Musings of the Day: Is It Ok to Paint Your Little Boy’s Nails?

J Crew Jenna Paints Sons Nails

It’s funny I’m writing this post today as some of us were gushing over a Korean Drama, Playful Kiss, yesterday.

In the drama, the lead boy’s mother expresses how much she always wanted a little girl but she ended up with two boys. She goes on to tell the girl who’s crushing on her son how she would dress him up as a girl when he was little and even shows her pictures of him with pigtails.

It’s a rather cute story and makes for some great blackmail material for the girl who’s crushing so badly on that boy!

By now you may have already read the outrage over the J. Crew catalog which features president and creative director Jenna Lyons and her family. In one of the photos she’s painting her five year old son’s toenails pink and explains, “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Well the shiz has hit the fan and everyone has opinion on how wrong or right this is.

What do you think?

Is it right or wrong to paint your small son’s toes nail and finger nails?

Jump!

It’s completely fine and healthy as far as I’m concerned but not everyone thinks so. The outrage expressed by Dr. Keith Ablow is just one of many negative comments that have popped up “Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your ‘innocent’ pleasure….”

Needless to say a ton of others have chimed in about how wrong it is for Jenna to enjoy painting her son’s nails.

I dunno who Keith Ablow is but he sounds like a wanker of the first degree. What an idiot.

Why can’t little boys run around painting their nails and playing with dolls? What law says they can’t?

I was a tom boy growing up and I loved playing with G.I. Joe figures and hanging out with the boys, in some aspects I still love what society may deem “boy” or “manly” hobbies.

I don’t understand what people believe will happen to her son simply because she painted his toe nails……what psychological damage could she do by indulging in some innocent fun?

The poor kid has a better chance of being damaged by watching TV.

In my opinion, painting your young son’s toe nails is perfectly ok.

Conservatives need to get over themselves, like now, this is 2011, not 1890.

What do you think?

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  • 4/13/11 16:24 Catherine:

    My sister and I are the two oldest kids of my family (not so much kids anymore as we are 19 and 21 ) and we only had a cousin and it was a boy. We played a lot with him, dressing him like a girl, doing his makeup and playing barbies. And you know what? He isnt is in therapy at all! In fact, he is a 6ft tall football player, the morst manly a 18 can be. For me, there isnt “boy” or “girl” play, only what they want to do. And if your little boy likes his toe nails pink, why not! Youre not hurting anybody!

    Reply

    • 4/13/11 16:28 the Muse:

      not hurting anyone AT ALL Catherine ;-D! Unreal that people think painting a little boy’s toe nails is going to damage him somehow!? Like how damaged can he be? He lives in the US, we’re all damaged around here LOL!

      Reply

      • 4/13/11 17:11 LaurieS:

        Awww, I think he looks adorable with pink nails. If my daughter can paint hers black why can’t he paint his pink if it makes him happy?

        Reply

  • 4/13/11 16:54 Susan:

    IMO, it is pretty harmless. However, Im just surprised to see it being used in an ad campaign! I dont recall seeing ads for nail polish with little girls which I think would be really cute. (Maybe there are some and I just dont remember). It is surprising for me to see Essie making the leap to showing a little boy rather than a girl.

    Reply

    • 4/13/11 16:56 Susan:

      My bad, I see now this is not an add but from a catalog.

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 16:58 Phyrra:

    I think it perfectly fine to paint your child’s nails, or let them play with makeup (supervised) no matter the gender.

    I think that ad was cute!

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 17:03 jenna:

    my attitude is let kids be kids! their regular toenails are boring and if they see mom painting hers bright colours (whether the child is male or female), they’re going to want to take part in that shiz! and if they happen to want to continue doing so into their adulthood, again whether they’re male or female, go on ahead! a little nailpolish never hurt anyone imo. playtime is for their imaginations to run wild and to allow them to grow and discover themselves so to put limits on that could hinder them from becoming who they want to be.
    they used to make disney themed “shaving cream” and bladeless toy razers that i used to LOVEEE. i used to pretend to shave my legs, arms, and face because mom shaved her legs and dad shaved his face and that foam was so freakin’ fun to play with! and i don’t have a complex about being a man and growing a beard haha. it’s all in fun!!!
    i also used to babysit a little boy who liked to have his nails painted because he had two older sisters and we used to do them in fun colours sometimes and hes grew up to be a fine young man and doesn’t need a psychotherapist!!

