Dresses For All
For a long time girls and women have been able to wear garments
like pants that have typically been considered male attire. A lot
less latitude has been given to boys and men yearning for dresses.
Fortunately the times are a changing. Two lively picture books I
recently picked up at the Orono Public Library celebrate this progress.
When Jacob, protagonist of Sarah and Ian Hoffman's Jacob's New
Dress, dresses as a princess a classmate tells him boys can't wear
dresses. His mom helps him make a dress like garment that the peer
pulls off. Finally with the help of his mom he makes a real dress.
The peer is predictably snarky. But Jacob has found the strength to
Morris of Christine Baldacchino's Morris Micklewhite and the
Tangerine Dress is another fan of dressing up. His favorite garment
is a dress the hue of "tigers, the sun, and his mother's hair.". The
other kids tease him. The kids who ride a cardboard spaceship tell
him astronauts don't wear dresses.
When the meanness gets to be too much for him, Morris fakes a
tummy ache so he can stay home from school. The time off and a
wonderful dream help him come up with a solution to his problem.
Both books can serve as wonderful affirmations for the many boys
who enjoy wearing dresses, particularly if peers (and sadly sometimes
adults) give them attitude.
On a personal note, the grand finale of UMaine Pride Week was the Drag
Show. It was amazing. The place was packed with very vocally
appreciative drag affecianados. Professional queens Step Mother and
Chery Lemonade really knew how to work the crowd as emcees. Our local
talent was pretty impressive too. I dressed as a 50s greaser and did
Greased Lightning from Grease. I was on fire busting out my moves,
playing to the crowd, and soaking up the love. I got a standing
ovation and was one of the finalists.
A great big shout out goes out to all people who participated in the
event, especially the people who worked behind the scenes to make it
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