Canadian singer Céline Dion is standing by her controversial, gender-neutral children’s clothing line.
In an interview with Refinery29, the Grammy-winning vocalist said the new line is about “giving children a chance to feel free to find their own individuality, their own true essence without being tied to stereotypes.”
“I think that every child needs to have their own identity, to express themselves freely, and [to] not feel like they have to be like someone else,” Dion added.
“The Show Must Go On” singer took some heat for the bizarre ad promoting the collaboration with Nununu, in which Dion declared, “Our children — they are not really our children, as we are all just links in a never-ending chain that is life.”
She continued, “For us, they are everything. But in reality, we are only a fraction of their universe. We miss the past; they dream of tomorrow.”
Dion defended the Orwellian commercial, telling the online magazine it is meant to be “a bit tongue-in-cheek,” adding she and the Nununu team were “trying to deliver a message that will get people thinking, but we wanted to do it in a fun way.”
What’s the kids’ line all about?
When the line first debuted in mid-November, the 50-year-old entertainer told CNN it’s important for parents to let their children inform them about “what they feel like.”
“You don’t know what they’re going to become later,” she explained. “You don’t want for them to have a problem of growth and say, ‘I’m supposed to be like that. I’m supposed to say that. I’m supposed to dress like this. Because I’m a guy, I’m a boy, I’m supposed to do…’ No. No. You don’t know. Let people be who they are as quick and as soon as possible.”
Dion said she first came the realization that children need more gender-neutral options when, during a recent trip to Disney World, her 8-year-old twin sons were less interested in meeting Mickey Mouse and more intrigued by Minnie Mouse.
She had to tell herself “it’s OK” for her boys to show more interest in female characters because “they’re talking, they’re finding themselves.”
Dion’s clothing line — Célinununu — is available now.