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 17:08 Cj:

    You know, it’s so sad that in this day and age there are people so hateful towards such silly things. I cannot believe that doctor said the kid is going to need psychotherapy because he got his toe nails painted. That does not make any sense at all and the doctor is (as you said) a complete wanker, he should have his license taken away! If he even has one that is. This world would be such a better place if people stop caring about things that dont affect them.

    Reply

    • 4/13/11 17:46 the Muse:

      amen CJ. What does that even mean? seriously psychotherapy? Why?! Since when is it a crime to be different or for little kid’s to enjoy the small stuff. god, people sweat the small stuff to much. The “doctor” should be worried about the state of our government and recession, forget a little boy enjoying having his nails painted. dude seriously.

      Reply

      • 4/14/11 12:59 Cj:

        I was watching the news last night and it seemed like ever channel was talking about this. They had people weigh in and doctors talking about gender identity and sexuality. I couldn’t belive it! I mean are you people serious? It’s a 5 year old that likes the color pink and wants his toe nails painted. That’s it. And then there’s people who are saying the mom is forcing the kid to get his toe nails painted… Seriously?? Look at the picture! It talks about how his favorite color is pink and he looks like he’s having the time of his life. I don’t get how people think boys painting their nails is the end of the world and there’s somehow wrong wih them. They’re kids! Let them play.

        Reply

        • 4/14/11 13:07 the Muse:

          couldn’t agree more cj ;-D peeps is over analyzing the situation too hard ;-/

          Reply

  • 4/13/11 17:11 mon:

    Yes, I completely agree with you muse. What kind of nut job is this “doctor”? I say as long as the kid is happy (and the lil guy looks like he is) I think it’s ok. I think it’s better to let kids explore and try new things (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else) so that they don’t grow up to become adults like this narrow minded “doctor”.

    Reply

    • 4/13/11 17:48 the Muse:

      agreed mon, be different if the kid was grumpy while she applied it. or if he was forced. kids should always have fun and adventures exploring new things!

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 17:24 eight:

    I completely agree with you! The kid is obviously having fun, so what’s the problem? We need to smash these antiquated gender roles.

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 17:44 Eve:

    I thought it was cute! If he likes and they bond well that way keep it up! I’m sure if he gets older he may grow out of it or he may not. FFS it’s just toenails!
    …my fiancée lets me paint his toenails but don’t tell him I said anything! /shifty eyes…

    Reply

    • 4/13/11 17:49 the Muse:

      LOL eve too cute ;-D agreed if he doesn’t grow out if, who cares? it’ll be a damn interesting part of his personality ;-D!

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 17:52 Chill-seeker:

    I was more upset with the “outrage” caused by the article itself! The child obviously comes from a loving and supportive home, isn’t that more important than making sure that the boy stays strictly within the gender boundaries? I think everyone has at least a few memories of having their sisters put them in a dress or playing goalie with their brothers. Instead of lamenting and shamelessly judging, perhaps some people need to take a look are more pressing social issues… Like homelessness, veteran treatment or public school systems. Kids should be able to play without every nutjob with a diploma analyzing it for larger implications.

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 18:09 Dovey:

    As long as Becket wants to, what’s the problem? I’ll admit when I first saw the ad a couple weeks back, I was taken aback, just because it was unexpected! I think it’s pretty cool actually— embracing non-traditional gender roles. Like a lot of other commenters have already said— in real life, lots of little boys have their nails painted at some time or another =P. Good marketing by JCrew (though I doubt this will cause hordes of men to rush to their stores for pink polish…)

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 18:16 GIna:

    That ad is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!! I think it’d be waaay worse and far more damaging if his mom was trying to stuff him into a rigid, stereotypical gender role and making him feel like it’s “bad” to just like what he likes and be himself, ya know?? I say props to mom for letting her son know it’s perfectly fine to have harmless fun however YOU choose, and not listening to any of those ridiculous crap theories about “psychotherapy” and what have you. Imagine..this “doctor” must have lots and lots of time on his hands if this is the kind of stuff he sits around thinking about. The little guy is clearly happy and loving the time with his mom, which is ultimately the most important thing of all. he’s sooo cute, and has great taste i might add; that pink is pretty fab!

