Are dads who play dress-up pushing the limits too far?

I recently saw a video of a little girl in a princess outfit going into her living room to pretend she was Elsa, dancing away! Then her father, also dressed-up as Elsa, came out of the hallway to join his daughter and proceeded to dance his heart out with his daughter. Many people thought this was the most endearing and adorable thing they’d ever seen. But as I was watching it, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “There’s something wrong here.”

Applauding a dad dressed as a princess?

Why are we applauding a grown man in a princess dress? Yes, he had excellent intentions. He was absolutely trying to have fun with his daughter. But why was he dressed as a princess? If he wanted to play with his daughter, couldn’t he have chosen another character? Perhaps, someone male? Or even a made-up character who was chivalrous, strong, and handsome? Or is chivalry dead? Even worse, is manliness dead?

I will say one thing in this man’s defense – that little girl probably had a lot of fun seeing her father dance around like crazy in the short term. The problem is that in the long term, I’m certain that more than another dress-up friend, what that child needs is a godly example of a father. Think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill? I wish I was, but I really don’t think so. The problem is that in this increasingly confusing culture we find ourselves living in, we don’t need more confusion coming from the home. We have enough being thrown at our kids from everyone else. For example, there are people who insist on sharing with others their preferred pronouns. Why? To ensure everyone is on the up and up with their gender identity, regardless of clear biological facts. What it implies is that we can choose our gender. So maybe a girl can be born with a penis and a boy can have a vagina. How confusing is that for a child? It’s confusing to me, and I’m an adult!


We also have a plethora of cartoons celebrating Pride month, not to mention the countless businesses that are adorning themselves with rainbow colors to affirm their allegiance to the LGBTQ+ ideology. That’s a lot for kids to deal with and understand. When we put all the pieces together, we can see how having fathers dress up like women only adds to the tremendous cultural confusion our children are facing.

Facts over feelings

There have been and always will be two genders. That’s how babies are made – one biological man and one biological woman. These two genders have had distinct roles for thousands of years, until relatively recently. With the push of second-wave feminism several decades ago, many women have demanded gender equality in every sense of the word. Sounds wonderful except for the fact that women and men have never been nor will they ever be, the same. Not the same doesn’t mean either is better than the other. We are obviously equal in value (Gal 3:28) before the LORD. But this can’t be stressed enough: women and men are distinct and have different roles for a reason.

Children need their father

How are our children going to learn what men are supposed to be like when they see their father dressed as a woman and prancing around the living room? If a mom did that, no one would think anything of it. But since it was a father, everyone thinks it’s so sweet because it’s showing his feminine side. But if a father were to pretend to be a knight in shining armor, ready to defend and protect his princess, would the same adulation occur? I’d argue that if anything, that would be met with ridicule for daring to teach our daughter that she actually needs a man to protect her. She can do that herself, thank you very much.

But why can’t a father spend time with their daughter or son, exemplifying what it’s like to be a gentleman rather than an emasculated man? It doesn’t all have to look the same. Masculinity doesn’t squarely fit into the gender stereotypes that many in our culture define as toxic, stupid, and abusive. Or the other extreme is men who are weak, spineless, and essentially considered like another child in the family. However, masculinity is so much more than what these stereotypes delineate.

Godly men and fathers

The mark of a masculine and godly man is one who leads others by example and sacrifices for those he loves (Eph 5:25-31). He works hard to provide for his family and those in need. He is respectful and kind to others, as well as firm in protecting those he loves. And he is righteous in his life, whether or not others are around him (Daniel 1:8-16 is a great example). He stands for what is true and right and good.

Godly men are in short supply these days. We need to shine the light of praise on these men, not on men who do what’s easy and provide foolish entertainment for their children. We need men of courage and men of character to lead themselves, their families, and their communities.


©2024 Mud Hen Mama


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?