Mum-of-three Emma Willis has opened up about how she embraces her nine-year-old son Ace’s individuality after receiving a number of rude comments about his style preferences.
Emma shared a photo of her son to Instagram last October, where Ace is seen wearing a pink crop top, blue jeans and pink runners, with his long blonde locks hiding his face. “My little style icon (Ace, not Matt) #Acedit,” Emma captioned the sweet post.
However, while the majority of the comments under the post were positive, Emma was not happy with the amount of people who were being negative towards her son’s fashion choices, because of his gender.
“Say what you want about me, I'm big enough to take it on the chin,” Emma said in an interview with Fabulous magazine, adding, “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?” the 44-year-old mum questioned.
“The response was a big eye-opener, because for me, it’s just Ace, he’s my son and that’s the way he’s always been. So it did massively make me start thinking about stereotyping and how bonkers it is that a boy, just because he has long hair and is wearing pink, is mistaken for a girl.”
After reading a headline stating that she was “Breaking down gender stereotypes”, Emma wondered, “Am I?” before showing the headline to Ace, who cleverly responded, “I think you’ll find it is me who is breaking down gender stereotypes!”
“So he has a good sense of humour about it all. He gets called a girl quite often so is kind of used to it. He’s just like: ‘Yeah, I don’t mind. I’m not a girl, I’m a boy.’ I mean, it’s quite obvious when you see him playing with his mates in the field that he’s not dressed like them, but I love how unique he is,” The Voice presenter lovingly added.
Emma and husband, boyband star Matt Willis also share four-year-old Trixie and 11-year-old Isabelle along with nine-year-old Ace.
Emma recently shared a snap of all three of her children showing off each of their individual dress senses, for children’s mental health week. “Raised in exactly the same way, yet all completely unique. My teenager before her time, my boss lady baby and my rainbow boy,” she captioned the Instagram post.