The first nail-focused beauty blog

The Controversial J.Crew Pink Nail Polish Ad

By on April 13, 2011
in Essie, News with 118 Comments

There’s been a lot of buzz recently around a J.Crew ad that depicts the company’s president, Jenna Lyons, with her son who has neon pink nail polish on his toes.  It includes the quote, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

j.crew controversial ad with Jenna Lyons and her son, a boy, wearing pink nail polish on his toes using an essie neon pink

Why there is such an uproar about this escapes me. Granted, I don’t have, or plan to have, children so I can’t really see this from a parent’s perspective but I’ve always felt that if you aren’t hurting anyone or breaking any laws, do what you damn well please.

We’ve discussed men wearing nail polish in the past and to this day it is still one of my most popular posts, continuing to receive new comments. While there are people against the idea, the majority of us Fanatics seem to be okay with men wearing polish on their hands or feet. So why shouldn’t this apply to little boys? Would we even be talking about this if the color was more “masculine” like gray or black?

When I looked at the ad, I thought, “Oh this is a way to pimp the Essie polishes J.Crew will be carrying this summer.  Using her son will be sure to draw attention.” Not that civilization as we know it is ending because of how she colored her son’s toenails.

Yes, it is eye catching to see a male with neon pink toes. Yes, it obviously got the press to take notice. But how did I learn of this whole controversy? From a reader asking me on Twitter if I knew the name of the polish used in the ad. Enough said!

What are your thoughts on this ordeal? Is it something we should be talking about? Do any of you have young boys in your life that like to polish their nails?  Does it make a difference whether the color is a “girly” pink or “masculine” dark?

ps To answer the reader’s question… I don’t know the shade name but when I find out I will update this post. The Essie polishes used in J.Crew ads are usually for sale on the website but the only pink I is see currently is Forget Me Nots which is not neon.

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  1. Michelle says:

    I can’t believe the outrage this is generating considering how much we know now about gender norms and how restrictive they are. It’s unfortunate we still live in a society where men or boys are punished for doing anything considered feminine, whether it be wearing a feminine stereotyped color or showing emotions.

  2. I’m so glad you wrote about this because the “uproar” has been annoying me all day. The only thing I care about is, like your reader, what colour that lovely pink is. People need to relax!

  3. stephanie mueller says:

    The picture is cute.i said how did they get a little boy to sit still for that. My hubby says who cares if a mom wants to do that its her choice. No big deal..

  4. kristin says:

    i think the colour is pink parka!

  5. Brooke says:

    my son is 4 and always sees me doing my nails, so normally he wants his done too. granted he shows it off then wants to take it off within an hour, but I humor him. One rainy day I even painted his nails AND my 3 nephews. They’re kids, let them have fun!

    PS – that is a PRETTY polish! and shirt! I actually haven’t shopped J.Crew since the college days but I may have to stop in for those 2 things!

  6. Christine says:

    I have 2 boys and while neither of them will let me paint their nails I think people are out of their skulls for caring. I was under fire when my boys were little because I allowed them to have baby dolls…yeesh for a progressive society we sure are opprssive.

  7. Yukie says:

    i work at a daycare and everyday there’s a new little boy with painted toes or fingers. in a shimmery blue, purple creme, even pink like the boy in this picture.
    the thing is, all of those boys WANT it. their parents don’t force it. they like that their fingernails are colored – some of them think of it as having “alien fingers” not “girl fingers”. some of them just simply like the color blue and wanted blue fingernails. some of them want to be like their older sisters.
    it never really extends over the age of 5 or 6, and the boy in the picture above doesn’t look older than 7.
    personally, its the same to me as a girl coming in completely dressed in boy clothes, which also happens all the time at daycare.

  8. Krista says:

    I personally don’t think it matters, it’s all about a creative outlet, and if it makes the little boy and his mom happy, why the heck not!

  9. Cat says:

    I think the uproar over this is ridiculous. Don’t we have more important things to worry about in the world, rather than freaking out over a boy wearing pink polish on his toes? I personally think the ad is adorable and don’t see what the big deal is. Wearing pink toenail polish is not going to turn this boy gay, or whatever people are fearing. Someone I know takes her young son along with his sister to get pedicures when she does. He happens to prefer green/blue colors (as does his older sister!) and I think it’s great that they can all enjoy that together and have fun.

  10. Angela says:

    I see no problem with this at all. My brother would always beg to get his nails done when my Aunts did mine.

  11. Claudia Canny says:

    My son always wanted his fingernails painted when I did mine when he was between 4 and 5 and I did it for him (whatever color I was wearing, pink too), then took it off when he tired of it. He’s 7 now, no longer requests it and so I don’t do it. It’s not like Ad Mom is holding him down and ‘girlyfying’ him or whatever she’s being accused of. It’s a very typical moment between modern mom and son, honestly.

  12. I think it’s adorable and it’s fine. My girls when they were younger would paint my hubbie’s toes and when we were on vacation and in the hot tub, it was a great conversation amoung the bathers. If everyone would only mind their own business, I bet there would be more harmony. I love the pink toes.

  13. karen says:

    is this really a big deal? I used to paint my little guys (who is now 19) nails whenever he wanted me to. pink, purple, all colours. no one cared 15+ years ago, why do they now? what a tempest in a teapot!