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 18:22 Maggie:

    Oh, thppppt to the people who think that it’s somehow harmful. I bet none of ‘em asked the boy how *he* felt about it – he looks pretty happy to me! I say if he wants his mom to paint his toenails pink, then who’s to say it’s not ok? If she were, like, chaining him to a chair in the dungeon and painting his toenails, that would be a different story, but he doesn’t look too coerced to me :)

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 18:30 Vijaya:

    It doesn’t sound as though this kid is being forced to get his nails painted; it sounds like he enjoys it. What is there to be outraged about?

    I feel like people who exclude men from doing traditionally feminine things, by implication are saying that there’s something WRONG with doing traditionally feminine things. That’s sexist, though, and that kind of sexism is used to subjugate women, deny women the right to their femininity or even, apparently, to subjugate young boys. Ugh.

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 18:31 Heather:

    So stupid, I hate backwards ass people who still feel the need to make sure everyone stays in their perfect little gender roles. My mom painted my brother’s toes pink all the time when we were kids, because he thought it looked cool when me and my sister did it. The only people who are going to damage that child are the people like this ‘doctor’.

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 18:38 becca:

    I can’t believe anybody is anti. Look at that little boy’s face, he’s so happy! What are they afraid of? That his mom will “turn him gay” or “scar him for life” or something equally ridiculous? I can’t believe people still have mentalities like that in this day and age, you’d think we would have come further by now. Live and let live!

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 19:25 jeansco:

    Hey Muse! I think the Korean drama you’re watching is a ‘copy’ of the Japanese anime “It Started with a Kiss”! I think it was the Taiwanese that came out with the tv series first…super cute, you should check it out too! =)

    Reply

    • 4/13/11 19:34 the Muse:

      hi jeans yup I know hun. It was actually a manga series first.

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 19:27 Isis:

    Totally harmless quality time, there’s no need for such rigid gender roles, if boys want to play with barbies so what!! though I do find it disturbing that some parents seem to feel hard done by when they don’t get the gender they want, accept and love the child you have!

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 19:42 Lori:

    if the boy’s not getting teased in school for it, i dont really get what the big deal is…
    i’m a girl, i stayed far far away from barbies, but had a gi joe and a secret stash of fighting games and racing cars. i think i’m okay and can refrain from the “psychotherapy”

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:23 the Muse:

      same here Lori. Aside from being a little crazy I’m pretty ok, I grew up alright, no damage from playing with boy’s toys.

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 19:44 Ryou:

    I completely agree with you. Who says you’re required to set gender roles on your kids as a parent? How about teaching them how to be open-minded? It’s not like a boy who’s had their toenails painted WILL inevitable end up being gay (and if they do end up being gay, then so what? It’s not the nail polish’s fault) In many, many cultures, boys DO get their nails stained as part of the tradition. How many homophobic do you see trying to saying they need therapy?

    But the most important part? Nail-painting is completely reversible. I personally think the psycho pageant-obsessed mother who regularly injects botox and fillers to her eight year old, along with giving her full-body waxes is way more repulsive. The girl is barely nine and she freaks out at the sight of “wrinkles”, not to mention she wants boob job and nose job. Nine year olds should be having fun playing and enjoying their childhood, not busy having body dysmorphic disorder and have her own mother inject neurotoxins to her face every other week. Now THAT is unhealthy for the kid, mentally and physically. -__-;

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:22 the Muse:

      it’s more along the lines of perhaps how they think this will contribute to his sexuality down the road which is really silly Ryou :-/ and I agree, the pageant mom’s are doing more damage than a woman painting her little son’s toenails ;D!

