Brian Austin Green on his 4-year-old son wearing dresses: ‘I don’t care’

William Harry Grenfell

A few weeks ago, I read a story about how Disneyland Paris had to apologize to a mother and her son after Disneyland refused to let them buy tickets to their “Princess For A Day” event. The 3-year-old boy is apparently crazy about princesses and he really wanted to go, but Disneyland Paris refused to sell his mother the tickets. As I said, they later apologized. It just reminded me that it seems like there are so many little boys around the world who are flat-out obsessed with Frozen, Elsa, and the Disney-princess world. Charlize Theron’s son is obsessed with Elsa. Adele’s son is too, and Adele’s son even wore his Elsa gear to Disneyland. It seems that one of Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green’s sons, Noah, has the princess bug too, and there have been photos over the past few years of Noah wearing dresses and various princess costumes out and about in LA. When BAG was asked about Noah’s dress-wearing in a new interview, he had a great answer.

Brian Austin Green isn’t worried about internet trolls. In a wide-ranging interview with Hollywood Pipeline’s Straight From the Source, the 44-year-old actor answered a number of popular questions about himself that appear in search engines like Google and Yahoo!. While scrolling through his Instagram account (@arent_you_that_guy), he offhandedly mentioned one photo, which showed his son Noah Shannon Green wearing a wig.

Host Dax Holt asked Brian whether he’s bothered by people who have criticized him and wife Megan Fox for letting Noah wear dresses and wigs. “My son, he’s 4. I’ve heard from some people that they don’t agree. They don’t agree with him wearing dresses. To them I say, ‘I don’t care.’ He’s 4 and if he wants to wear it, then he wears it. It’s dresses or goggles or slippers—whatever. It’s his life. They’re not my clothes. Obviously I don’t wear the nicest stuff—I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt and a watch you got me [earlier]. I feel like at 4, at 5, that’s the time he should be having fun. He’s not harming anyone wearing a dress. So, if he wants to, awesome. Good on him.”

[From E! News]

I love this kind of shrugging acceptance. It really isn’t a big deal – some kids love to play dress up. Some don’t. Some of those kids are boys and some are girls. Sometimes boys love Frozen and want to be princesses for a day. I love the no-judgment attitude that parents are taking these days, the refusal to push gender-stereotype narratives onto their children. By taking this kind of “I don’t care” position, BAG is actually refusing to participate in toxic masculinity. It’s awesome.

Also: speaking of gender-conforming and toxic masculinity, here’s a reminder that not all parents are good at this. A kids’ party clown wrote a Twitter thread about how awful some parents are at pushing gender narratives onto their kids when all the little boys want is to have butterflies painted on their faces. Go here to read the thread and get depressed about how stupid people can be about butterflies having gender stereotypes.

William Harry Grenfell

Photos courtesy of WENN, archived photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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74 Responses to “Brian Austin Green on his 4-year-old son wearing dresses: ‘I don’t care’”

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  1. Maria T. says:

    My 4 year old son loves rainbows, wearing his “toot toot” (tutu) and is obsessed with My Little Pony. He also loves trains and soccer. He’s starting to say things to us like “pink is a girls color, right?” and looks so sad! And was teased by neighborhood kids (girls!) for carrying around a doll. Breaks my heart.

    • swak says:

      The favorite color for my 13 year old grandson is pink (he has the pink/gold i-phone). So sad that he is learning (from others) that pink is a girls color.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        My 13 year old son loves pink too.

      • Sixer says:

        Sixlet Minor loved pink as a toddler and even now, as a teen, I’d say 75% of his t-shirts are pink. He just likes pink.

      • Mumzy says:

        Please, everyone, watch the documentary “The Mask You Live In.” I know it’s available from Netflix in the U.S. If you don’t have access to that, try another streaming service … or buy a copy to watch and share with friends and then donate it to your local library. (I have no ties to anyone having anything to do with this movie.) The film is a real eye-opener, even to those of us aware of gender stereotypes. The earlier film, “Miss Representation” is equally as amazing, regarding the stereotyping of girls and women. I made my daughter and sons watch that and will do the same with “The Mask.” These should both be mandatory viewing for all.

        Also, learn more about The Representation Project — responsible for these films and promoting awareness about gender stereotypes. This seems to be an amazing organization.

        Kudos to BAG and his family for letting their children be absolute individuals.

      • Anners says:

        @mumzy thanks for the suggestion. I loved Miss Representation – it was eye opening.

