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Share Your Thoughts: Hot pink-toenailed boy in J. Crew ad sparks controversy

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

A spread in a recent J. Crew catalog, featuring a five-year-old boy with pink toenails, is causing a sensation.

 

From the Yahoo! News article:

 

"When J. Crew sent out its latest catalog, we doubt that the classic clothing company expected it would be blasted by social conservatives as "transgendered child propaganda." But alas, it has.

 

The images in question fall under pages titled "Saturday with Jenna" -- featuring products personally favored by J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons and her family. This particular Saturday for Jenna includes painting her five-year-old son Beckett's toenails pink. The caption reads, "Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."

 

Cue the outrage from America's culture warriors."

 

Source: Hot pink-toenailed boy in J. Crew ad sparks controversy: The Lookout, Wed April 13, 2011

 

In the past Mothering has tackled the subject of gender roles and boys with articles such as The Boy in the Pink Tutu, Real Boys Play with Dolls, and most recently Handsome in Pink in the July-Aug 2010 issue of Mothering.

 

What on your thoughts on this topic? Do you feel it is appropriate for boys to wear pink or otherwise step outside of mainstream gender roles?

post #2 of 38

What a ridiculous thing to get upset about.  My 3 year old son loves to paint his toenails; currently each toe is a different color.  Bright colors are fun!  Why should girls get to have all the fun?

 

Seeing stuff like this makes me realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by reasonable people in my daily life. 

post #3 of 38

"If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

 

that about sums up my feelings on this.  and I agree.. why should girls get all the fun?  colors on the toes IS fun, boy or girl.

post #4 of 38

This song perfectly sums up how I feel. http://www.facebook.com/AnnaAntoniaMusic#!/AnnaAntoniaMusic?sk=app_2405167945

If you agree that boys should be free to wear pink (whether it's a shirt or nail polish) and girls should be able to grow up to become president, then share this very important, very timely song by passing on this link!

post #5 of 38

These people really need to stop being so uptight about a frickin' colour.

 

A colour, that up until the late 40's, was a boys colour. Seriously, there are people alive still who were alive and kicking when pink was what you dressed your sons in!

post #6 of 38

Why oh why is this news...?

post #7 of 38

What is truly ridiculous about this whole thing is that pink was considered a "boy color" and blue considered a "girl color" up until the 1940's. 

 

My good friend just let her 3 year old son get his ears pierced to the horror of her family; not because he was three and getting a body modification, but because he's a boy and we just don't DO that to boys. Puh-leeze! eyesroll.gif

 

Quote:
"If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

 

^My thoughts exactly. Sexism hurts men too!!

 

eta: just saw musician dad beat me to the point, lol

post #8 of 38
I can't wait until DS can sit still long enough for me to paint his toenails!
post #9 of 38

Oh blergh.  I just rolled my eyes so hard I have a headache now.  

 

Yeah, blergh about sums it up really.

post #10 of 38

silly-ness. my ds1 loved pink until about 6 months ago and liked having his nails done.

FORCING a child (of any gender) to paint their nails? sure something to question. having some fun playing dress up with your dd/ds? no.

post #11 of 38
It's just !@$#@ stupid. The controversy, I mean.
post #12 of 38

I've seen pink shirts for men in the department stores, so it's not total taboo in our culture, just unusual. I think more people are coming around to the fact that girls and boys alike don't care about "gender specific" things unless someone keeps telling them otherwise. Do boys graviate toward certain things that girls don't and vice cersa? Sure, but that doesn't mean it's exclusive to that gender.

 

If people are afraid their sons won't be "manly"...and we all have different definitions of what manly is...I think they need to first and foremost cultivate honorable character in their sons instead of automatically complying with and relying on society's gender pigeon-holing to do it.

 

And I don't think that a five year old having fun with his mom & nail polish is flame-worthy. But then, I carry my infant son in a pink and orange mei tai and my other son loves his apron & play kitchen, so.... :)

post #13 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

"If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

 

that about sums up my feelings on this.  and I agree.. why should girls get all the fun?  colors on the toes IS fun, boy or girl.

 

My feelings, too.  A girl playing in the mud isn't a sign that our culture has overcome sexism; rather, that she gets away with it without any criticism--while a boy in pink toenails turns into a "news" story--is a sign that our culture bows at the alter of what is masculine and continues to denounce the feminine as weak, "girly" and not fit for boys. 
 

 

post #14 of 38

To each his/her own. Personally I wouldn't paint my son's toenails any color. Or pierce his ears for that matter. My family and I are okay with gender roles. What others do is their business.

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nocturne1980 View Post

To each his/her own. Personally I wouldn't paint my son's toenails any color. Or pierce his ears for that matter. My family and I are okay with gender roles. What others do is their business.



Even if he wanted it? Are the gender roles more important than your son being allowed to be who he is?

post #16 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post





Even if he wanted it? Are the gender roles more important than your son being allowed to be who he is?

I don't think painting nails or ear piercing is who a child is. Children can absolutely be who they are without certain things. There are many things I wouldn't allow my kids to do/wear, but I don't think I am stifling who they are, just guiding them until adulthood.
 

 

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by love4bob View Post


 

I don't think painting nails or ear piercing is who a child is. Children can absolutely be who they are without certain things. There are many things I wouldn't allow my kids to do/wear, but I don't think I am stifling who they are, just guiding them until adulthood.
 

 

Part of who someone is, is what they enjoy. Why deny your child the joy of doing something they enjoy just because someone, somewhere decided arbitrarily that it's not proper for their biological sex?
 

 

post #18 of 38

Now I can see not allowing a boy to paint his nails if you don't allow nail polish.  For instance, I (female) was not allowed to paint my nails until middle school so if my brother had been allowed at an elementary schooler just because he was a boy, it would have seemed quite unfair.  I also wasn't allowed to pierce my ears until I was 18.  My brother wasn't allowed to pierce his not because it wasn't masculine but because it wasn't allowed.  We both ended up with piercings before 18 but they weren't done with parental consent.  Little sis on the other hand had a totally different set of rules and painted her nails from toddlerhood and got her ears pierced at 13.  I think it was partially because she was the baby of the family and my parents loosened their strictness a lot and partially because she was *really* in to fashion from the time she could express an interest.

post #19 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoriesInTheSoil View Post

Now I can see not allowing a boy to paint his nails if you don't allow nail polish.


For me it's mostly the VOCs in most commercial nail polishes.  I don't want DD to ingest that into her tiny lungs.  But then, that's tangential to this thread.  Those pundits on Fox News weren't complaining because the child was young or being exposed to VOCs.... eyesroll.gif

 

Did anyone catch Jon Stewart's take on it the other night?  love.gif

There's a clip of it here.  It's the first bit on the show.

post #20 of 38

I have one word for the hoopla that's being made about a boy and painting his toenails pink. Ridiculous.

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