      Reply

      • 4/15/11 3:35 Ryou:

        I agree with another commenter below, the reason why the kid would need psychotherapy for this is because people like that doctor says it’s wrong. Sadly, society still are that prejudiced. It’s really easy for any male who are even just a bit effeminate to quickly be assumed as gay. Remember those days where men’s moisturizers are scarce? And how people would take a guy’s men pass away if they’re caught with a bottle of “normal” moisturizer in hand?

        Shortly put, we live in the 21st century, so I see no point in keeping traditions for the sake of traditions. Why not let people be themselves as long as they don’t harm others? Haters begone, let the kid have fun with his mom. =D

        Reply

  • 4/13/11 19:48 Mackenzie:

    Wow. Look, that little kid is having the time of his life up there with his pretty toenails and his mom, and everyone freaks out and says he needs therapy? I think that doctor should have therapy! That kid is like six years old, and if he continues to paint his toenails, good for him.

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 20:02 Mary the Muse Militant:

    I’d say it is perfectly fine to have fun painting the nails of sons but a little niggle in my mind hopes the woman wasn’t desperately wanting a girl.

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 20:20 Rona:

    I don’t really agree on painting a small child’s fingernails in general unless they ask you to but whether its a boy or girl makes no difference to me. My cousin used to go to school with clips in his hair when he was little and he turned out fine. We also have an adorable video of my little brother, having found lipstick and put it on himself

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 20:24 Rona:

    Just thinking, would you consider dating a guy who painted his nails bright pink? I like to think I’m open minded but I know that I would find it a little off-putting

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:21 the Muse:

      hey rona we actually had a thread a while ago about men wearing makeup and how much would be too much :) I guess it depends on what look the guy was going for haha!

      Reply

    • 4/15/11 3:44 Ryou:

      I’m engaged to a guy who shares make-up with me, and we’re actually quite happy being ourselves. =D

      When make-up is concerned, I think men and women could look good or bad depending on what look they’re going for and whether they can pull it off or not. It would certainly scar me more to see a dark-skinned woman wearing stark white powder (a usual sight where I live, sadly) than a guy with eyeliner and mascara. O_O;

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 21:07 Claudenka:

    i don’t understand the controversy surrounding the ad. a child’s painting of nails won’t define their sexuality in the future

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 21:24 clementine:

    Hahahaha, just come straight out, Dr. Ablow… The question you really want to ask is, “WHAT IF YOU TURN YOUR SON GAY????”

    Well, fortunately for children all over the world, some parents are a little more loving than you.

    As for the mother-son pedicuring, yeah, I think it’s kind of odd that they’re using it in an ad campaign, but I also think it speaks to just how much society is changing. I don’t think we would’ve seen this ad even five years ago, particularly not from J. Crew, which… I mean, it’s J. Crew. Their entire image is built on very classic American images of how men and women dress.

    Kudos to Jenna Lyons for treating it as not a big deal, though, and her son is ADORABLE.

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:20 the Muse:

      very much so clem. seriously that’s a shame, does nail painting make someone gay now? ;-D the only problem I have is he’s too young for makeup and nail polish lol aside from that I’m cool with it ;D

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 22:12 Julie:

    I don’t understand why she would want to put her young son with pink toenails in a catalog, or why she would want to use her son to blur gender rolls?

    Reply

    • 4/21/11 2:30 Sun:

      … maybe because she didn’t use her son to blur gender roles? Since that’s what he likes, and the photographer probably kept telling them “go candid! go candid!” they captured an everyday moment for the family. The fact that she’s kept quiet about this whole kerfuffle so it can die off, instead of revealing that she did intend to push boundaries (which would have been extrrrremely subtle since it’s one page in one magazine), shows to me that she really didn’t expect this sort of backlash.

      In short, why not? Suspicion implies that the action is morally questionable. Which it is not.

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 22:32 Lena:

    The only way that kid will need psychotherapy is because of people like the doctor telling him it is wrong…
    I was a huuuge tomboy when I was little, hated dresses, climbed trees, played cops & robbers with boys, etc. Now I am a super girly, boy crazy, pink loving woman. And nobody ever suggested to my parents that it will affect my sexuality somehow. This psychotherapy comment is disgusting and BS. I hope the boy never hears any of this nonsense.