    • justcrimmles says:

      It’s irritating that so many people believe there exist some set in stone rules about pink=girl, blue=boy. And yet no one is bothered if a girl prefers blue to pink. I always try to come back to a parent telling their son (it’s always sons) that pink stuff, dolls, are girly, or god forbid, gay, with something like “my brother is a conservative redneck and he likes the color pink,” or “him being good with babies is a great thing!” It’s usually met with side eyes and silence.

      Also, like most all societal norms, blue was a “feminine” color and pink “masculine” once upon a time. But history isn’t usually these peoples’ forte 🙄

      And color (heh) me jealous of your grandson, SWAK, my non Apple phone doesn’t seem to have anything rose gold available to zhuzz it up 😭

    • slowsnow says:

      My 11 year old wore a dress until a year ago that he kept in his room and wears make-up whenever he can. He once told me he would have wanted to be a girl because he doesn’t like boy things but that he is is comfortable with his sex. It’s the gender construct (my words) that he is unhappy with. He is a ballet dancer and has a girlfiend. He makes me think of cross-dressers or gender fluid people. He is such a free-spirit and makes us so happy. It’s a blessing to be with people who know what they like, what they are despite other people’s perception. I admire him a lot.

    • Chaine says:

      The pressure from other children is intense… one of the little ones in my life likes to wear his hair in a long (shoulder length) style. He is regularly mistaken for a girl and other kids and even his grandmother are very mean to him about his hairstyle. I think he looks wonderful, and he has amazing gold colored hair, and I wish they would all just leave him alone. So far he is resisting the snideness and wearing his hair how he wants.

    • KiddVicious says:

      It used to be the opposite. Pink was a boy color, blue a girl color. Red was considered a strong masculine color (red = blood) so pink, or lighter red, was the color for younger boys. In a lot of old paintings you’ll see the boys in pink clothing, the girls in blue dresses No idea why or when it switched, or why colors are applied to gender.

  2. Goats on the Roof says:

    Excellent answer. Let the kid wear what makes him happy.

  3. minx says:

    Good for BAG, very enlightened attitude.

  4. Veronica says:

    This is why I laugh when people talk about the need for “gender neutral” kids clothing. It’s already neutral, moron. It’s the adults that are gendering it. I live with two toddlers, and I assure you neither cares when they’re wearing the other’s clothing.

  5. littlemissnaughty says:

    This is awesome. I honestly don’t know how I’d raise a kid because these things are so ingrained and you often don’t notice them, no matter how much you try. When I was a kid in the late 80′s/early 90′s, this was not a thing. My sister and I had trucks and cars to play with, Barbies and doll, and my most prized possession was a Lego firestation. That thing was EVERYTHING. I never saw any of the boys we played with own a doll though.

    • Sixer says:

      My favourite toys were a play post office, the board game Scrabble and various Meccano sets. I owned teddy bears but no dolls. My brother did have Action Men.

      I also think gendered clothes and toys are forced on us more than the 80s when I was a kid. I’ve had to work pretty hard to keep the Sixlets as protected from it as possible.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Sixer, yes! I’m an 80′s kid too and I remember wearing, litterally, the same as other boys sometimes – and sometimes not. But the toys were legos and other genderless stuff that we all played with. Of course there were dolls etc but it wasn’t all marketed as gender separated as it is now.

      • Sixer says:

        I’ve been reading about it a bit of late since John Lewis changed all their children’s clothes to be gender neutral labelled and all hell broke loose. There’s a good campaign with a decent presence on the Twatter – @LetToysBeToys.

        A lot of people think it all started to go backwards with Disney princesses. Companies saw how much cash was made and bingo! Mandatory gendered everything. There’s even a company that makes pink globes for girls now – BUT THE BLOODY SEA IS BLUE!

      • slowsnow says:

        @Sixer, pssst between you and me, the only way disney princesses are acceptable is when little boys dig them because they’re badass… I also have fought against these things in the house and that meant not going to Disneyland. Not surprised with that theory but I think it goes way beyond that. In my experience, which is of course a small bit of the whole shebang, I often see how gender confusion-fusion-fluidity affects the idea ADULTS have of sexuality and identity. It bothers people when things are not well defined. This might be the tip of the bigoted iceberg that has been rulling our society since always with very few exceptions such as the 70-80-90′s, a nice enclave of revolutionary thinking due to the hippie, May 68 and socialist/anarchist/communist and whatnot.

      • Sixer says:

        I agree – and I think this all ties in to today’s Kylie Jenner and lip fillers story here. We police one another endlessly according to rigid ideas and impossible standards, and it obviously filters into what our kids perceive.

        (Likewise with Disney princesses! I would be a disaster of a girl in today’s environment.)

