(WB) Achildren’s party planner has gone viral with a photo campaign she calls “Boys Can Be Princesses, Too.
In a profile on Parents.com late last month, photographer Kitty Wolf discussed the project, in which she assembles photoshoots with boys dressed as their favorite princesses, complete with actors in character, and its origins in her career as an event planner.
“I used to do princess parties where I dressed up like a princess character and visited children on their birthday,” says Wolf. “Once, I visited a boy who loved ‘Frozen,’ and he was even dressed just like Elsa. He was over the moon to have a real princess at his party and had a blast the whole time, same as all the girls I’ve done parties for.”
She goes on to tell the story of an experience she had at a pre-school performance, when she overheard two young girls scolding a male classmate for pretending to be a princess.
“I could see it upset him. I told them we can all be whatever we want to be when we play and they all continued playing nicely,” she explains. “That interaction sat with me for a long time though.”
Then, last year, she saw Gilette’s controversial ad addressing the issue of toxic masculinity, and she was inspired.
“As a company, I have a wider audience to send a message—what kind of message do I want to send out there? … and it hit me, boys as princesses. I have a team of professional princesses, some basic photography skills and sizable Facebook following – so I just went for it.”
Predictably, there has been some negative feedback.
“Unfortunately, this project offends a lot of people for a lot of different reasons,” she admits. “I’ve been called all sorts of awful things, been blamed for the eventual downfall of society, received a few threats, and am just generally hated by a lot of people.”
Still, she cites these kinds of reactions as proof of “how much this project is needed,” and says the overwhelming majority of responses have been supportive.
“The comment sections and shares are full of people showing support for these boys and their parents and everyone like them… the most touching comments, though, are from people saying they wish this project was a thing when they were younger, how they wouldn’t have felt so alone.”
A few weeks after the Parents.com interview, Wolf took to Facebook to exclaim, “Well this project has gone crazy viral!” To commemorate the occasion, she showcased photos from each of the photo shoots – “7 shoots with 9 princesses (two sets of brothers!)” – and promised more to come once things settle down a bit!”
Until then, you can find out more about the project at the Boys Can Be Princesses, Too website.