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:19 the Muse:

      mm lena it seems to be about sexuality for sure. Which is just weird, playing with dolls, painting your nails, or loving pink doesn’t make you gay and it would be very scary if people thought otherwise….jeez.

      Reply

  • 4/13/11 22:33 Janine:

    When visiting a dear friend last summer, her daughter begged me to do her nails. So I did. Then her 5 year old son basically threw a fit until I did his green and orange. He proudly wore them to school the next day, and wore it until it chipped off. (And he is the LEAST feminine little boy ever!!) Geez, it’s just paint! Who cares?!

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 23:34 Rosemary:

    I have a 2.5 year old boy, and I let him play with my make-up, supervised of course. I don’t see anything wrong with it at all. He puts blush on himself and then puts it on me. He likes watching me paint my toe nails. He even holds the bottle. I’m teaching him his colors this way too. He knows that my nail polish is red and my eye shadow is green. It’s a fun way for him to learn new things! Now when he see me in the morning with my make-up on ready to go to work, he smiles at me and says “Mommy Pretty!”

    Reply

  • 4/13/11 23:46 Catherine:

    I think that’s cute :)

    My boyfriend (not so little boy) actually secretly enjoys me painting his toenails. But his favourite colour is blue, so blue toenails haha. And I have fun with it too :)

    Reply

  • 4/14/11 2:04 deb:

    I’m glad everyone is okay with it! My son was with me 24/7 when he was little and if I was putting on polish he had to have it too. I wasn’t much into face makeup at that time, lol!

    Reply

  • 4/14/11 3:52 Rose:

    I don’t get it. If the boy wants pink toe-nails where’s the harm? :S In fact, over here we have a tv-show that’s about a superhero dressed in pink and yellow. So lot’s of little boys (and girls!!) running around in pink/yellow outfits over here hihi. My favorite color is pink and so is my little nephew’s. No way is he going to end up in therapy for it.

    Reply

  • 4/14/11 4:17 Julia:

    If people can bitch about something, they will. I was a tomboy until I started wearing makeup at 11. I’m now a serious girly girl (loves pink everything, baking, Japanese decoden, circle lens and everything kawaii the whole shabang) and I played Action Man and Lego with my brother everyday. Nail polish is not permanent; if the little boy really didn’t want her to paint them, he could just ask her to remove it or chip it off.

    Don’t even get me started on video game sexism lol. I love everything floaty and girly but I love violent games (Gears of War, Condemned,Mass Effect etc) and I’m most certainly not in therapy!

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:15 the Muse:

      ha Julia I def can relate to the video game sexism…!

      Reply

  • 4/14/11 7:08 Heather:

    Got to love the men whining about something that men do all the time. and YES they do…the upscale salon I frequent has just as many men getting pedicures and manicures as women. The only difference is choice of color…men generally get clear coat. Do people really think that politicians / lawyers / bankers / tv personalities have shiny nicely trimmed nails naturally? Those that do need to spend a day out at a spa…ooops but then they might get exposed to culture ;) Kids play. Kids like mimicking their parents. ESPECIALLY young boys / moms. take a basic psych class and you would know about oedipus complex…of course the boy is going to want the pink polish mommy is using. IT IS NATURAL. Love the lack of education and abundance of closed minded people I am seeing all over the today show comment board over this issue lol

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 7:12 Heather:

      if you want a good laugh…check out the today show board…1nd main thread down on it…under gus andersons comment some guy had nerve to say that painting a little boys nails leads to homosexuality and incest…pleaseeeeee. lol like that is the cause!

      Reply

  • 4/14/11 7:44 Courtney:

    People are so stupid. Both little girls and little boys at this age love playing dress up and most aren’t even aware of gender stereotypes this young. Furthermore, even if they are aware, who cares? Let kids (and all people for that matter) be themselves! I’m so sick of these neoconservative homophobic irrational bigots criticizing parents who love and support their children. Repressiving a child’s personality and self-expression is a lot more damaging to a child’s psyche than a little bit of pink nail polish ever could be.