      • Ripley says:

        We were back home for the summer and my son played with my two nieces several weekends. One of his favorite toys was their doll which he called “his baby.” I was surprised and then disappointed in myself that I hadn’t even considered getting him a “baby”, only gifting superhero figures (which he also loves). One of my favorite memories from the summer is of him running around in a butterfly outfit (mask, wings and tutu) carrying his baby.

    • HadToChangeMyName says:

      It’s hard. My husband is a retired cop and he imposes the toxic masculinity thing on my son (boys don’t cry; pink is for girls; pedicures are “effeminate”, etc.) . It drives me batty and I fight it tooth and nail, but it still seeps in, unfortunately.

    • Wren says:

      I grew up around the same time, and in my experience, it definitely was a thing. I hated dolls, the color pink, and just about anything marketed to girls. My parents didn’t seem to care, but their friends would insist on giving me dolls or tut tut over the fact that my favorite toy was a dump truck. I can only imagine their horrified expressions if it was the other way round (if I was a boy who liked dolls and pink stuff).

  6. Jezi says:

    Can you blame them? Princesses are bad asses. There are so many strong women characters and that’s all kids see. I love his response and I wish all parents could be this way.

  7. CynicalAnn says:

    When my son was 3, he had me stand in line for hours to meet Rapunzel from Tangled, and the fairies in Fairy Grotto at Disneyland. In his passport picture he’s wearing pink beads. He’s 9 now and those are just sweet memories for me-and he wouldn’t wear a dress if I paid him. It’s a phase. People need to relax.

    • Tiffany says:

      I don’t think your price was high enough ;) .

    • Amanduh says:

      …and if it’s not a phase, that’s okay too!! You do you!

    • slowsnow says:

      As I mentioned in my post above, for my 11 year old it’s not a phase. He still likes what is considered “girl stuff” such as pink butterfly notebooks and such. Only his taste is better now
      :-) ))
      But my 16 year old was just like yours: at 4, he wanted nail polish of a different colour on every nail, multicoloured hairpins etc. Now he is the straightest male of the house, training to become a football player and only wears sports gear. He would not be caught dead with nail polish or make-up, whereas his brother lives for it.
      Phases or not, these things are constructs: while your son and my oldest saw princesses and make-up as curiosities, my older son sees them as part of what he is. Both are fine.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        Yes-I just read your post-absolutely. My 16 year old has a friend who mentioned to me in carpool that he has a Beyonce shirt that he absolutely loves but his mother won’t let him out of the house in it. I felt so sad for him. Live and let live.

  8. Serene Wolf says:

    All of a sudden, I find him very attractive.

  9. Nicole says:

    Great answer. No fuss. Just a “he likes what he likes let him live”. That’s how it should be

  10. V4Real says:

    Is that a pic of the son. He’s really cute.

  11. Ann says:

    David Silver coming through with the dad skills. Maybe this is the long game effect of the Brandon Walsh Method.

  12. Lindy says:

    Good for him for making it a non-issue. I hate the rigid gender roles people try to push on kids so early. I was in REI with my 8yo son last week shopping the clearance rack for a fall jacket for him. All the girl jackets came in cool, bright colors. The boy jackets were traffic cone orange, mud brown, at best a deep navy blue. He got really upset and just wanted the mint green jacket with a purple lining. We had a conversation about gender and color and the fact that colors have no gender but that society kind of sucks. I told him I’d get him the green jacket but I asked him to think about whether he felt ready to answer back bravely when kids made fun of him at school. We practiced the things he might say. In the end I left it up to him and he opted for a boy jacket. He said, “Mama, I know I can be brave here with you but I don’t think I can do it at school. Maybe next year I’ll be braver.” It broke my heart:-( It’s so hard to raise a little boy in this world to grow up to be a feminist and someone who knows how to think about this stuff. And I think it’s gotta be even harder to raise a strong girl with the all the pressures and misogyny.

    • Shambles says:

      *Sniffle* your son sounds so sweet. You’re a great mom.

    • lovewins says:

      THIS. 1000x. We bought our kiddo a ski helmet this winter – he’s only 3, but it should fit him for years to come. He really wanted the purple one, not the fluorescent green one. But we had to talk him out of the purple one because he can’t yet understand that conversation you had with your son. (And we are too cheap to just buy him another helmet in a couple of years when kids start making rude comments). A couple of days later, he looked at me and said, “I wish I had the purple helmet.” :( Me too kiddo. Me too.

  13. AG-UK says:

    Live and let live who cares, my son pushed a baby buggy around for 2 years.. he loved that thing filled it with teddy bears. I have seen photos of Adele’s son in a princess outfit as well.