  14. Jenn says:

    So that’s the ad… wow, that’s not what I thought it was going to be at all! We should promote better feet care for men anyways! I would loooooove it if my boyfriend got regular pedicures. That being said, that little boy is super cute.

  15. Rachel says:

    i have 2 younger boys with me and a big sister that they adore…they have always wanted their nails polished

  16. FaithJ says:

    If I had a little boy, I would not do it, in any color. Even if he really wanted to wear nail polish. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I just wouldn’t do it.

  17. Debra says:

    I think the ad is cute! And it’s sad our society is so repressive, all these imposed social roles are ridiculous.

  18. Valeriellen says:

    People need to simmer down! Jeez louise! There are real issues to be concerned about in the world. This is totally age appropriate (and her son is adorable!).

  19. Hannah says:

    I’m in the UK where we don’t have J Crew so I hadn’t heard of the controversy until seeing it here. I did recognise the lady in the ad as I saw her interviewed on Oprah! I think it’s a fun ad, the little boy is clearly happy and obviously doesn’t see the polish as a beauty product but probably like permenant felt tip pens on his toes and probably is bored of it after a few hours anyway! My brothers never had any interest in me painting my nails but my mum wouldn’t have stopped them if they had wanted to join in!

  20. Frances Duman says:

    Absolutely insane that people care about this ad. What does it matter if his toe nails are pink. GEEEZZZ.

  21. KRISTEN says:

    this is so ridiculous. who the H cares?? I don’t believe you can “make” someone become gay, and if your child was gay wouldn’t you love them anyways?? What “society” rules are they talking about? Hellllllllllo it’s 2011 and households are becoming more equal with both people working, sharing household duties, and men taking a more dominant role in childrearing. Also, on a sidenote, it’s his freaking toes that are being painted, which would be covered w shoes.

    oh and the color looks like pink parka

  22. Katy says:

    I was undecided about what to put on my toes tonight, and this ad has pushed me. Neon pink it is.

    The ad is super cute.

    The uproar shows how far we still have to go.

  23. Lynn says:

    I think the uproar is disgusting. How is a little boy painting his nails any different than a little girl wearing pants? I think getting offended over this ad is sexist and oppressive.

  24. Lauren says:

    I keep hearing about this so called “uproar,” yet I haven’t actually heard anyone say they are bothered by it. It feels like the media fabricated the controversy. I admit I haven’t exactly researched it, but watching it on GMA and in the couple articles I’ve read, there haven’t been any quotes by the so-called upset people. Anyway, I love everything about the photo. :)

    • Lizzy says:

      I haven’t done any research, but I did stumble across this.
      http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/04/11/j-crew-plants-seeds-gender-identity/

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks for listing the link. I read the article and then vomited all over my keyboard. Apparently, toenail polish will lead to the destruction of the family, the dismantling of the US military, and general anarchy and possibly nuclear war. What an idiot. Children all try things on. Styles, colors, beliefs. It’s part of growing up and learning to make choices. This man would have us all raise little robot Rambos to avoid the slippery slope of danger that leads to gaytown. He’d probably have us do away with pants for women, title IX, maybe even the vote. Hell, let’s bring back wife beating to ensure that little boys understand their “role”! I have to go barf again.

  25. What?! Wow… do people not have anything better to complain about? I’m not sure WHY nail polish is something only girls can enjoy. Just because society says it has to be that way? Good for her and good for her little boy. When my brother was littler his favorite color was hot pink, too. It’s sad that the kids are forced out of their open mindedness and end up being influenced by societal “norms” like the rest of us.

  26. justine says:

    This is the first that I am hearing about this, so thanks for posting. I think the picture is cute and gets my attention.. a boy wearing neon pink nail polish? and I guess that’s the point of it, to get people talking. Are j crew fans not open-minded?

  27. Tamara Lair says:

    No comment about the story and uproar. However, I did write on Essie’s Facebook Wall and asked what the color was and received a response that it is “Forget Me Knots”!!!

  28. Noel says:

    It isn’t that the child has his toenails painted pink; its the incredible over-reaction of all those who should have nothing to say about it.

    Preschool boys only know their own world; they see their beloved Mummy paint her nails, and they want to be like Mummy, who is lovely, and perfect and makes his world terrific. What’s so wrong about emulating Mum? Nothing. Soon that little guy will be emulating Daddy too.

    I’ve been a teacher and a pastor; I’ve seen countless preschool boys who’ve come to school or church with painted nails, and they love it, and don’t care what others say: they just want to have fun and be adored by their parents, their teachers, their friends.

    Too soon these little ones will fall to peer pressure, and care too much what others think.
    Why do we allow some repressed prigs to make such a big deal over children being children?

    They should all go away; imagine condemning little children having colorful fun.

    Pink/purple/blue/green nails for everyone!

  29. My friend Alex is a straight man who adores avant garde fashion and painting his nails. In this post (http://bit.ly/hsgFyU), I taught him to put on under-eye concealer and mascara. He does it because he feels it’s a method of creativity expression, it’s a confidence booster and he enjoys doing it. In this ad – it looks like her son Beckett would enjoy this as much as finger painting or making mudcakes. Way too much of an overreaction. Granted, Alex’s parents hate it too. So maybe it is a parent thing?

