‘He dresses the way he wants, why would I suppress that?’: Emma Willis praises son Ace, 9, for breaking gender stereotypes
Emma Willis has revealed she would never try and ‘suppress’ the way her son Ace, nine, dresses as it’s his way of ‘expressing himself’.
The TV presenter, 44, sparked a reaction from social media users when she previously shared an Instagram snap of her son wearing a pink top and sporting long hair.
Emma was surprised to receive comments saying that a boy shouldn’t wear pink and told Fabulous magazine she is ‘so protective’ of her children.
Expression: Emma Willis has revealed she would never try and ‘suppress’ the way her son Ace, nine, dresses as it’s his way of ‘expressing himself’
She said: ‘Say what you want about me, I’m big enough to take it on the chin. But when you get comments like that regarding your children, it just makes the Hulk want to come out and scream at the world
‘I’m so protective of my kids and this was just a young boy expressing himself the way he wants to. I thought: “Did you not watch ’80s dance movies? All the boys wore crop tops and it was cool!”
‘He is very individual, he dresses the way he wants and he’s really happy doing that. Why would I try to suppress that?’
Emma is also mother to Isabelle, 11, and Trixie, four, with husband Matt Willis, with the couple keeping their children’s faces hidden on social media to protect their privacy.
Snap: The TV presenter, 44, sparked a reaction from social media users when she previously shared an Instagram snap of her son wearing a pink top and sporting long hair
The former Big Brother host told how the reaction to the photo of Ace made her think about gender norms, noting she had never given a second thought to the way her son dressed before.
Emma has started following Instagram accounts like @notonlypinkandblue and @lettoysbetoys to ‘educate’ herself on how other people see gender roles in children.
The Voice UK host said Ace gets called a girl ‘quite often’ and it’s ‘obvious’ he does not dress like his other friends, but she loves how unique he is.
Emma also noted that the majority of comments on the photo of Ace were positive, but she thinks this may also be a part of the problem.
‘Protective’: Emma was surprised to receive comments saying that a boy shouldn’t wear pink and told Fabulous magazine she is ‘so protective’ of her children (pictured with husband Matt)
The star said she wondered why a boy wearing pink was ‘a thing that people wanted to comment on at all.
Emma noted that none of her children are on social media, but they know she uses it as part of her work.
During lockdown, Emma and Matt have split homeschooling duties, with the presenter noting her children have found the latest restrictions difficult.
The couple married in July 2008 after three years of dating, first meeting when Matt was 21 and Emma was 28 and working as a presenter at MTV.
Speaking on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time podcast, Emma admitted she ‘never thought’ she would meet someone that young.
Motherhood: Emma is also mother to Isabelle, 11, and Trixie, four, with husband Matt Willis, with the couple keeping their children’s faces hidden on social media to protect their privacy
She said: ‘I think I phrased it as raising him in captivity and moulding him into the human I wanted him to be. Of course, I was joking! But I never thought I would meet someone that young and end up marrying them.
‘I don’t think he thought that either. So no, I don’t think it’s anything to do with raising them in captivity, but my mum does always say about my dad: “It took me 30 years to get him this good.’ So I think that’s where I get it from!”‘
Earlier this month, Emma praised her three children for openly ‘expressing themselves’ in a post shared to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.
The Birmingham native took to Instagram to share a snap of her offspring showcasing their eclectic styles as she commended them.
‘Unique’: Earlier this month, Emma praised her three children for openly ‘expressing themselves’ in a post shared to mark Children’s Mental Health Week
Captioning the image which showed the children with their backs to the camera, she wrote: ‘Expressing themselves for #childrensmentalhealthweek. Raised in exactly the same way, yet all completely unique.’
Listing each one of their attributes she has come to admire, she continued: ‘My teenager before her time, my boss lady baby and my rainbow boy ❤️.
‘This week I’ve watched them discuss and explore their own mental health with their teachers and class mates and I couldn’t be prouder.
‘I don’t remember experiencing anything like this when I was at school but it’s so obviously necessary for our kids, so their little minds can start to understand their thoughts, feeling, and emotions and that they feel comfortable expressing them.’
Praise: Emma has since earned praise from fans after sharing the snap of her son (pictured in 2015)
Appearing on Good Morning Britain back in October to discuss the snap of her son Ace, the presenter said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the reaction, sweetly saying: ‘He’s just my son in a pink top.’
She continued: ‘For me that’s normality. He loves colour, he’s always had long hair, he’s a free and able-minded boy.
‘He’s like, ” why do I have to dress in green and blue and grey, when I love red and pink and purple?” He’s always been that way.’
She continued: ‘We’re trying to raise him as an open-minded, inclusive individual. There were some negative bits, but that’s where the block button is great!’
Love: A few of Emma’s pals also commented on the sweet snap of Ace, including pal Emma Bunton, who wrote, ‘Just gorgeous! We [heart] Ace! X’
Meanwhile, Emma’s good friend Fearne Cotton, 39, asked Ace to make her a dress.
The presenter took to Instagram to leave a playful comment under Emma’s post, which saw her hail her son as her biggest style inspiration, earning a sea of praise from her fans.
Fearne was among a slew of stars who shared sweet comments for Emma’s son, writing: ‘I miss Ace! When is he making me that dress?’
Fans praised the presenter for posting the photo at the time, with one saying: ‘Just shows how far we have to go in breaking down gender stereotypes. Pink is simply a colour. Hair grows. Let kids (or adults) wear whatever they want!’
Reaction: Fans praised the presenter for posting the photo, with one saying: ‘Just shows how far we have to go in breaking down gender stereotypes
Another added: ‘So what if this boy has beautiful long blond hair and wears a pink T-shirt ! Jesus! I bet he smiles a million more time’s a day then you miserable judgey ADULTS commenting on this child! #getalife.’
A third said: ‘Your son is an inspiration. Coming from a mummy of a son who loves pink, Rainbows and his Elsa dress. He is following his own story and not bound by stupid society stereotypes. ❤️❤️❤️.’
Another wrote: ‘Omg this could be my little boy! He’s totally alternative… bracelets, ear cuffs, pink, teeny shorts when it’s freezing, pink leopard and hair bands and buns! Makes me beam with pride that he’s so individual & clear on what he likes.’
Big day: Matt and Emma tied the knot in 2008 and renewed their vows 10 years later in 2018
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