Touching Story Behind School Picture After Dad Lets 3-Year-Old Pick Out Own Outfit


Relinquishing the authority to pick out a child’s attire can give them a chance to express their own personalities and develop a sense of confidence.

For parents, it can be a difficult thing to let go of that control, knowing full well that you might be going to the grocery store with Cinderella or a child in mismatched clothes. (Been there!)

When it comes to allowing one’s child to choose their own daily outfit, disagreements usually revolve around what is deemed as “acceptable” wear in public by the parent.

This struggle is frequently magnified on the when it comes to “Picture Day” at school. Parents are worried about what will clash with the background and will look good in the photograph, knowing full well it will be on their grandmother’s mantle framed and proudly displayed.

Parents see it as a day for children to look their best because it will forever be in the yearbook to be looked back on for years to come. It’s a way of being remembered in school archives.

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Children, however, just want to show off their favorite clothes. And sometimes that may include costumes of their favorite superheroes!

This was exactly the scenario that occurred for 3-year-old Kaylieann and her father, Austin Steinbach, in the fall of 2016. Steinbach’s daughter wasn’t happy with the outfit option her parents had selected, so they decided to let her choose her own.

When she came walking down the stairs in her Supergirl costume, complete with cape, her parents saw how happy and proud she was to be donning the “S” symbol on her chest. All they could do was laugh.

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Steinbach told The Huffington Post that Kaylieann suffers from severe hearing loss and cannot hear the letter “S” so she calls her favorite superheroes, Superman and Supergirl, “Pooterman” and “Pootergirl.”


They had their apprehensions at first about letting their little girl wear the outfit because it was picture day but those thoughts quickly dissipated and they allowed their daughter to go in the outfit of her choosing.

She even brought her Superman action figure to pose in the photograph with her.

Kaylieann is a great reminder that we shouldn’t worry about what other people think. We should do what we love and enjoy every minute of it.

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“I really only hope that she becomes a strong, independent, and successful woman in whatever path she chooses. I cannot wait to see her tackle all of her own dreams,” Steinbach told Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal.

Steinbach told the Huffington Post that since sharing the photo and their story online, the reaction from the deaf community has been “amazing.”

“I still haven’t been able to get through all the messages of support and kind words people have sent me. I could never have imagined how much her picture could have touched so many.”

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Keeley is a former contributor to The Western Journal.
Keeley is a former contributor to The Western Journal.