  30. Mary says:

    I love that a little boy has neon pink nails. Down with gender norms, up with acting how you feel!

  31. Ulmiel says:

    I think it’s sad that in our “open” society this is still a problem. Boy has bright pink on his toes, so effing what? We pat ourselves about how open and liberal we are, but moments like this reveal we have a long way to go.
    I have no problem with men wearing polish, or boys. If they like it, let them have it, simple as that. But I guess there will always be the more conservative side of society, that would think of this as too much out of the box, since nail polish = girls, pink = girls and both on a boy = gay and that for some people is just not ok. I couldn’t care less, no matter what sexual orientation the male is, and I think we should get pass that in the past century, but alas no.

  32. I don’t understand why this causes such a fuss! It’s a cute little boy unashamedly with pink toenails… is it right that kids playing and having some fun has to turn into an adult-led uproar? I think not. And the controversy about the polish being pink? Oh please. I think that everyone has the right to pick a favorite color, whether its traditionally a “girl” color or not. Laugh, just embrace it, and let kids be kids!

  33. Morgan says:

    This is so silly! Growing up, when my mom would paint my nails/toes, my brothers always had to have a least one finger painted. It didn’t “mean” anything, and it was fun. People are so uptight over silly things.

  34. Anita says:

    I feel that the uproar is just plain silly,do some people just not have hobbies that they have the time and energy to get worked up on stuff like this??? I’m sure it’s all about gender blurring and all that crap but really…
    Why is it more acceptable for a girl to be a tomboy and do “guy things” then a boy to wear pink nail polish?
    My boyfriend loves for me to do his nails, he finds it very relaxing. Currently he’s wearing OPI’s DS Original (He’s got good taste too.) but has had all sorts of glitter and bling on them in the past as well. And yes, he will wear flip flops in the summer. It doesn’t make him any less of a man.
    Maybe we should get our guys to join in the silliness and get them in some fabulously pink nail polish for some photo shoots.
    (sorry this was so long, k, done now)

  35. KatieM says:

    Per Facebook:
    What’s the name of that hot pink polish you made for J Crew? I’d like to buy some to wear in support of Jenna and her son! (Not normally the pink type, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.)
    *
    o
    Essie Nail Polish: The pink shade is Forget Me Knots.

  36. Honey_lili says:

    I don’t really care about this ad. But in my opinion neither little boy or girl should wear nail polish. I mean there’s a lot of chemical stuff in it. Same goes for make-up in my opinion. They’ll have time to use cosmetics when they grow older.

  37. People should just mind their own business. There’s nothing wrong with boys or men rocking nail polish. In fact, I hope that I do find a man that likes nail polish, because it will be fun. Plus I hate funky looking feet and fingernails.

    I mean, her child looks happy. He’s looks like someone takes care of him and loves him.
    It’s plain stupid to get all enraged over neon pink toys of a boy while children all over the world are starving, abused, or are otherwise suffering. Why aren’t people upset about that?
    At least pink toenails won’t kill him. Sheesh.

  38. Rea says:

    What really bugs me about this is not the fact there’s a boy wearing a neon pink polish (which is unusual, but so what, I don’t care), but it’s a child! I consider nail polish to be highly chemical and fare from being helpful to keep your health – I think, children shouldn’t wear nail polish. Imagine the exposure to those vapors… (I try to keep my window open when I’m using my polish).
    Well, I’m also wondering why Jenna is using her son for some marketing, but apart from the health issue and the I-use-my-child-to-become-popular-and-also-make-it-a-fashion-doll I’m totally fine with this ad. (And second is not that harsh – there are parents who’re worse.)

  39. Serena says:

    This is an adorable ad! I think letting her son love pink and get his toe nails painted is better than telling him to repress his creative impulses.

  40. Adria says:

    As a former little girl who played with both dolls and my brother’s Matchbox cars (heck, I played with his cars in DRESSES- in the DIRT), I ask why we get upset about children not conforming to “girl-things” or “boy-things”? I’m not gay, nor did playing with cars, playing sports, etc. make me less of a girl or turn me into a lesbian. And if I was gay, so what?! Much like this little boy who is just having fun with his mom, if what you are doing doesn’t hurt others, pay no mind to what other people say about it. Besides, I know a guy who had a yellow smiley face painted on one of his big toes once. And he proudly wore that smiley face under his combat boots!! Much ado about nothing, methinks!

  41. Christy says:

    I think it’s silly that people are upset about it. I have a son who likes to paint his toes but he feels like he needs to hide it. I tell him it’s ok but he insists that other boys at Jr High would tease him if they knew. So I let him and he just covers them in public.

    As a child my sister and I used to my our Basset Hounds toenails bright red when my parents weren’t around. I think it’s about having fun and not the gender (or species in our case) of the person painting. Colors are not an issue for me either.

  42. Kristina says:

    Well, I think only people that agree with your analysis will post here…it is a free country and to each his own opinion.

    • Elizabeth says:

      That’s a mildly passive agressive response. And doesn’t the “free country” argument also extend to a mother and child who are engaging in neither a harmful nor illegal activity, but rather simply enjoying time together? Or is the “free country” only for those who disapprove of such an inconsequential pasttime?