  14. Barbcat says:

    I hate princesses and am so happy my boys do too. I hate Disney princesses especially. And I hate seeing boys and girls in those ugly shiny princess dresses.

    Disney makes a fortune convincing parents and kids to buy into that crap!

  15. LT says:

    Good for him – this should be a non issue.

    My younger (adolescent) son is very pretty and has long hair. His favorite shoes were from the last olympics and had lots of pink in them. He gets mistaken for a girl all of the time (until people hear his very deep voice or see how he moves – he’s athletic and walks very much like a man). He knows that his appearance confuses people, but he’s so confident in his identity that I suspect he enjoys making people question their perceptions.

  16. CharlieBouquet says:

    We get gender shamed constantly due to our son’s butt length hair, 4 and never had a hair cut. His dad and I are both long hair hippies. He rocks a long pony tail while he plays his pink Barbie guitar I paid $2 for at a thrift shop. Kids should be and wear what they feel best in. Anyone who bullies them for it should wear I AM A BULLY around their neck so the kids know not to care about what people like that say. I am so very scared what school will be like:(

  17. Miss Kittles says:

    Their children are beautiful!! I totally agree with their approach. Hell, I LOVE men’s tee’s, sweatpants, hoodies, and sometimes boxer briefs (not as underwear). It’s just clothing ….

  18. Kitten says:

    I like how he brushed it off as completely normal child behavior and not some sociopolitical statement.
    Their kids are ridiculously cute.

  19. Relli80 says:

    You are so right about little boys being into Frozen/Elsa. My kid had a boy in his class that dressed up as Elsa for Halloween in kindergarten and he came home to tell me all about it. I could see in his face he was questioning if this was OKAY, a lot was riding in my reaction. I was like that’s cool, everyone is into different things, some people don’t like superheroes like you do. He was like yeah your right and never said anything about the kid again except when planning his birthday party he was sure he want the Supergirls bag so he told us to make an extra.

  20. Hikaru says:

    Great dad. When I was a kid I was a total butch and nobody thought there was anything wrong with it. I think boys have it harder when it comes to what they’re allowed to like.
    I am looking forward to a generation of kids that will live free to have whatever personality, hobbies, taste in clothes and skills they want without being told it makes them the wrong gender or being put in conversion therapy because society believes in sexist nonsense.

  21. Carey says:

    So when my son was 9 he brought a stuffed animal with him to school and another boy teased him, saying “You play with dolls, you’re a girl.” After telling him three times to stop…my son gave him a black eye. I know as a parent I’m not supposed to condone violence but man I was so proud of my kid that day 😆

    • Wren says:

      In second grade I gave a male classmate a black eye when he repeatedly and loudly declared that girls couldn’t be scientists. My father nearly split a seam trying not to laugh at the teacher’s note. He gave me a vague, “now, now, violence isn’t the answer” and sent me outside to play.

      No regrets.

  22. CharlieBouquet says:

    BJ, that would be the day school admins and local media knew my name lol. Someone tried the his hair will be a distraction at school once and I pointed out us girls have seemed to do just fine all these years. We have offered him a cut he just says no. I told hubs I might have to take one for the team and get cut together. I’d like him to know how freeing short hair is, not having 20minute comb outs etc. If we go that route we’ll donate our cuts to a Roswell for kids charity. Minus some strands to make into hair jewelry like Victorian style lol, I googled it.

  23. DesertReal says:

    Oh please.
    He’s right (& I never thought I’d ever say that about BAG). Those other people don’t see their own hypocrisy.
    When I was 4 back in ’89, I used to wear my white bathrobe around the house & pretend to be Spock. Put a black mixing bowl over my head & channel Darth Vader whenever my older brothers & sisters would get on my nerves. Imagine all the things I would do if I were Professor X, Superman, & Cyborg (while crushing on Michael Keatons Batman). I grew up to be a crazy confident, strong, funny #AllTheAdjectives WOC.
    Letting a little guy do the same is a-okay.

    Successful black woman

    • justcrimmles says:

      I was all about The People’s Court and judge Wapner. Your house sounds much more exciting than mine with the rock gavel and cases about bikes. What can I say though, shouting “OVERRULED!!” at my cousins was just too much fun. Also, The Price is Right, come on down *runs like a weirdo off the front steps.*

  24. Bliss 51 says:

    This is great! Recently I finished a wonderful book, Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums. He used to write for Vanity Fair during the Tina Brown days. As a child he wanted to be called Arlene after Arlene Francis (young’uns you’ll need to google) and insisted on dressing as a witch for Halloween. The last didn’t end well as it was during a very sad time in his life. In my day, elementary school girls didn’t wear slacks and shorts, you wore skirts and dresses even though girls loved to run, climb and tumble. And in high school, oh god, the time and energy wasted on stupid dress codes, especially over the boys’ hair length. You cannot imagine what an earth shattering thing it was for Americans to hear and read of an upcoming band from Liverpool with dweebie bangs before they even stepped on American soil. And now an American man gives a verbal shrug when his little boy dresses in a princess gown. I love it.

