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Halloween Commercial About Gender Nonconformity

If This Halloween Ad Doesn't Clinch Your View on Gender Norms, Nothing Will

We've all read enough moving essays and Facebook posts about boys who wear dresses or pretend to be Elsa from Frozen to know that it's OK for kids to break away from gender norms. But that certainly doesn't mean, for parents, at least, that it's easy.

In a heartwarming new commercial, released just ahead of Halloween, a couple grapples with just that.

In the short PSA, a happy family is carving pumpkins when Mum pulls out the costumes the kids requested. The son and daughter run upstairs gleefully as Dad looks on hesitantly. While trick-or-treating, the parents watch from a distance as their little Wonder Woman and Batman knock on doors. It's only at the end of the video, when the kids are being put to bed, that we realise who is wearing which costume.

In that instant, we better understand the father's earlier look of concern, the mother's quiet words of encouragement, their silent relief when a neighbour doesn't cast judgement.

Yes, it's hard to imagine how we'd handle such a scenario, but this ad, titled "My Heroes," serves as a poignant blueprint for parents while also making us realise what we've long known . . . that a boy dressing up as his favourite superhero is not a big deal at all.

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