  43. satsumi says:

    Michelle, why do you plan to not have children? Just curious!

  44. bluestocking07 says:

    What’s the big deal? This pic is adorable. Such a cute mother and son moment. So many more important things to worry about. War. So many unemployed still. Our healthcare circus, eh system. Take your pick!
    My little guy loves nail polish, sometimes wants his fingers and toes painted, and insists on picking my next color. He always chooses the greens and blues! What can I say, he has excellent taste.
    BTW, I’m loving 365 of Untrieds. It’s daily nail candy!

  45. Emily says:

    The polish pictured is Pink Parka. It comes up in the drop-down menu when you click the ad, then disappears after you switch to another color in the menu.

  46. Heather says:

    Ugh. This whole saga makes me irate. For crying out loud, it’s 2011, let’s not judge people – children no less – by what color they like. Nail polish or not.

  47. Kate says:

    i’m not sure if its been mentioned already… the color of the nail polish is called “peep show.” it is an essie color exclusive to j.crew stores. (there is another color, called “milky way” that is also exclusive to j.crew. it is a milk chocolate brown.) most stores received the polish about 1-2 months ago. i know that a few are already sold out. but pink parka is a very similar color. hope this helps!

  48. Jillian says:

    Personally I don’t really care about the nail-polish-on-boy but to me it’s part of a bigger overall “thing” with JCrew all of a sudden going ape shit in some strange direction than they’ve ever gone before. Not that that’s wrong…evolution and reinventing oneself is the name of the game. But for people like me who are more conservative (when it comes to dressing) and classic, the JCrew I knew is not the JCrew that exists today. I feel a little put off…like they are trying a bit too hard or something. And as for Jenna – can’t stand her. I fail to see anything attractive or tasteful about her. And she’s now the President of JCrew? Geesh.

  49. telesilla says:

    Seriously? People are complaining about this ad? It’s a cute ad that does a great job of turning the “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” thing on its head. I’m no fan of neon pink, but it makes me want to find out what the other colors in this collection are so I can buy some.

  50. Allison says:

    GRRR, I really dislike it when people talk smack about issues like this. If a boy wants to have pink on his nails, let him… odds are he’ll grow out of it anyway. And if not, who cares!? If a girl wants to play with a truck and buildin blocks, let her. I did, and I turned out juuuuust fine!

  51. Liz says:

    The post above by Noel is spot on – I couldn’t have said any better myself. I *allow* my 3 year old daughter to play with hot wheels and other so-called “boy” toys because that is what she wants. I don’t try to influence her likes and dislikes – she’ll have enough of that later on in her life, they all will. Let him be a child and have pink toes! It doesn’t matter, people!

    • Em says:

      Exactly. No one should care what children have fun with, as long as they are kids being kids. The media likes to blow things out of proportion just to get a rise. It’s a shame.

  52. Jaztee says:

    I don’t even recognize whether it’s a boy or girl with their toenails painted (what kid doesn’t like dress up and doing what mummy does?) but I know my Mum wouldn’t let me have any nail polish until I was much older as she personally didn’t want the chemicals near me. But in this day and age where polishes are big 3 free etc, I don’t think it matters as much. Ultimately I don’t understand the massive fuss about it!

  53. stephanie says:

    whoTF cares? my friend’s boy wore green nail polish for St Pattys day when he was in 1st grade because his mom and sister were doing it. no one said a thing about it.

  54. Chris says:

    The uproar over this is silly. The people who are complaining need to get a life. What should the kid do instead of painting his toenails? Play with toy guns? Oh yeah, that’s a lot better.

  55. Putturani says:

    I don’t like it. Not because it’s a boy wearing nail polish but because I am hesitant to put nail polish on young children. Even though Essie is a 3-free brand, there may be so many other chemicals in there which are more harmful for young children than for adults. For me it’s a health issue, not a gender issue. I have no problems with teenage boys and adult men wearing nail polish though!

  56. Megan says:

    When I was growing up my mother would do my nails, my sister’s nails, and her own. My little brother loved the color orange. One day he decided that he wanted to join us. Did my mother say no? Not at all! We all thought it was cute and funny and also a great way to spend time together.

    I had a baby boy 9 months ago. My husband is against the idea of painting baby’s nails, but I’d do it if my child asked.

    Also, I believe that her son is HER CHILD and that other parents should not have any right to tell her how she should raise HER CHILD. Just sayin’.

  57. I work with a very manly, four-wheelin, gut-your-own-deer kind of guy who I happen to know has a skittles pedi right now. With daisies. His 10 year old daughter practices on him. I smile to myself when I see him walk by with his big police boots.

  58. Constance says:

    I’m a mother of a 4.5 yr old boy and I can not. Believe. People. Are talking about this! Omg! Is it 1957? Sometimes, in my little world of co-op preschool Los Angeles progressives, I forget that people still care about this lame ass sh*t.

  59. Stephanie says:

    I love it! My sister paints her son’s toenails, and it’s adorable! I love that so many people think it’s a non-issue, that makes my heart happy!

  60. Laurz says:

    I have a hard time wrapping my head around children in ads…because I don’t know how they can consent. However, if he really does like pink than I think this is really quite cute- and actually adorably modern. People will always say things, but it doesn’t mean they are intelligent things.

