the point as it’s a tuxedo gown. The commentary about it was better. “People are going to be really uncomfortable with my black ass in a ball gown,” he said, “but it’s not anybody’s business but mine.”

Also neat in that laugh about it so you don’t scream or cry way? Dudebros freaking out about a man wearing a dress. Everyone is familiar with mindless hate on the internet so I’m not going to post anything from trolls, but there’s always those few trolls who think they’re smart and have what they consider a “valid reason” to be upset so it’s totes not homophobia or racist, it’s a legit concern!

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This time the concern was *Helen Lovejoy voice* won’t someone think of the children? Which got me wondering… what would my kids think about this? I don’t know. First, I don’t have kids. But I do have nephews. Who are of the age where they don’t care and will tune out immediately if I try to teach them Very Special Lessons about respect and tolerance and sunshine and rainbows, but I try to sneak it in when I can.

So, while scrolling through my phone, I said, “Did you guys hear about the guy who wore a dress to the Oscars?” Then I rolled my eyes at myself because, no, of course they didn’t hear it, where would they hear that? The entertainment websites they’ve never been on once because its not Roblox, the water cooler at school? Do they even know what Oscars are? Besides Oscar the Grouch.

…They would probably object to being associated with Oscar the Grouch as they’re not “little kids” anymore and that “baby stuff” is so beneath them. The oldest is 10. Anyway, when I told them about Billy Porter, they both looked up respectively from the TV and the tablet. Getting that much in itself was a big feat and there was interest on their faces, like they thought someone was pulling a joke or prank.

I showed them both the picture, they looked at it eagerly and then I said, “Yeah, he wore a dress because he wanted to.” And boom, interest over, just like that. There was no joke, no prank, just a dude wearing the clothes he wanted to wear and they didn’t care at all. It was back to their regularly schedule entertainment.

All in all, a pretty good reaction. There was no disgust or confusion or anger. They’re not really interested in what some would consider “girly” or “feminine” things, but I’ve been working with them on understanding that they can like whatever they want and to not immediately dismiss things with “that’s for girls!”, “I’m not a girl!”, “GIRLS BOO, BOYS YAY” and whatnot.

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My ADHD brain is easily distracted, so I like shiny, sparkly things. LOVE the cape.

My greatest triumph with my nephews is the color pink. Anytime it was mentioned or seen, there were immediate protests and both of them informing me they hated pink and it was a girl’s color and pink was evil. I kept saying, “It’s just a color. You can like it or not like it. It’s up to you.” Which was immediately met with “I don’t like it!” to which I’d say, “That’s fine.”

Those conversations about pink have died down over the years, maybe because they’ve outgrown coloring books somewhat, but also because there’s less of that gut reaction of, ‘oh no, we can’t like anything girls might like or we’ll be girls and that’s bad!’ The oldest one likes pink now. The youngest doesn’t. My response to both of them is still, “That’s fine.”

I’m glad this attitude seems to be sinking in for them. Oh, just some guy wearing a dress and it’s not supposed to be funny or anything? Why do we care, they seemed to say as I could mentally see them shrugging their shoulders. That guy they’ve never heard of can do what he wants. It’s fine.

Yesterday the weather was warm enough that you could walk outside without a coat, the first day that had happened in a while. The sun stayed out all day, no clouds to hide behind, but it’s still winter, so it was almost completely dark after 5:30.

That didn’t stop the kids in my neighborhood. My windows were open and I could hear the kids in the background, out playing until they were forced by their parents to come in. I didn’t pay much attention to them as they yelled and ran around and did whatever kids do, but there was one sentence that got my attention because it sounded like the speaker said, “I wanna be a Jedi.”

It was a petulant sounding boy, and sure enough, he wanted to be a Jedi because an older, more confident boy replied, “You can’t be a Jedi, that’s not fair.”

I’m not really sure what happened next, there was some whining and commotion, maybe the first boy got mad and stormed off. I didn’t hear anything else until a third voice said “just let him be a Jedi.” Two against one, the boy got to be a Jedi.

So, I guess the moral of the story is to follow your dreams. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t be a Jedi.

 

 

 

Optimism

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Today is grey and bitter. There’s no snow yet, but the winter is truly here. The sky is empty, the trees are stripped bare of leaves, and no one is venturing outside more than they have to.

I’ve been having some trouble with positivity lately. It’s easy to get discouraged as a self-published author. The weather doesn’t reflect my mood, it’s not pathetic fallacy, it’s just December in the Midwest.

Being a self-published author isn’t the easiest thing. I won’t moan on about all my struggles and difficulties, but I’ll just say it has some challenges. Doing it on your own means you have to do so much from writing, editing, making graphics, marketing and more all while competing against people with bigger teams and budgets.

I received a lesson in optimism from my nephews. Every day they want to go to the park. The cold doesn’t bother them. Or more likely, they just don’t care that it’s cold. They still want to go outside and run around and play. They don’t let the weather ruin their fun.

Their favorite response last year when someone said it was too cold to go outside was to say, “Well, to me it isn’t.” Naturally, no one bought this. Ignoring reality didn’t work or produce results, so they’ve adapted. Now they just don’t care. Yes, it’s cold outside, but they want to go out anyway.