Meet Melbourne dad Scott Stuart and his gorgeous son Colin. Like so many kids today, Colin LOVES Frozen, in particular Queen Elsa. Having come into the world about the same time as Frozen was released, by age three he was completely obsessed, even before he saw the actual movie. While he still loved other superheroes like Spiderman, the concept of being able to freeze things won him over. He wanted every available toy and costume, a Frozen lunch box and books. But his is most prized possession was his Elsa doll which he took absolutely everywhere and proudly showed to anyone and everyone. Frozen has brought so much joy to his life. Today Colin is seven, so as Scott laughs, it’s been four years of Elsa!
But in today’s society, not everyone seems to understand why a ‘boy’ would love Queen Elsa. When Colin came home completely distraught from childcare one day Scott scrambled for answers. Turns out Colin had taken his favourite Elsa doll along with him and another child had told him that Elsa was “for girls” and “not for boys”. That day Scott resolved to always support his son and the things he loves, even if they challenge his – or society’s – expectations.
With his son so upset Scott looked for something in the media or in kid’s books to support his son. Something that was reflective of Colin, a boy who just happens to like things that are outside of his gender stereotype. At the time there was very little available and what he did actually find, suitable for Colin’s age, wasn’t particularly positive. So that night, wanting Colin to see a positive representation of who he was and what he loved, he sat down and started writing a book to celebrate his son; aptly named ‘My Shadow is Pink’.
It’s taken four years to get this book to come to light. The first 12 months were spent writing it and getting it to a point where I thought it was truly empowering and really saying the things I wanted it to say, followed by hours of illustrations to make it just perfect.Scott Stuart
Scott was originally going to self publish, so held onto it a bit longer, but realising that Colin only had so long left that he would actually enjoy a picture book, he thought he better get moving. He had been in conversation with Larrikin House about another project and when he mentioned this story they jumped on board, loving the idea.
Scott is not new to book writing, having written several children’s books already, which he also illustrates himself. A graphic designer by trade, his creative flair and love for story writing are a beautiful combination.
Beyond the book Scott is making noise for gender equality on TikTok. His now-viral video of his son wanting to wear an Elsa dress to the movies, where he said you’re not wearing that… alone, before accompanying his son in a matching Elsa costume, has been viewed by over 21 million people and this and many other videos have amassed Scott almost 250,000 followers!
When asked if he is actually forcing his son to wear a dress, he laughs…
“Have you actually tried to get a kid to wear something they don’t want? Kids won’t even wear normal clothes they don’t like, let alone a dress”!
Scott didn’t want to put his family up online without a good reason and has done it because he wanted to show other kids that they can love something that is a bit out of the ordinary.
Scott hopes by sharing their story, in both the book and online, kids will be encouraged to accept and love their true selves, and help break down some gender stereotypes along the way. My Shadow is Pink is a beautifully written rhyming story of love and self-acceptance that touches on the subjects of gender identity, equality and diversity.
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