A 10-year-old boy who was mocked for his Tony Stark costume has won hearts around the world after he decided to ignore the bullies and wear the outfit to his school’s Halloween party.
Jill Struckman, 45, from Missouri, went to facebook last week to share photos of her son Evan proudly showing off his costume, which was modeled after Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the superhero in the Iron Man movies.
However, she later revealed in a heartbreaking follow-up message that the fifth grader called her from school crying because some kids told him he looked “dumb” in his costume.
Halloween Ready: Jill Struckman, 45, of Missouri, took to Facebook last week to share photos of her son Evan proudly showing off his Tony Stark costume
Heartbreaking: Mother later revealed that fifth grader called her from school crying because some kids told him he looked ‘dumb’ in his costume
Earlier that morning, Evan was the epitome of self-confidence as he posed outside his house in his white button-down shirt and gray vest. To complete his Tony Stark look, he wore his hair to the side, glasses and a fake goatee.
However, he immediately felt ashamed and insecure about himself after being told that he looked stupid and others would start to make fun of him.
Struckman explained on Facebook that about 20 minutes after he left on the bus, she got a call from Evan. She noted that the kids who were bullying him because of his costume weren’t even dressed up for the party.
“Evan went to school and went straight to the bathroom and washed his face,” she wrote. “When he called, he was crying and so hurt he wouldn’t even stay for his party.”
Lookalike: Evan wore a gray vest, glasses and a fake goatee, a look modeled after Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the superhero in the Iron Man movies
Change of heart: Struckman took her son to Starbucks, and after they talked his feelings out, he decided he wanted to wear his costume to the prom after all
The mother, who was picking up her son from school, shared a photo of him sitting in the back seat of her car with his facial makeup washed off, his hair tousled and his eyes red from crying.
“This is what my little Tony Stark looks like now,” she explained. “We both have puffy eyes from crying and are on our way to find ice. Children need to understand that WORDS hurt.’
She said Today that Evan kept apologizing to her in the car for removing his makeup at school.
“He kept saying, ‘We worked so hard on it,'” she said. “He really thought about how I would feel, that says a lot about him.”
Amazing: Although Evan was initially hesitant to return to school, he had a great rest of his day
Happy ending: Mom shared that they’ve received messages of support from people around the world, including Egypt, Mexico, and the Philippines, saying she was ‘stunned’
But the story has a happy ending.
When Struckman took Evan for Frappuccinos at Starbucks, they talked about his feelings. He decided he didn’t want to miss the party. They stopped at home to redo his makeup, and then she took him back to school.
“He was a little scared to go back to school,” she told Today. “But he had a great rest of the day. And he was so proud of himself. It was definitely a defining moment in his life. If he hadn’t gone back, he would have broken his spirit.’
She added on Facebook that they have received messages of support from people around the world, including Egypt, Mexico and the Philippines, saying she was “stunned.”
“Thanks for all the kind words (and offers to beat up 10-year-olds) lol,” she wrote in one of her posts. “I appreciate you all.”