Disney Apologized For Not Letting A Little Boy Be A Princess — But It Still Breaks Our Hearts

Photo: Claudio Beduschi/AGF/Getty Images.
Before reading this, please watch the video below. Don't tell us looking at Noah McLean-Glass play in his Princess Elsa dress doesn't make you feel something. He's almost unbearably adorable, and it's heartbreaking to know that he's, as of yet, blissfully unaware of the shit storm society will inevitably unleash on him if he keeps playing princess.
It's already begun. NBC News reports that Disneyland Paris apologized (well, thank god) after an employee told the 3-year-old's mom that he couldn't participate in the park's Princess for a Day experience because he's a boy.
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His mom Hayley McLean-Glass wrote in a post on her blog (which is called Sparkles & Stretchmarks and thus wins the mommy-blog name game forever) that Noah, a Frozen super-fan, had been "buzzing with excitement" when he learned that he could get a princess makeover. She had decided to give him the experience as an early Christmas present.
"I knew that there would be NOTHING he'd love more than to get to wear a pretty dress, put makeup on like mummy does, and have his photo taken being one of his beloved Disney Princesses," wrote Hayley, who is from Devon, England.
Here's the message Hayley got in response:
Screenshot.
It said: "At this time, it is not possible to book Princess for a Day for a boy."
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"I was so angry, I literally couldn't stop shaking for half an hour afterwards," Hayley told ITV News, NBC News' British partner. "I was just so shocked. I'm his mother, and if I'm okay with him doing it, who are Disney to tell me that he can't?"
Disneyland Paris apologized and said this was an "isolated incident."
"An isolated incident, the cast member's response is not reflective of any policy or belief held here at Disneyland Paris," the company said in a statement to ITV News. "We... sincerely apologize to Hayley and Noah for the distress caused... We are going to ensure this does not happen again... Of course, both boys and girls are welcome to enjoy the Princess for a Day experience in addition to all our other special activities."
The park may have apologized, but this "isolated incident" doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's yet more proof that gender discrimination is alive and well. It puts people in boxes early on and doesn't let kids be who they want to be. Noah's story reminds us of this Twitter thread (you can click through to read the whole thing) posted earlier this month, by a clown who was asked by a 4-year-old boy to paint a blue butterfly on his face. The boy's mom said to "give him something for boys" instead. Her choice? A skull and crossbones.
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The author of the thread concluded: "We are teaching them that anger and violence are the only things they are allowed to experience. That to value beauty and elegance is shameful."
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
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