Pretty In Pink: Yay For Jenna Lyons and Her Son

An ad from J.Crew

I just found a really cute ad — a mom painting her adorable young son’s toenails bright pink. The caption reads: “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” The mom is Jenna Lyons, the president and creative director of J.Crew, and, predictably, a number of people have decided to freak out over it. 

I think the ad is refreshing and very sweet — way to go, Jenna Lyons, for supporting your son’s appreciation of nail polish and pink! I love how relaxed it is — it really shouldn’t be a big deal if a boy likes pink and/or nail polish (I’ve posted about that before, in a more personal sense, actually). It ungenders pink nail polish: it sends the message that it can be for boys, too. Despite what some of the critics think (the phrase “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children” was used), the ad’s not about a trans kid (although I, at least, would of course be thrilled if it were; I’m all for celebrating trans children). Wearing nail polish (pink or glittery or otherwise) does not make a male-assigned child trans (or gay, for that matter).

I was going to rant about how ridiculous some of the comments in the Fox News article are. But honestly, I don’t feel like wasting my energy. It basically boils down to the fact that they think a little boy in pink nail polish is horrifying and going to destroy society as we know it, and I think a little boy in pink nail polish is adorable . . . and if he’s going to destroy society as we know it, that’s a good thing (because really, this transphobic gender binary nonsense is just screwing us all over).


2 responses to “Pretty In Pink: Yay For Jenna Lyons and Her Son

  1. I read some of the banter going back and forth between the pundits and found it all horribly full of stereotypes, labels, and pre-sexual revolution thinking.

    I think what it comes down to is that tried-and-true effort to preserve the face of traditional (and perhaps biblical) masculinity in modern America. Would there have been the same stir had the advert depicted a little girl and her father playing with a GI Joe in the mud? Somehow I don’t think so. The Feminist movement brought into popular culture the idea that women can embrace certain traditionally masculine qualities without having to be called “dykes”–that they could be strong women, career-minded, independent and driven. I can’t wait for a similar Masculine movement to sweep our country, a wave that tells men it’s okay to embrace traditionally feminine attributes such as a love of home-sciences or a passion for child-rearing. Men need to be told that it’s okay for them to be emotional, to like pink, wear skirts or sing showtunes–and that those things don’t make them “queer” unless they want to be! We need a revolution that tells young men it’s okay to talk about their feelings, develop their higher communication skills and express themselves–and that none of these things take away from their gender or make them less desirable as partners; instead, that accepting and further developing an understanding of themselves will only serve to make them better human beings.

    America needs to be about choice, allowing everyone the freedom to be and live however they wish and according to who they are on the inside. So what if young Mr. Lyons likes pink or wears nail polish? He looks like a happy kid who gets lots of love and support from his mom. We should be far more worried about kids who are abused, neglected or abandoned in this great country of ours. Jenna Lyons has a great relationship with her son: if only every parent and child could be so lucky.

  2. Pingback: Nail Polish isn’t just for women, but Alphanail is NOT what I had in mind | Beyond Bryn Mawr

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s