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Brad Pitt, Pax Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt

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Everybody's talking about Shiloh Jolie-Pitt's boyish haircut and clothes, saying they're bad for a little girl. Are the critics right?
—Mayyis, via the Answer B!tch inbox

The world is freaking out, completely freaking out, that Brangelina's 3-year-old girl has a "boyish" haircut and clothes reportedly picked out from the boy's sections of department stores.

Brad Pitt also has said Shiloh prefers to answer to boy's names, like John, causing groups like the conservative Focus on the Family to condemn, condemn, condemn. But is this the gender apocalypse we're supposed to believe?

Well...

...of course not.

I'm not one to defend celebrities overmuch—they and their puppy-crushing publicity minions have never impressed me, thanks—and Brangelina aren't necessarily the perfect parents, dragging the kids across the planet like they do. But in this case, the public needs to, as one child development expert so neatly put it, "get a life."

Yes, Shiloh has a relatively new, short cut—oddly similar to the style currently sported by Vanity Fair Hollywood issue cover girls Mia Wasikowska and Carey Mulligan.

Could it be that Shiloh wants to be Carey Mulligan? Or maybe Mia wants to be a boy named John. That, apparently, is what passes for logic in the tabloids these days.

For the record, child development experts say Shiloh's boy togs fall well within the realm of healthy and normal.

"As a culture, we need to have explanations to everything and get frightened when things just are as they are," child psychologist Jennifer Hartstein tells me. 

"Shiloh has two older brothers and could very well be emulating them. It's great that her parents are willing to let her explore all aspects of herself and encourage her to express herself as she chooses."

Shiloh could also simply identify more with Pitt than Jolie at this stage of her young life, or maybe she just likes boy clothes right now. As child development specialist and ParentsAsk.com contributor Betsy Brown Braun noted to me, boy toddlers often express an interest in girly things at that age as well, asking to wear Mommy's nail polish or a sister's barrettes.

"Children experiment with all kinds of clothing and behavior as they figure out who they are and who they want to be," she tells me. "It has nothing to do with sexuality; it has everything to do with relationships and the people with whom the child is identifying."

Can we criticize something else now?

_________

And on the other hand, Suri Cruise wears high heels.