  25. Jazz says:

    I played with toy cars, trucks and soldiers when I was a kid, my brother played with dolls. I hated dolls. Mum wasn’t worried, neither was Dad. We both turned out just fine!

  26. lovewins says:

    My 3 year old boy and I went to buy socks for him the other day. The “boy” socks were white with navy stripes or white with gray stripes. The “girl” socks were blue and pink and yellow and purple with dots and stars and stripes. So of course he wanted the colorful socks. It’s ridiculous that “boy” clothes can’t be more fun and interesting and support kids’ natural desire for exciting vibrant things. I could not agree with BAG more. Goggles, slippers, tutus whatever. Today my son went to school with yellow dinosaur shirt, sweatpants and a pink tutu. When I pick him up, he’ll be in the sand box filling up the dump truck with dirt.

  27. aang says:

    My oldest has been gender fluid since childhood and is f to m transitioning now. Its much easier I think for a girl to wear jeans and a baseball cap than it is for a boy to wear a dress. I’m so glad things are changing for some kids. And we only ever had positive experiences with Disney. Once they were meeting Belle and when they were called up the cast member was unsure of the gender so they announced Birthday Person *insert name* instead of birthday prince or princess. It was very welcome. And we had no problem booking a pirate experience for them even though the rest of the kids in the program were boys on that day.

  28. Ennie says:

    I am a teacher and I have to ask to cover their notebooks so they make it more identifiable (they carry them to and from school, no lockers): Finally this year I got fed up with other teachers getting “my” color before me, so I asked for pink. Some boys winced at the thought and I asked them what was so difficult about having a pink book.
    I also told them that We girls have to wear or cover books or whatever in shades of blue, and if we girls could use blue, then they boys could use pink, and that nothing will fall off them (did not use those words, but I wanted to!)
    So, pink books for everyone (and light shades of purple for those that have a hard time with pink ;) )

  29. April says:

    my 7 year old daughter only shops in the “boys section” she likes basketball shorts, tall athletic socks, cargo shorts, polos and buttonup shirts. she does not like feminine clothing, or even anything in a female cut.
    i can’t style her hair, she will only wear it down. she likes ninja turtles and basketball and football..

    my older daughter is completely the opposite, she loves dresses and more “girly” things. and gymnastics and getting into makeup.

    they are who they are, they know it better than us. i would feel like i was rejecting my daughter and her comfort and happiness if i made her dress “like a girl” and how hurtful would it be if i told her she is dressing ” like a boy”

    assigning gender to clothing and abiding by it is restricting children from being themselves and comfortable in their choices. it can be damaging. so why dont we let it go??

  30. Shannon says:

    There’s a dress shop near a place I often take my 9-year-old son for lunch. He loves to walk by there and look at the dresses and pick his favorite and why he likes that one (color, cut, etc). He’s got a better eye than I do (LOL I’m a real estate agent and I seriously have him help me choose outfits for showings and closings!). He also loves to play with Army men (not that women aren’t in the Army, just a stereotypical ‘boy’ activity). Gender roles are stupid. Let kids be kids and let them figure out for themselves as they go.

  31. TippyToes says:

    I have a somewhat unisex name and for my 1st birthday when my mother went to the bakery tonotder the cake the clerk asked in a snotty way Pink or Blue? My mother’s response was Green.

  32. I Choose Me says:

    I’m looking back with fondness on my relatively great childhood where nobody gave us sh-t about our choice in toys or games. Boys played dolly house with us girls, or Mississippi and jump rope. And putting on grandma’s wig and your mom’s high-heels was a rite of passage regardless of your gender. Girls played rounders, cops and robbers, and various stick games, we played with toy cars and trucks and lincoln logs and we all climbed trees. And then we got older and things changed, but not for the better. Sigh.

  33. Elysium1973 says:

    I was obsessed with the TV show Moonlighting back in the mid to late 80′s (I was in the 7th and 8th grade) and particularly Bruce Willis’ character David Addison. I wrote my first screenplay based off the show and starred as David Addison, complete with my dad’s suit and tie. I often wore a tie to school even as a senior (and I was president of the student council and active in theater and lots of other school stuff) just because I thought it was kind of cool. I also remember wanting the boys underroos in the 80′s, which my parents refused to buy me. :(