  61. Kristi says:

    All I thought when I first saw this ad was I need that color!

  62. cgHipp says:

    My son went to bed tonight with five different colors on his right hand. I was swatching some new colors on a plastic card, and he wanted me to put some on his fingers. I think it’s adorable. I’ll be happy to do it as long as he wants me to, and if/when he no longer likes it, that’s fine too.

    He went to school on Monday with a red thumbnail, and the young male teacher in his class was a little freaked out about it, but he was trying not to be. I said, “Look, to a little boy it’s just paint and color. It’s just about seeing something I’m doing, or his sister is doing, and wanting to do it too. There’s no ‘girly’ meaning attached to it.” I guess I managed to convince him that I wasn’t already scheduling my son’s gender reassignment surgery, lol.

  63. Tiger says:

    I feel like those opposing this ad are living in the 50s. This heteronorm is just oldfashioned and stupid. Nail polish doesn’t do any harm – if he wants to wear it, then it should not be deemed any less normal than if a girl wants to!

  64. Briana says:

    I agree with all those above whove said it better than I. I could care less if its a boy or girl advertising the nail polish. My nephew gets his toe nails painted when he stays over at our all girl house, I personally think it would be more harmful to say to him No you cant do something because your a boy than to have his toenails pink for a weekend. Same as I wouldnt tell me girls no you cant play with building toys or wear jeans because they are girls.

  65. Winnie says:

    Well, I sure don’t get what all the hoopla is about. This whole thing turning into a debate about ‘gender roles’ is a load of hooey, if you ask me (yes I’m trying to keep this PG, as I have stronger words for it, of course). These so-called ‘gender roles’ have been imposed by society, they don’t have anything to do with anything except what WE’VE (society collectively) deemed they mean. If the boy likes pink, they boy likes pink, who cares? Who is it hurting? How is it contributing to his ‘gender identity’? What? Because he has painted his toes pink he’ll *gasp* become gay (as if THAT is so horrible)? Puuuhleeez, umm… I’m pretty sure that being gay has nothing to do with pink toenails. Sorry, I’m rambling, but this whole thing tics me off to no end. It’s a load of you-know-what that narrow-minded people who have nothing better to do have found to complain about. Wait a week, they’ll move on to something else. In the meantime I’ll just say… if I had kids, and my boy wanted pink toenails (or if my girl wanted blue, for that matter), I’d happily offer up my collection and say ‘What shade, dear?’!

  66. Marly says:

    They say, that girls can do anything and be what they want to be, right?
    Boys can too !!!
    I think the ad is cute and as long as the little boy didn`t have a problem with it, neither should others.

  67. Nikia says:

    I have a problem in general with this androgynous standard thats being pushed onto our children. It seems like everywhere you turn there’s a boy dressing like a girl, or some girl having her first lesbian experience. I don’t think these things are bad and wrong in a general sense, but I do have an issue with this being idolized, because they are being idolized instead of just accepted and integrated into society. Why is the media pushing this androgynous/bisexual/gender ambiguous image? It exists, yes. But why is it the new standard???

    • Ishah says:

      But how is a little boy having pink paint on his feet androgynous/bisexual??

    • Katy says:

      lol the “standard”?! The heterosexual and gender-normative lifestyle is by the dominant force pushed on us by the media. A single “Glee” episode is not going to change that. You have a litte bit of gay on television instead of yet another heterosexual relationship, and you have a panic attack. That is unfortunate.

      • nikia says:

        First of all, I’m not panicking about anything. I could care less who someone loves or has a relationship with. I simply asked WHY? Why is the media all of a sudden in love with children who prefer the attributes of the opposite sex, like the little boy who wears dresses? There’s nothing wrong with questioning the media’s intentions. You have to question everything.

  68. Kellie says:

    Being OCD about my nails, I’m always giving myself at-home “manicures”. Filing, buffing, cuticle creams, brushing baking soda paste and of course polishing. I also have an 8 year old son. He LOVES having his at-home “manicures” too – especially when mommy brings home a new nail polish color .. most of the time, he wants to try it out right along with me! Especially when it’s an outrageously bright, neon color! It’s FUN – they’re KIDS, leave them alone!! If it were a Hot Wheels ad, showing a cute, girly girl in a pink dress and pigtails, crashing the cars into each other on the floor like a roughhousing little boy, NO ONE would say ANYTHING. Instead, it would be “oh, look how cute that little girl is!!” I *hate* double standards. There’s enough of it in the “grown up” world and kids SHOULD NOT be exposed to it! It’s sad.

  69. Sarah says:

    What I find disturbing is the ‘popular’ commentary on gender that’s illustrated by this uproar. Not only is it okay for little boys to have their nails painted any color they like, it’s okay for them to wear dresses, play with Barbies, and in general NOT be subjected to societal restraints telling them who they are. This uproar indicates that people are still concerned with individuals fulfilling a gender binary in our society, which, as we can sadly see, leads many children and adolescents into very dark places when they don’t find acceptance for their own natural projection of themselves. More boys with pink nail polish!

