A Face Painting Clown to Parents: Let Your Boys Enjoy Beauty, Too

It started when a four-year-old boy asked a clown, who had been hired to paint the faces of kids at a picnic, a simple question:

"Can I have a blue butterfly?"

The clown was happy to oblige, but before she could, the boy's mother stepped in. "Give him something for boys," she said, demanding her son receive a skull and crossbones instead.

The clown, who goes by @boguspress on Twitter, broke down the interaction in a series of viral tweets that show, in her words, how boys are taught that "anger and violence" are the only things they are allowed to experience.

As gay men and fathers, it's not hard to identify with this four-year-old boy. That blue butterfly could represent any number of other factors deemed failures of masculinity. The impulse that leads a mother to scold her son for embracing something beautiful is the same one that admonishes us for loving another man, marrying another man, raising a child with another man.

So props to this brave clown for publicly taking on something so unfunny, and to that little boy who just gave us this awesome new symbol for bringing down the patriarchy! Read the full series of tweets below:

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