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 11:44 Liane:

      But it’s not about the child! This mom is doing it because SHE always wanted girls. How messed up is that? You can’t treat your son like a girl to fulfill your fantasy. I’m curious to know what the child wants — it’s not discussed.

      Reply

      • 4/14/11 11:49 the Muse:

        I think the photos speak for themselves Liane in terms of what the child wants as he’s giggling/smiling as she paints his toes….looks like a very genuine emotion on his face.

        Reply

  • 4/14/11 8:19 Annabella Freeman:

    I was a tomboy too, I was more interested in making mud pies and collecting lightning bugs than playing with baby dolls. I don’t think there is anything wrong with boys playing with makeup and dressing up. Aside from that men in the armed forces wear makeup all the time camouflage paint anyone?

    What I do find a little disturbing is if parent wishes their child was another gender and dresses them that way or tries to. If I had a boy and I wanted a girl, I wouldn’t dress him up just to make myself happy. If on the hand he wanted to dress up and use nail polish that’s different.

    Oh another useless fact btw, girls used to traditionaly wear blue and boys always wore pink! Don’t know when it changed but pink for boys isn’t strange!

    Reply

  • 4/14/11 9:11 Sarah:

    Yeah, that Dr. Ablow fellow co-authored a book with Glenn Beck. Not exactly a relaxed person! Funny, last night, after reading about this whole non-story I was doing my nails and my 4 year old son came in and wanted me to paint his too. He wanted to try all different colors on his big toe. Kids want to imitate their parents, plus they are attracted to bright colors and paint, so of course they like it! It’s also not like you are tattooing them- it’s easy to remove. BTW I would not have a problem if all men painted their nails! Men and boys should start painting their nails now, in protest of this silly overreaction!

    Reply

  • 4/14/11 10:07 Ana:

    I think this “controvery” is completely contrived and I could care less. What annoys me about your post is the “Conservatives should get over themselves” line. Why do you assume that conservatives all think the same way on this? I think your statement is silly and immature. Do you think all your readers are liberal and think like you do on everything? Seriously?

    Reply

    • 4/14/11 10:14 the Muse:

      Hi Ana, nope I do not think everyone has the same thoughts or opinions as I do however I do think conservatives that find the idea of a little boy applying polish to his nails such a big deal is actually silly and immature.

      Reply

      • 4/14/11 10:53 Heather:

        its the conservative republican male political types that use the salons and have no problem having a clear or “blush” shade on their own manicures ….is what i find MOST amusing…but painting toenails that WONT be seen is a problem??

        Reply

        • 4/15/11 16:30 Brittany:

          That clears things up Heather. I love that story! The irony of that situation is so obvious that its silly :P

          Reply

      • 4/14/11 18:19 Anonymous:

        Obviously generalizing isn’t the best thing to do, but I think muse is referring to the “conservatives-that-think-painting-toenails-is wrong”. I think calling “conservatives” out is OK in this situation, since it seems that the whole outrage was caused by a “conservative” after all (and honestly, on news / politics, there are ALWAYS generalized statements about liberals and conservatives. We can’t take every statement personally!) Instead of being annoyed at muse, I think Ana should actually be more annoyed at the people like Dr. A who make other conservatives look bad!

        Reply

        • 4/15/11 9:53 the Muse:

          thanks anonymous ;-D exactly what I meant xoxo!

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        • 4/15/11 10:56 Ana:

          Wow! What an absurd comment! The Muse did not say “conservatives-that-think-painting-toenails-is-wrong” in her first post and for you to come along after the fact and try to smooth it over is ridiculous. But, I guess all liberals are ridiculous. Generalized enough for ya?

