It’s difficult to put the experience of being a single mom into words. There are so many different, nuanced responsibilities for a single mom to consider than those raising a traditional nuclear family.
Emily Ratajakowski, who split from her ex Sebastian Bear-McClard in September, knows this all too well. The supermodel had actress and fellow single mom Julia Fox on her podcast, High Low witth EmRata, to talk about how they are working extra hard to shield their sons from toxic masculinity.
“It’s hard as a single mom, raising a son, you just don’t want them to end up like every single guy you’ve ever met, you know?” Fox, who shares 22-month-old son Valentino with ex Peter Artemiev. “How do I stop this conditioning from occurring?”
“Sly literally gets so excited, loves to play with things with wheels,” Ratajkowski, who shares 20-month-old son Sylvester with Bear-McClard, added. “But like, I’m not kidding, this morning I ordered him a baby doll and a tea set because I’m like, ‘we’ve gotta balance this out.'”
Fox noted that Valentino also “loves trucks” and tends to “freak out” over them, but one of his go-to trucks is pink and he loves “pushing around a little stroller with a doll in it,” too. Ratajkowski added that Sly has a pink convertible he loves, along with other “girl” toys, and she couldn’t help but wonder: “Are those the little ways you can start making sure the conditioning doesn’t happen?”
Both moms lamented how society tends to tell boys that they need to “toughen up” and fit into antiquated gender roles, especially when it comes to play. Fortunately, some major toy companies, like LEGO and Mattel, are working to make more inclusive, gender-neutral selections. Nationwide retailers are also making changes in the toy sections. Target has stopped separating its toys by “boys” and “girls” sections, and other retailers seem to be following suit.
While there have been great strides in gender inclusivity in toys, it is cool to see people like Ratajkowski using her platform to continue the conversation.