Is it "child abuse" to dress up a 2 year old boy in a princess costume for a Halloween party?

Apparently, according to someone who I never thought would be so uppity about "gender issues", it would literally be "child abuse" to dress a little boy in a princess costume for a Halloween party.

See, this 2 year old boy is friends with a 5 year old girl who is also going to be a princess for the party, so it might be cute and of course a bit funny to also dress him up as a princess so that they could be princesses together.

Would THAT be "abusive" to the child? I mean, it's Halloween... it's a COSTUME, for goodness sakes.


trashelle, REALLY? You think this boy would struggle with "issues" in later life if, when he was two, he wore a princess costume for Halloween? WHY? Why do you think that?

51 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    No way is that child abuse... It's funny and cute! Anyways have you ever seen the clothes babies used to wear back in the day?? Heck all the little boy babies wore dresses, in some cultures little boys still wear dresses until they are older. Religious people put dresses on their little boys all the time, when they get them baptised.. It's called a Christening gown..

    If anything is going to "abuse" or mentally scar your child, it would be dressing them up, sprinkling water on their head in a strange building with tons of other people.... You can't get much weirder than that... and still obviously not many male babies are "scarred for life" by this, unless perhaps they are scarred by the burden of religion.

    Now as for dressing a boy up as a girl for Halloween, I see nothing wrong with it at all... in fact my Aunt dressed up my cousin like a girl, on Halloween and laughingly several other times put a wig on him. Now we all laugh about it and the pictures, even the boy who is now a teenager... It's not abuse, it's funny and a joke. I could see if you always dressed your baby boy as a girl and pretended he actually was that would be damaging, let's get serious, only a mentally ill person would inflict that on their child. ... but for Halloween or a joke it's not even close to the same thing, and not at all wrong. Also in case you haven't noticed almost EVERY single teenage boy I know/knew in school, family, friends has at least once voluntarily worn womens clothing/makeup etc as a joke or on Halloween... Nothing wrong with that.. It's all in fun and a child as young as 2 won't even remember anyways, and it should be good fun later teasing them about it and showing the pictures to their girlfriend/wife.. ha ha ha. Nobody has a sense of humour anymore..

    PS... Until the late 19th century, young Western boys and girls often wore the same attire: a dress. Unisex infant clothing made changing diapers easier and simplified the passing of garments from one child to the next. When a young boy had reached an age at which he could begin to train in manly pursuits, he would be dressed in pants rather than dresses. Before the 19th century, his clothing might be simply a miniature edition of adult wear. During the 19th century, men wore long pants and boys wore short pants.

    In current Western societies, even infant clothing may be marked for gender, and there is no such transition as the donning of the first pair of pants.

    Funny not all of them turned out gay and in fact none of them were scarred either... For those of you who say it's abuse, well apparently every single one of our ancestors living in the 19th century were child abusers.....

  • 1 decade ago

    Dressing up the boy as a princess will not make him gay, or a serial killer, or depressed as he gets older. He may be embarrassed by it but who doesn't have any embarrassment from their childhood?

    If this was the other way around and a girl wanted to dress up in as a prince nobody would say anything.

    Is dressing up as a princess his idea or yours? It sounds like it is yours. My advice would just ask him what he wants or take him down the costume isle and let him pick a "boy" costume.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My broters used to play with Barbie dolls, and I was always in on the boys you couldn't find a straighter bunch of siblings...

    Heck, I used to take christmas ornaments and dress my little brothers up for christmas when they were that age (I wasn't much older...) and they'd look like girls, I've seen the pictures!

    If he resists the princess costume, don't do it. But generally, little boys don't notice until they hit about four, and then that's only if you teach them directly or indirectly about gender roles. And no it's not abusive! It would only be abusive if he didn't want to do it, and you made him the object of ridicule. IF you can get everyone not to make fun of him, then there's nothing wrong with it, it's halloween, not kindergarten.

  • Orla C
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    If that little boy wants to dress up as a princess, why not?

    If he doesn't, forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do could be construed as a form of abuse, yes.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A child doesn't have a sense of self before about 5 or 6.

    I'm fairly sure I (I know my younger brothers did) walked round the house in mum's high heels.

    All 4 of us are sexually secure and still hetero. Wow.

    Clothes may maketh the man but they sure don't make a two-year old.


    I just read through all the comments.

    I bet I could pick out all the sexually repressed USians.

    I didn't realise there were so many weirdos around, although I shouldn't have been surprised.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think this is inappropriate. You didn't say that the child wishes to dress as a princess, but that you think it would be cute and funny. Are you willing to humiliate and embarrass this child for your own entertainment? That seems cruel. If you think it would be funny, you are expecting to laugh at him and expose him to others in the public who will also laugh at him. I think this amounts to emotional abuse. Have you ever had anyone laugh at you? Have you ever been publicly humiliated? You might be more compassionate and spare this child's feelings, as well as his future opinion of you. Yes, it it *just* a costume, but I would encourage you to take a mature viewpoint and treat the child with the kindness and dignity to which any human being is entitled.

    • conor5 years agoReport

      Humiliate and embarrass a two year old? You're insane.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hey, I didn't say it would be child abuse! I said that I'm concerned about what other people might think. It could be awkward for other peolpe, because lots of poeple have strong opinions about issues like this. I'm just someone who thinks about what others might think or say. Oh, and what if other little kids make fun of him? You don't want that for him! If it were just for you and a couple other people, no problem. But you're planning on taking him out in public, where other people are free to judge. I just wouldn't want to put you or him in that situation when it could easily be avoided!

    Source(s): I love you guys!
  • Susan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    My cousin was a monkey for halloween when he was a year old, I think, complete with grinding organ and tin cup. I'd never seen anyone do that before, so I suppose that counts for originality?

  • this is ridiculous.

    my four year old wanted to be a princess, but I told him no not because I had a problem with the idea, but because we'd already bought all the components for a robot costume, and I'm teaching him to think through his decisions, that he's responsible for them and they can't be changed repeatedly on a whim.

    I would warn him what other kids might say, but I don't think he'd care. he has long hair, is often mistaken for a girl, and it doesn't bother him.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think so... but I guess if he grows up to be uptight about it could "scar" him. I think it would be funny, but I don't know enough about how gender identity is formed or even IF it can be damaged by such seemingly harmless play. I can't see how it would be a big deal... unless other children teased him about it for years to come? It's an interesting question. I think since it's Halloween it would be no big deal. Dressing him as a girl on a regular basis wouldn't be so good for him, but one day when he's 2 years old? Eh...

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