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        • 4/15/11 15:35 Brittany:

          Muse I know you don’t mean harm but the line “Conservatives need to get over themselves, like now, this is 2011, not 1890 ” is really very offensive and surprising to me. This is because I know you try your hardest never to offend people and assure people that your intentions are good- for instance during the issue of the “male looking model in the ad” post. I truly admired how kind you were to assure people you meant no harm if they took what you said in a certain way. I don’t mean to be dramatic but that line really gave me a pit in my stomach It made me sad because honestly your my favorite blogger :( I’m a conservative woman and am offended but the over generalization that that statement makes. My boyfriend’s mother is a actually a strict conservative and allowed her six year old son to paint his toenails – and we all thought it was cute/funny/adorable and eventually he stopped doing it. No biggie. Now personally, I don’t know if I’d let my son do it- I don’t have kids yet but I assume my initial reaction would be “No!” followed by “well okay go ahead” if he truly wanted to- again no big deal to me. It’s unfair to assume “conservatives” think a certain way or that “liberals” think a certain way. In either case everyone should be entitled to their own opinion i.e. if someone comments saying they don’t agree and wouldn’t let their child paint his nails – then we should let them have their own opinion sans a bunch of comments ridiculing that person :( There’s a great quote that goes, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll fight for your right to say it.” And Heather I don’t understand your comment! Lol most people that are in the public arena-politicians etc.(does not matter pol. party) have thick cakey makeup and blush to counteract the crazy lights that are on them! Anyway, I just wanted to state that that comment IS offensive by the assumption made that “conservatives” need to get over themselves (generalization). It is definitely not all conservatives nor is it even a majority!

          Reply

          • 4/15/11 15:46 the Muse:

            Hi Brittany just read this over. I’m going to e-mail you so we can discuss it :) I’d rather personally e-mail you and explain my thoughts/feelings rather than limited it to a comment box, so e-mail seems a way more personal way to talk about this ;-D!

          • 4/15/11 15:51 Heather:

            My comment was only that you can not judge someones thoughts on whether makeup / nails done is conservative / liberal issue…it is personal choice…lol it happens that most of the men at the salon I go to are conservatives…and this conversation has been a hot topic all morning there….one of the stylists looked at a man who was saying it was wrong…and i quote her (as she was doing his pedicure) “if the shoe fits”…i think all of us there were almost in tears with laughter when his face went tomato red…

  • 4/14/11 10:13 Jenn S.:

    Short of judging, I will say this: I have three boys, ages 6, 9, and 12, and I would not paint their nails and I would discourage them doing so on their own. The only time I could make an exception is if one were to dress as Ozzy Osbourne for Halloween. Just my two cents…

    Reply

  • 4/14/11 11:42 Liane:

    I’m going to judge this woman, and I’m not sorry. It is wrong. She treats her boy like a girl because she wanted girls. It has nothing to do with what he wants or likes, it’s all about her and her needs and her fantasizing, and in my opinion that is terrible parenting.

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    • 4/14/11 11:48 the Muse:

      hi liane you honestly can’t say that considering you know nothing about the family situation or if she already has daughter(s), on top of that the child looks obviously happy in the photos.

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    • 4/14/11 11:55 Heather:

      Liane…that is not fair and not necessarily true. At that stage in a boys life he is “in love” with his mom and wants to do things with her (spend time, talk, copy). If he sees her painting her nails…it is natural for him to want his done as well. Do a google check of Freud stages of infancy..and Oedipus Complex…it is THAT common.

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      • 4/14/11 12:47 Kairi Yi:

        exactly,
        My husband and (I bet) evrey other man out there at one point drew all over their faxe with their mothers make up and tried on her heels. They just want to a part of the mother. There is never a time I can paint my nails or toenails in peace without my son begging me to color one of his. (and my son is 4, similar age as the boy pictured above)
        besides, who made the golden rule that pink is for girls?
        and who said that nail polish was strictly made for woman?
        just like years back, when someone (presumably a woman) saide who said pants are for men?

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        • 4/14/11 13:28 Heather:

          btw…ummm have you looked at the men we are “swooning over” lately? i would still leave my hubby for johnny depp as his pirates character…eyeliner and all!

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    • 4/21/11 2:35 Sun:

      Her comment was entirely tongue-in-cheek. Now, if she was chastising and criticizing her son for not being the girl that she wanted, that would be terrible parenting.
      And painting your son’s toenails isn’t necessarily treating him like a girl: that implies that nail painting is solely a female activity. Which is it not, cause you don’t need genitals to unscrew a nail polish bottle.

      Your comment has nothing to do with what you consider to be the best interests of kids – it’s all about your ostracizing views on gender.

