J.Crew Image Showing Boy with Painted Pink Toenails Has the Media in a Gender-Identity Tizzy

The question is, why do they care so much?

Jenna Lyons, J.Crew’s brand president and resident lead designer, has started quite the controversy. She posted a picture of her and her son having fun together, painting his toenails hot pink. The photo, which was part of the regular Jenna’s Pick’s, was titled “Saturday with Jenna”.

The caption under the photo says, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Gasp. So, she painted her son’s toenails pink. This whole drama surrounding what seems to be a fun-filled Saturday morning between Jenna and her son now has Fox New’s blue (I’m assuming) panties in a bunch.

“This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity--homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such “psychological sterilization [my word choice] is not known,” explains the outraged psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, who wrote about the photo in a Fox News column.

He goes on to say, “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 those who’ll be affected by your “innocent” pleasure.”

After reading Dr. Ablow’s piece for Fox News, I am convinced that this man is truly scared of this photo and everything that he believes goes along with it. He seems to think that if we “abandon all trappings of gender identity” (how, I’m not sure) then the world will basically go to hell in a hand basket. Neither gender will be interested in nurturing children, neither gender will be motivated to rank creating a family above having great sex forever, and neither gender will be motivated to protect their nation by marching into combat against other men. To top it all off, hospitals would be flooded with requests to “amputate” certain parts of one’s anatomy, as well. Obviously, Ablow’s assumption makes total sense and sounds logical and very plausible. Paint your son’s toes pink, and say goodbye to him wanting to procreate or go to war.

I used to babysit when I was younger and I would often play “dress up” with the little girls I would sit for. Their brothers would want to get in on the action, and so we would play with makeup, paint our nails different colors, and try on different outfits. As far as I know, none of those boys grew up to be men that didn’t want to have a family, and it never affected their “identity” later in life. Then, when I would play “boy games” the sisters would also want to be involved, and we would all play together. My thinking was that as long as everyone was having fun, not doing anything harmful to themselves or their siblings, what was the problem?

Children don’t identify nail polish or other “gender specific” acts with a specific gender. They don’t identify the color “blue” as being only for boys and “pink” only for girls. Kids are much more open minded and accepting than any adult you could meet, and it is the adults that put these gender roles onto children. And, what makes nail polish inherently feminine? We have assigned this role to women, and if a man does it, it somehow “degrades” him in some way.

It is also rather insulting to the transgendered community in the way that Ablow talks about them, as though they are a menace to society.

Media Research Center’s Erin Brown agreed with Ablow, calling the photo “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

She goes on to say, “Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna’s indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future. J.Crew, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the facade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.”

Brown seems to be reaching, in an attempt to make J.Crew seem as though they have some sort of agenda with this photo, which makes little sense. If anything, posting a photo like this could inadvertently hurt the brand, because of bigoted comments from those like Ablow and Brown.

twodaymag wants to know...would you paint your son’s toenails if he asked you to?



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