    On a more selfish note, I NEED that color. ;)

  70. Ishah says:

    I have two boys (2yo and 3yo) and they are EXTREMELY boyish, love cars, dinos, monster trucks etc. That being said, they like to spend time with mama and copy me, so when they see me painting my nails they like to have some on too. I see absolutely no problem with it.. my husband is a bit funny about it if it’s bright pink, but to them it’s just a nice colour. Kids don’t know nail polish is supposed to be ‘only for girls’, that’s society putting those rules on them. It doesn’t mean they’ll turn out gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that either!!!).

    My nephew is the only boy with 4 sisters and he likes to play with them and copy them too, with a twist. He wanted nail polish on and was told it was only for girls.. he said “I want Ben 10 nail polish, that’s for boys”.

  71. Mc Huggs says:

    Hey Michelle:

    As one of your faithful followers who loves to paint his own toenails, (BTW:I am wearing Zoya Mod Matte’s “Phoebe,” but maybe I will switch to Lolly, a pink shade”)in support of Jenna’s ad)I think the J Crew ad is adorable and I applaud you for mentioning this in today’s web blog. Myself, I even wrote J. Crew.com a compliment about their ad and encourage many to do so in support of Jenna and her son.

    I believe the “uproar” is mostly fueled by an Fox News.com, article written by Dr. Keith Ablow, who mentioned that Jenna “should put aside some money later for her son (Beckett) for psychotherapy in the future…” He goes on with further dangers to Beckett’s future. But most of the feedback to Dr. Ablow’s article is “negative” with comments like, “…he’s a doctor? he writes books?”

    I think the ad is great! I don’t see anything wrong with Jenna and her son Beckett having a “play date” and Beckett , who loves the color pink and having his toenails painted. Are they afraid that Beckett is going to turn gay (even though there’s nothing wrong with that) from wearing a little pink nail polish at age 7? He appears to be enjoying himself, and so does Jenna.

    Your right, the article is Big however, many mothers, sisters of brothers are commenting on
    “how there sons wanted their toenails (and/or fingernails) painted when they were little.” I even have read comments about men who have their toenails painted by their daughters (and/or girlfriends.) I think the positive feedback is very refreshing that this ad is generating. Well done!

    Love,

    Mc Huggs :)

  72. ReaderRita says:

    The little boy seems joyous and confident about it, so what’s the big deal? Rock on little man! (and Mom!)

  73. Sara says:

    What is the worst to me, is that these types of reactions cause shame and fear in children such as this who are perfectly happy to go about their day with something us adults consider to be “strange” or “inappropriate for their gender”. We force our ridiculous stereotypes and beliefs on them, and make them feel like they can’t express themselves. My godson got really into Michael Jackson recently, and he started wearing a hat like MJ’s to school. Some older kids told him that MJ was stupid and “girly” – clearly something they learned from an adult. He now refuses to wear the hat. Ridiculous!

  74. Kimberlee says:

    I love what you said about this “controversy.” Jenna Lyons is adorable. I don’t plan on having kids but my sister has two boys. Her oldest, 2 1/2 year old boy always compliments my nails! He’s said “I want purple nails like Auntie Kim” so I painted his. No big deal. The media loves to flip out over the smallest things, they were promoting Essie being available at J.Crew. Bottom line.

  75. Kat says:

    I hate that… this could only be controversial in America, or alternatively somewhere where all cosmetic adornment is discouraged or forbidden. I have never met a little boy who didn’t like nail polish – painting nails is a cozy and close activity, and just like every other thing that kids copy from adults, it makes them feel pretty and important. The only justifiable worry is chemical exposure, but do it in a well-aired room, and…. what is this about, again?

  76. Sarah says:

    I understand why some would be against it, but that’s their choice, just as it is her choice to do as she wishes. It’s not harming anyone, it’s removeable, and for crying out loud, it’s her kid, her decision! It’s not like it’s something to call CPS over. Good grief. (Even my son is into the nail polish thing, though his interest is more in picking out the brightest colors possible for me to wear.) Quite frankly, never fully understood why it was a chick-only thing. My husband and his buddies let their girlfriends paint their toenails in high school as a sign they were “taken”…and this was back in the 90s…

  77. Mackenzie Coryden says:

    FYI, Holly Doss now has a line of what used to be women’s-only cosmetics that men can also now use, and that includes nail polish. It’s high time the boys were allowed to do what the girls have done for generations, because it was always the other way around and a time-honored double standard. I have two twin girls and a boy and they all do many of the same things together, including dressing up and roleplaying.

    As far as I’m concerned, a progressive parent is a happy parent.

  78. Mackenzie Coryden says:

    I stand corrected. BB Couture markets nail polish for men, but not Holly Doss. Check it out.

  79. allison says:

    good thing social media wasn’t around when I dressed my brother up when we were kids.

  80. Hannah says:

    like seriously? that’s her son. so whoever’s against this ad needs to SHUT. UP. that’s not as bad (obviously) as those people who were protesting homosexuality at soldiers’ funerals, but its similar in morals to get angry at an ad that doesn’t necessarily preach homosexuality, but, by means of stereotype or chance, could. like a soldier who dies at war could be gay or have slipped beneath the DADT policy, however it means nothing if you don’t know.

  81. Kathryn says:

    Couldn’t agree more with all the comments stating that you should do what makes you feel good, and it isn’t harming anyone if males wear nail polish. It’s their choice!

    For any of those wondering the colour of the Essie polish in photo, I think it’s “punchy pink” or possibly “pink parka” which are two of their neon pinks.