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  • 4/14/11 12:42 Kairi Yi:

    Its really sad how people are so focused on unnecessary things. My son’s facorite color is pink, that doesn’t put him in any category of what he will be when he grows older.
    There was an outrage when woman started wearing pants, and then there was an uproar when men started piercing their ears. I am in jeans now, that doesn’t make me any less of a woman or different person. Ugh it sickens me how people love to put their energy and attention to such stupid things that don’t make sense, what about child trafficking? and child abuse?
    Besides, now a days how many parents actually spend time with their children? All I see on this ad is a good example of taking something your child likes to make an activity out of it and to just spend an enjoyable time together… thats rare these days.. especially with the way the economy looks.
    Other than that, all I see thats outrageous are the prices!

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  • 4/14/11 14:08 Kate:

    If the kid likes it, then let him be. We should have a say in the construction of our gender identities. If it means that he likes to paint his toenails when he’s an adult, what’s the big whoop?

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  • 4/14/11 14:26 SJG:

    If the little boy WANTED her to do it, that’s fine. The thing that troubles me is the tenor of the blurb seems more like “aren’t I lucky this little boy will let ME do the things I want to do – which are girly like painting toenails!”

    Also, I think putting it in the catalog was a bit much. I mean, I have pictures of my next door neighbor Eddie in a dress, woman’s hat and a bra – I also have a pic of 3 yr old me sitting on the porta potty – but that doesn’t mean that those things are OK to use in a national catalog.

    And yeah – use the kiddie nail polish that can wash off, instead of your $14 a bottle Essie. Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you should be wasteful.

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    • 4/14/11 17:06 Julie:

      I agree with you SJG. There is a big difference between doing it and putting it in a catalog for a national advertisement campaign. It’s not about her son, it’s about making a statement or pushing an agenda.

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  • 4/14/11 15:49 AS:

    My roommate’s boyfriend always wears his toenails painted and it looks nice – he’s a South Dakota farm boy who is totally secure with himself. Even my childhood 100-pound doberman liked to have his toenails painted on occasion. He didn’t like the smell of the polish, but would really prance around and wag his tail once he had his pink toenails. People ought to be able to do what makes them happy when it does not negatively affect anyone else. Guys who are secure with themselves and march to their own drummer are sexy! And any straight boy who loves “girly” things might just be a guy who is comfortable with the fact he absolutely adores women and any things associated with them. We need as many of those as possible.

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  • 4/14/11 18:17 Fuuka:

    If he asks you to do it it’s ok. I would think that it was odd but wouldn’t push him against it. I don’t really agree with kids painting their fingernails in the first place though. They chew their fingernails and ingesting those chemicals is bad for them.

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  • 4/14/11 21:48 Blue:

    That doctor is probably one of the worst around. Seriously, saying that about the simple, harmless act of painting a young boy’s nails? He’s probably not a very respectable doctor – I wonder what he says to his own patients. Lord.

    Reply

  • 4/21/11 2:48 Sun:

    Giiiirl, I’m surprised you posted this. Most beauty sites wouldn’t post an opinion piece about current events ;p But it is refreshing, and a little brave considering how harsh anonymous can get about… well everything.
    The kid is not being harmed. Honestly – he’s not being physically or emotionally abused. And if getting his nails painted like he likes puts him in therapy later, then we would all need therapy for just going through childhood. We’re vulnerable and it’s a rough time.

    But it’s rough because of people who ostracize and alienate others. He is more likely to be psychologically harmed by tv doctors and people spotlighting and insulting his family. They are teaching him to be shameful of liking the color pink and bonding with his mom. They are trying to tell him that his mom is a horrible person. Keith Ablow is laughable – a credible psychologist who cares about mental health would know not to put a kid in a nation’s attention and be the center of a political controversy.
    A few of these people who disagree with you should really think about why they think it’s wrong for a kid to get his nails painted. If it really was about the children, they would not be so determined to make him feel ashamed and his mom attacked

    Reply

    • 4/26/11 10:26 the Muse:

      hey sun ;-D it’s always fun to discuss this stuff even if it’s controversial :-D!

      Reply

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