More Nail Polish Drama! Is It Okay for Boys?

Sure, it’s edgy (and maybe just a little bit hot) when David Beckham does it, but here’s a newsflash for all of you other Y-chromosome-carrying individuals on the planet: Nail polish is a no-no for you, got that?

The you-know-what hit the fan when J. Crew included a picture in their latest catalog showing creative director Jenna Lyons painting her son’s tiny toenails. Pink. A Fox News health reporter dubbed it “a dramatic example of the way our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity;" the Media Research Center called the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

Transgendered children? Really?

I get why some folks might disapprove of pink nails on little boys: Obviously, in some parts of the country this would be like tattooing a request for repeated butt-kickings right onto the kid’s forehead. But should pretend play and dress-up and bright, pretty colors be the exclusive domain of our daughters? Should we be outfitting our sons with plastic uzis and hammers and stethoscopes instead -- as if those are examples of “gender identity” rather than “gender stereotyping”?

Now, yesterday we tried to understand why people get upset over toddlers wearing nail polish, celebrity ones in particular. Let’s suppose, just for a sec, that this ad had featured the lovely Ms. Lyons tossing a football or digging for worms or building an elaborate Lego transformer-monster-dinosaur-thingy... with a daughter. Would those ads have been met with as much outrage? After all, women have fought long and hard to be afforded the same opportunities as men. We want to not just enlist in the army but serve on the front lines. We want equal pay for equal work. Most of us don’t really want to be loggers or miners, but don’t even think about telling us those career choices are off limits. We can wear tuxedoes and sport crew-cuts and cover our bodies with tattoos, all things we think nothing of today but would have been considered fairly masculine just a generation ago. Who am I to say that shiny bottle of Rock Royalty polish is off limits to my guy? I say, enjoy!

Check out Kelly Wallace's take in this week's iVillage 5!

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