    • Kate says:

      its actually called “peep show,” an exclusive color to j.crew. but “pink parka” is a very close dupe as most stores have already sold out of the color.

  82. meme says:

    No prob. here with little boys in toe polish, pink or any other shade! Did ya all happen to catch “The Talk’ TV show CBS, on 4-13 or maybe it was 4-12. Guests were Torri Spelling and her hubby Dillon McDermitt. She told of how HUGE his feet were – size 14!!! OMG! Together they decided his feet would look not at big if broken up with toe polish. He took off his shoe/sock and showed off his looked like a dark gray polish. Torri even said he is totally into it and knows about Jelly polish and wears them! Then they commented that their son Liam, wears toe polish too and loves it. I personally have helped some guys who had horrible feet learn how to take care of them, including their toe nails. They are no different then gals…healthy & well groomed feet is good!

  83. Rose says:

    The first thing I notice when I look at this ad is a sweet moment between a mom and her son. The pink polish is an afterthought. What is the big deal????

  84. Jen says:

    I say who cares?! it’s just nail polish, it comes off. for whoever is thinking it’s a big deal….it’s not your kid. mind your own business

  85. Tina K says:

    When my son was little, he loved to “help” me paint my toenails and wanted his to match Mommy’s. It was and still is a great memory for me. He actually got REALY good at painting toenails. *smile* Of course now he is a teen, he will still paint my toenails if I asked, but no way would he let me paint his… ahh how sweet children are and the memories we make with them. A parent sharing a loving moment with a child.. there are worse things an add could show…

  86. Eboni says:

    As I type this my 2 yro son is chattering away waving his colorful finger tips. Red, pink, grey & blue. I don’t have a problem with the activity. What bothers me is that this is obviously someone who is very media savvy who had no problem with creating a controversy involving her son. I would have applauded this if it was , say her teenage son. Ms. Lyons I’m sure fully expected the response this has been given. Both good & bad. Sometimes I feel as if we have become so hyper sensitive to being politically correct that we don’t say something is wrong for fear of being labeled. I say make your statement without your kid. The color is GREAT.

  87. Mom of Two Flavors says:

    Geez, I painted my son’s nails last week when he was a little jealous of his big sister. Big whoop! Let’s all be incredibly rude and intrusive and track this little boy down in 15 years and ask him how he feels that his mom made him gay by painting his nails. I see a happy child getting some loving attention from his mommy. Now go give your babies some loving attention instead of wasting time making news reports about THIS!

  88. Anna says:

    He is a lil kid. Let him have a fun time with his mum. If that means painting his toenails pink then thats the way it should be. I didnt even see the pink polish before you wrote about it :D
    When I was a kid I did “typical boy things” with my dad too… somehow it seems that when a girl does boyish kinda things they are more accepted than when a boy does girly things :/
    Let the kid be a kid I say.. :)

  89. Rhea Baxter says:

    Oh this is ridiculous, they’re just playing. You know, I happen to know a couple of straight adult men who aren’t afraid to admit that they like watching “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, so just because a boy like something that maybe considered “girly” it doesn’t mean they’re gay and even if they were, that doesn’t mean they should be shunned because of it.

  90. Damana says:

    People really have to relax and not put children in to groups. Let kids be whoever they are and they will grow in to wonderful adults.

  91. REALLY? says:

    Stop trying to edit the course of nature. Stop influencing kids with this nonsense. That’s why when yall get bit in your ass you ask yourself why it happened. Just like trying to domesticate wild animals. They are wild leave nature alone and you won’t get mauled or killed. There are boys and there are girls. Let boys do boy things Let girls do girl things. You would not sign your little boy up to be in a beauty pageant for girls or the girls softball team. Why are y’all always trying to reprogram stuff.

    • Katy says:

      1. How is nail polish on anyone “natural”?

      2. Did you know little boys and little girls were dressed the exact same way 100 years before women were even allowed to vote?

      3. You’re apparently okay with putting small children in disturbing beauty pageants as long as they’re girls, but nail polish is going to fundamentally alter a kid? lol where to even begin

  92. Tasha says:

    To REALLY?

    The course of nature never created “boy things” and “girl things”. Society created that. Nature never deemed beauty pageant as a “girl thing”. Society’s stereotype did that. We are re-programming anything. People are simply doing what they want to do with their children and as long as they aren’t forcing their child into that beauty pagaent or anything like that, the only problem left over is your closed-mind way of thinking.

  93. Mc Huggs says:

    Hi Michele:

    Just an FYI for your wonderful fans and support of the Jenna Lyons article with her son Beckett in pink colored toenails. There is a face book page to show your support of Jenna “paint your toenails pink on Friday April 22, 2011. I already singed up and here’s the Face Book link if anyone else wants to sign up and support Jenna.

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117429738336430&notif_t=event_invite

  94. Really really? says:

    Yeah, man, nail polish is such a…natural thing. Like wild animals! And caves and vines! God made nail polish too, and by God, He only intended it for women.

    Wait, what? *Painting anyone’s nails* is a million miles from natural (and still pretty!). Painted nails are unnatural for anyone. The sex of the person whose nails are painted — that doesn’t compare.

