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Kids - Dress up / cross playing


Addicted Poster
1) Your daughter want to dress up like Indiana Jones or Spiderman. Is she allowed?

2) Your son want to dress up like Lucia or Elsa. Is he allowed?

3) Your kid wants to dress up like a character with another skin color than themself. Is he or she allowed? Is it different if it's a girl or a boy?

4) How do you react if a black boy is dressed up like Elsa or Lucia?

5) Is it different that at boy want to dress up like a girl, than a girl want to dress up like a boy?

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
I don't mind if there is a black Elsa or St. Lucy, though I don't think a boy should be St. Lucy in a procession. I don't mind if boys participate in the procession, with candles etc., but you need a girl to be St. Lucy. Why? Because St. Lucy was a woman, and it highlights women's equal devotion / sacrifice to our society's largest religion. There are enough male characters in Christianity, so we need to protect the few female ones there are.


Addicted Poster
She was yeah. Italian. So she probably had dark hair, but the girls that are picked to be her in processionhere are too often pretty and slim girls with long, blond hair. We had a school in Norway now that exclued all boys from the St Lucy celebration, as only the girls was allowed to sing in the choir, even though it was boys wanted to do it. I find it very strange that grown up exclude one sex totaly from the whole thing.

A Swedish interior shop had an add with a black boy as St Lucy. And the hate that add got, was so big it has to be removed to protect the kid. I've had some discussions with other people about cross playing and dress up with kids.
It seems like most people don't mind girls dressed up like boy characters, or play men/boys in school plays. But the oposite has a lot of people BIG problems with. Some even told they will beat their son if he wanted to be Elsa og St Lucy (luckly IS is her to translate my poor English sometimes! :D , and luckly those people have no plan getting kids at all). In my years as a kid, we had a girl playing Josef, the three wise men was often girls and several other male roles/caracters was played by girls. In small school, having kids playing only their own gender can make it impossible to put up school plays, as some of the school plays often dominate with male characters.

I don't have kids, and I'm not planning to have them. But to limit the kid to strict and old fashioned gender roles is just strange to me. I would never allowed my young, black boy be in an add as St Lucy, but that's because I know that it will end like this add did (I've seen too many comments on FB and forums to be surprised). Cross playing is normal as kid, we just allow girls to do it more than boys. I know that cross playing is more common in some Asian contries. Cosplayers more often cross play, and girls more often than boys.

Black girls have gotten a lot of reaction of they have dressed up like Elsa. Because Elsa is white. I don't think I've ever heard of a white girl getting reaction to dress up like Pocahontas.

The argument for not having kids cross play (or to be correct, not allowing boys to cross play) is in my head sometimes really strange. People mix in gender idenity (but mostly only for boys), mixed locker rooms and showers, what can happen in work life 30-40 year ahead in life, letting the kids eat candy for dinner if he wants to etc. It think (and know) a lot of the same people have problems with boys playing with dolls or other things that they mean belong to girls. But they have no problems with girls playing with "boy's toys".

A black boy have so much more limitation to what he can dress up like, than a white girl. And it makes me in fact a bit sad. That kids can't be kids, play with what they want and dress up like who they want.

I really understand IS's argument for letting girls have the part in procession. :)


1. Yes, my daughter was Christopher Robin for Halloween one year, age 3, her choice, and she wore the outfit and pretended to be him often in the months following. (We always had lots of dress-up comstumey stuff for the kids to play pretend with anyway.)

2. Yes, I would have let him. Once in awhile he would wear a femimine costume playing dress up at home, but he never wanted to be a girl character for Halloween.

3. No. In the US, a blond blue-eyed kid (like mine are) dressing as another race would be seen as racist. My son did dress up as a ninja one year, but didn't change skin or hair color or anything.

4. I think it is cute when a little boy dresses as Elsa, no matter his race. I wouldn't ban my son from doing so, but I would warn him ahead of time that some people have a issue with it and might tease him. We would practice a couple of responses to use to shut down bullies, like we did when he needed his eye patched for medical reasons as a young boy.

5. It is accepted more by society when a girl dresses like a boy than vice versa. I suppose that it is because males are considered more valued and more valuable than females.

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
OT: Isn't Saint Lucia a Catholic saint?
Yes, but we liked her so much in the Scandinavian countries (the Lutheran church) that we decided to keep her even after the reformation. The tradition is also merged with heathen pre-Christian beliefs to some extent. In any case, very few people really know much about the beliefs and history of St. Lucy. All that most people know and care about is the song, the procession and dressing-up, and lussekatter (saffron buns).


Veteran Member
1) Yes.
2) I am not familar with Lucia, but if Elsa from Frozen is the Elsa you are referring to, then yes. My son wanted to be a witch for Halloween when he was 4. I was fine with it.
3) It depends. If its a fictional character, like someone from Star Wars, it is fine as long as you aren't painting their face or something. Generally, I do not think it's appropriate to dress up as a real person if it's culturally insensitive, because a person's cultural indentity should not be a costume for others (ie - a Native American).
4) Again, I am not familiar with Lucia, but anyone can dress up like any Disney Princess if they wish.
5) I think it's easier for a girl to dress up like a boy without being made fun of, but it shouldn't be that way.


Stranger in a strange land
1. Of course.
2. Of course.
3. Of course. No difference whether a girl or a boy.
4. Don't care.
5. No.

My nephew was born in 1974. When he was little, he was a big fan of Wonder Woman and of Sergeant Pepper of the TV show Policewoman. We made him a Wonder Woman costume, which he wore daily for long stretches of time. Even when he was wearing regular clothes, if we were out and about, and people spoke to him, he would tell them he was Wonder Woman, or Sergeant Pepper. Everyone always thought it was extremely cute.

My father was born in 1903, my mother in 1919, and she in particular was not very "advanced" when it came to things of a sexual nature. Neither of them (or anyone else in the conservative area in which we lived) had a second thought about any of my nephew's role playing. Now, I'm sure that would have changed if he had continued past six or seven (it was a conservative area), but the point I'm trying to make is that I think such openness in childhood role playing has always been a part of childhood, and may have been less questioned by some older generations than it is now.