Photos of an 8-year-old boy from Florida learning how to put on “drag” makeup has gone viral.
Ethan Wilwert, 8, aspires to become a professional makeup artist, and he begged his mother, Season, for a tutorial at makeup store MAC, The Huffington Post reports.
"Society needs to steer away from what is typically known as the gender roles and stereotypes and accept the fact that it's OK for a boy to wear makeup to express himself as an artist," his mother told The Huffington Post.
"This does not define his gender identity nor his sexual preference," she added. "He's just exploring and being a kid! Being judgmental and close-minded on such issues not only is hurtful to our children, but it also inhibits their freedom of self-expression and prevents the opportunity for them to embrace their true identities."
Makeup Artist Joey Killmeyer gave the boy a makeover, allowing him to finish it by himself so he could practice.
On Jan. 3, Killmeyer posted a photo of his tutorial with Ethan. The photo received more than 140,000 likes as of Jan. 7. It appears to have been taken down since then.
“I really respect the mom who is letting him be himself and discover who he is and what he wants to do in life,” Killmeyer writes in the post, according to Attitude magazine.
He also encouraged everybody to share the photo to “spread the message of acceptance.”
Killmeyer sees both the boy’s decision and the mother’s support as a greater sign of societal progress.
“It shows me the world is changing from when I was his age and that there is hope for kids who are different,” he added in his post.