April 14, 2011

The nail polish is probably the only thing I can afford in their catalog...

I don't know the netiquette of re-posting an item from someone else's blog and it's not something I plan to do often.  As a single mom by choice of two little boys, one of whom came home last month and told me sadly that he really wanted to have a tea party but couldn't because that was just for girls,  I felt this was too important not to share... http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/118880/j_crew_paints_boys_nails

J.Crew Paints Boy's Nails Pink & Idiots Are Outraged

Posted by Jeanne Sager on April 12, 2011 at 3:30 PM

OMG. Did you get your J.Crew email a few weeks ago, open it up, and swoon at the impossibly cute little boy with gorgeous blond hair making eyes at his mother, J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons? I totally did. But if you read the way the Daily Mail tells it, we all missed something crucial. Something dark and horrible.

The boy ... wait for it ... was wearing ... PINK nail polish. Imagine! A 5-year-old boy. With pink nail polish. How awful! How disturbing! How the hell did I not even notice that when I got the email? Oh, right, because he's a 5-year-old boy wearing pink nail polish. Not exactly earth shattering news in my house, where my husband wears purple, I've rocked a mohawk, and my own 5-year-old -- a girl -- plays with trucks.

In fact, the worst thing I saw in the whole ad was some totally cute clothes that I can't afford (CrewCuts, I love you but my wallet doesn't!). But Lyons is getting her butt handed to her by the British tabloid and child psychologists for the likes of Faux Fox News who claim she has destroyed son Beckett's life by daring to first indulge in the pink on his piggies and then publishing it in a major ad campaign. Well, Jenna, since you're going to hell, we might as well share a handbasket. As I mentioned before, little girl + trucks. Heck, the other day, I was poring over old photos and found my daughter in ... a Batman mask and cape with a cowboy hat. Quelle horreur!

While the fearmongers "experts" are carrying on about how Lyons is encouraging her son and others to live a "crossgender" lifestyle, all they're doing is perpetuating tired myths. Crossgender, or as it's better known in the LGBT community, transgender, isn't about wearing something usually identified with another gender at all. It's a biological sense that a person's uncomfortable with their gender, and yes, it can start as early as 2, or 3, or 4.

But as Cris Beam, mom of a transgender woman who has spent years working with transgender kids, pointed out to The Stir last month, kids generally DON'T look at things in life as being "gendered" until someone points it out to them. Pink nail polish is just that -- pink nail polish. Not "girly" but "pink nail polish." Ditto the trucks. Not a "boy toy" but "a truck." And even when it does become apparent, kids generally don't care ... at least not right off the bat. "A lot of kids do all kinds of gender play and then shift into their biological gender or 'assigned gender,'" said Beam.

Point being? The kids are alright ... and not just in Mark Ruffalo movies. They're just fine, in fact, until adults with bizarre and very restricted views of how kids should fit into their cookie-cutter ideals step into the fray.
So go back and look at that picture in the J.Crew ad, will you? What do you see? Do you see pink nail polish on a boy? Or do you see a little boy named Beckett, with beautiful blond curls, and a mom who looks like she is impossibly in love with her kid, in the very best way? Because that's what I see.


  1. I, personally, think that picture is totally adorable. My son has been adorned with hair clips, necklaces, fairy wands, bracelets, and yes - nail polish. And he's been to tea parties. He's got an older sister, that's what happens. And my daughter has worn blue. She's played with trucks. She's wrestled. She sometimes does it in a dress.
    My son has worn nail polish to school. He has asked to have his nails polished because it's not fair that his sister gets to but he doesn't. And I polish his nails because it's fair. And cute. And makes my kid happy.
    There. I totally agree with this blogger.

  2. I am actually pretty neutral about it. I don't paint my nails so Cory doesn't see it and want it. He thinks chapstick is lipstick. I think its more about wanting to do what you see someone else doing. Cory pretends to put on deodorant every morning because he sees me doing that. I am sure if he saw me putting on pink nail polish he would want some too.

  3. I think its awful the boxes that adults want to put children in, based on their own feelings etc. Some people need to get a life.

  4. Yes, I saw this too. And yes I had a little moment of outrage at the fearmongers. But to be honest, I've kind of tired of all their fear mongering and I don't know anyone in my immediate circle.... even the really conservative ones... who think it's a horrible thing to paint a boys toenails pink. I have a friend whose son was at home with her until he went to kindergarten at age 5, and the little girls in his class were awful to him because he liked pink and purple. They had claimed it for themselves and berated him for being different. At age 5. But I think this is just little girls trying to find ways to categorize or differentiate and make sense of their world. Hopefully most of them outgrow that. The little boys that I wanted to paint with pink polish when they were little just went to their school dance in dresses, and their father, who was horrified when I wanted to paint their nails 15 years ago, laughed. I don't have time for fear any more. I'm too busy trying to make sure my kids are actually dressed when they leave the house. :)

  5. Jon Stewart had a great segment on this. How silly this all is! Where is the outrage about homeless children and throwaway teens hooking in the streets?