  95. Tammy says:

    I don’t agre with most of the comments here. I would never paint my boy’s nails. But uproar?? It’s her kid. Who cares. But people will have opinions and I’m sure she knew that when she did the ad.

  96. MeganNoel says:

    I agree with you, I don’t see the problem in this, I’ve painted my little boy cousins(I don’t have any kids of my own yet) nails before. There’s nothing wrong with because in my case I was painting mine and they wanted to be included.

    Side not I will be watching this post to find out the name of this polish, I LOVE the color!

  97. chrome-arty says:

    i feel like the ad probably got more press coverage in conservative areas, and florida is relatively so. it makes me happy to see the flood of positive comments here, though; i sometimes forget that my immediate peers are not representative of the world as a whole (which would be a terrifying thought). putting color on a kids toenails, which they’re probably going to get bored of in five minutes anyway, boy or girl, is not going to harm them anymore than letting the little boys who come into our childcare centers wear the princess dresses if they want to. kids are who they are, i dont see the problem in letting them figure out for themselves what they like and dislike.

    in any case, ill definitely be on the lookout for an eventual discovery on the polish color, because i need a good hot pink, and i love essie’s bottles!

  98. TaraTee says:

    I paint my nephews toenails all the time, especially since I have the konad stamping system, they love picking out designs and stuff. and its not like anyone holds them down to do it. sure its not hot pink but i mean it IS nail art. if they want tribal designs and fire on their toe nails i dont see how thats much different from coloring designs on themselves with markers

  99. JBRV says:

    The uproar over this is so ridiculous. Kids are kids…they don’t understand our society’s crazy boundaries, they just know that they want to do what mom/sister/etc are doing too. The fun colors and glitters in nail polish are attractive to kids…my 6 year old daughter is OBSESSED with nail polish, we do manis/pedis all the time!! She loves the colors, the sparkles, and most of all being with me and doing what mom’s doing. My son is only 1 so he’s a bit too young yet, but here’s a quick story…my grandma used to babysit us when we were kids, she’d be there after school every day. She used to polish her nails at the kitchen table, and my brother took notice when he was about 4 and wanted her to do his too, so she would. She did this well into grade school, til he finally stopped asking. Guess what, nobody ever cared or teased him for it, and now he’s a perfectly well-adjusted 24 year old, currently in medical school. Let kids be kids! It’s just innocent fun for them.

  100. Kevin says:

    As a straight guy that wears nail polish on my toes openly, I find the uproar about this amusing. I enjoy wearing polish, bare toes are bo-o-o-o-o-ring.

  101. Fred says:

    When I was a little boy, up until the age of 8 or 9, my two older sisters kept nail polish on me. I am now 60 years old, straight, married with two grown children and wear nail polish. I usually wear reds and darker colors on my feet, to match my wife’s hands, and clear, white, silver or blue on my hands. My wife is “required” to wear red. Our nail tech has several clients where the little guys wear the same color polish as the moms. Love that nail polish.

  102. Lisa says:

    I know I’m late to the game here, but wanted to comment anyway. To me, it’s not the nail polish, it’s the wording in the ad. I found it kind of sad that she’s saying that she’s lucky her boy likes pink. Sounds like ‘well, I really wanted a girl, but since I got a boy, at least he likes pink!’

    Nothing wrong with boys or men painting their nails, nothing wrong with boys or men liking pink, just something about the wording makes it sound like mom would be disappointed if he didn’t like pink polish. I know she loves him and it really wouldn’t matter, the ad’s wording just sucks.

  103. Sandi says:

    I know I’m late to the party but there’s things that need to be pointed out to you dithering bovines decrying the ‘unnaturalness’ of nail polish on boys. Did any of you graduate from high school? Because where I come from that requires passing grades in biology and science classes. Did you all have rheumatic fever during the chapters about animals and how it’s always the male of the species that Mother Nature decks out in bright colors and fancy outfits. Fish, birds insects, mammals, all of them. It’s humans that have nature backwards.

    And a little human history study wouldn’t be out of place for some of you either. Men have worn make up, wigs, and ‘feminine’ clothing off and on all through history. That androgyny you’re so worried about is just yet another cycle. The male/female roles society tries to shove upon innocent children are not in any way a function of nature, but merely a focus of adult fears of anyone or anything that doesn’t fall into their comfort parameters. Move into the 21st century people, because if you don’t it will roll right over you. The only thing constant about humans is that they are always changing. Deal with it.

  104. Mark says:

    As a male who like to wear toe polish, and clear on my fingers, I believe this whole mess is really about the feminine expression being somewhat inferior, maybe not even somewhat. Which may be why it’s acceptable for girls to emulate men, therefore the superior expression, but for boys to like girl stuff, girls stuff in “their” eyes, is wrong because if anyone would want to do inferior stuff then there must be something wrong with them. Basically a kind of defective, so as such should be removed from society in order to keep the herd strong.

    Having said that, I wear it because I like color, and it’s my way of venting my frustration at the rules that “they” constantly place on all of us for no reason at all. Anybody, at any time can judge what they believe my sexual orientation may be, and they might be right or they might be wrong. But as a point Clairol used to say “only the individual knows for sure”

  105. Moll says:

    So… she likes pink, and her son likes pink. Um… that’s disgraceful…?

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