About Me

Some of you know me from my old blog "Moving to Morocco" where I wrote about meeting my husband and, you guessed it, moving to Morocco. Well, we're back now, and I want to write about other things (but yes, we're still happily married). There's no real subject to this blog. I just want to write. If you have a subject you'd like my opinion on, just let me know. I also plan on doing advice posts. If you have something you'd like an outside opinion on, e-mail me anonymously at nicegirlatl@hotmail.com! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Would you paint your sons nails pink?

Recently in a J. Crew catalogue, the picture below was featured. It's the president of J.Crew with her son, and she has painted his toenails hot pink. Apparently there was some outrage and some child psychologists started making claims that she's basically ruined him for life!

I beg to differ....a little. 

A friend of mine wrote "what mother hasn't painted her son's nails" and my response was "I haven't ever painted my sons nails, nor do I ever intend to". I was called judgemental for my response. I was told kids should be able to do what they want to. Boys don't paint thier nails because they want to be girls, but because they want to be like mommy.

This brought me back to Halloween of 2010, when my 2 year old son wanted to be Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba:
When the answer was "no", a tantrum right there in the middle of the costume store ensued. We took him out of the store and explained that he couldn't be Foofa because she's a girl and he's a boy. Obviously, at 2 he didn't completely understand, but after letting him calm down, we went back into the store and he chose a gender appropriate costume. Do I think I scarred my son for life by telling him he couldn't dress like a girl? I don't think so.

So do I not want my boy painting his nails pink (or ANY other color for that matter) because I'm insensitive to transgendered people? Not at all, and I don't think it makes a boy transgendered if he wants to wear nail polish anyway. I just don't want my boys to do something that is reserved for women. End of story. I would probably think it was funny if a toddler got into the nail polish or makeup when mom was in the shower and she caught him, but for a mother or father to intentionally sit down and make up their son is a totally different story.

Kids these days have enough pressures. Bullying is always in the news. Sending your kid to school, or in this case, publishing a neon toed 6 year old in a magazine, isn't going to help them in any way from being bullied or picked on, or just given a hard time. It's our job as parents to protect our kids, not to encourage them to do things that are going to bring them problems. Yes, my baby has asked if he could put on nail polish when I was painting my nails. I think its completely normal for them to ask. I however said "no, nail polish is for girls" he said "ok" and walked away. It wasn't traumatizing for him to hear me say no.

I don't necessarily agree that engaging your child in your toe painting ritual is going to scar them for life or create emotional problems. I don't think its right to do, but I also don't think it will ruin them. My main concern here is WHY? Why do it? Cause your kid wants to? Well my kids want to do stuff all the time I won't let him do. Why is it sooooo hard to say NO to your kid?

I am not a staunch conservative, but I do believe skirts and dresses and make up and nail polish are for girls. We do not have to tip toe around our boys when they want to dress up like a princess. I don't feel like I'm teaching my son hate or even intolerance by not allowing him to dress like a girl or do girly things. A simple "no baby, princesses are girls and princes are boys" should be sufficient.

I truly believe this is beyond the nail polish issue. I think its just a case of parents allowing their kids to do whatever the hell they want without thinking about the repercussions. The whole "he just wants to be like mommy" argument doesn't work for me either, because mommy smokes cigarettes, mommy drinks alcohol, mommy drives a car, mommy can use a sharp knife, mommy can climb a 6 foot ladder....mommy does a lot of stuff that our kids shouldn't do. So, say no to the nail polish just as easily as you would say no to letting your 6 year old drive your car. Your argument will be "well its not going to hurt him to do it". I say, "its not going to hurt him NOT to do it either".

9 comments:

  1. First off I would like to say this is very well written and I agree with some and disagree with some. I would like to point out that this is written based on you having little boys. It is so funny that we want to protect our boys from having someone call them gay or thinking that something is wrong with them by not allowing them to do "girl" things. Well I am a mother of a girl and a boy. I remember when you were a young lady and full of fire. If someone would have came to you and said you cant do that because only boys can you would lay into them for 20 minutes before continuing to do it :-)..Why dont girls have things they are told no that is a "boy" thing? Maybe because girls grow up to have to do it all the house, working, the kids, and sometimes the husband leaves and they have to fix the gutter or mow the yard. But society has told girls since WWI that woman can do anything they want, they just wont get paid as much sometimes. We raise our girls to believe that if boys can do it so can girls period. There recently was a girl who attempted a field goal in a college game, that was huge. So what do you think about telling our little girls that no they can't dress up as spiderman, handymandy or a contrustion worker? So the blog is maily about boys. Recently my 14 year old had a part and boys came over and by the end of the night they all had their nails painted and the boys were applying make up to the girls. I would put money on the fact that the boys have been told not to do that in the past but things have changed. A lot of boys wear fingernail polish now and some makeup. That doesnt make them an EMO, gay or transgender it makes them, them. Now that I have a boy I worry if putting him in a pink shirt will make people think I am trying to make him gay, like myself. when my daughter was young a very good friend of mine use to tell me I was trying to turn my daughter gay because I did not put her in dresses enough. She is not gay far from it but she is understanding and a friend to many different kids. My little girl knows how to put hinges on a door unlike a boy I have staying with me who was raised with a strict guideline of boy and girl roles :-) Do I think sitting down and painting your nails and then your son asking if he can and then you do it is wrong? nope. I dont think it is about telling your kid no, it is about teaching them tolerence, understanding, and teaching them that it is ok not to conform to everything. Most kids will grow out of it. My 18 year old brother carried a purse for 2 years when he was 3 to 5. My dad would get so mad and say my mom was turning him gay. My mom would tell him to shut up maybe if he spent as much time with his dad as he does his mom he will want to be like his dad..lol He know carries a wallet, has a girlfriend and gets his toe nails painted about 3 times a year by either my daughter, friends or girlfriend and yes he leaves it on :-) Now schools and kids are horrible but the bigger question is why?

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  2. Is it because the bullies have been taught the gender appropriate roles in life? Makes you wonder. So the next question is do you want your child to join in with the bulling or turn a blind eye to it because the kid getting bullied had it coming? Or do you want your child to be the one who was taught that no matter what everyone deserve to be treated with respect? Now at 2,4, and 6 kids only understand what we teach them whether it be hate or love. The words that come out of our mouths our children hear and keep with them like it is law. Just think not to long ago parents would teach their kids that it is never ok to be with someone outside of there race..Thank god the kids questioned the parents and loved who they wanted to love even with the "hard life" that they had to go through. Protecting our children is our number one goal I agree and feel like there are ways to do it. Your son is 2 you tell him that the costum he wants is a girl and it is ok to pretend to be a girl on one night because Halloween is about make believe. He is going to understand that just as well as no she is a girl. Would have hurt anything? Just the mother who was walking around with her proud son who got to be what he wanted to be. In our home saftey is first. SO if something my child wanted to do would out him/her in danger then they wouldnt be able to do it. Do I understand why families feel they way the do, to some degree, sure. But the best thing about your blog is that it is a blog were we can all share what we think about what you think ;-)

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  3. Have you seen this???
    http://youtu.be/S5P9kUz0yO0
    Watching this show sparked this same debate in our home and in my heart. My instinct immediately agrees with you and your reasoning. I have the same reasoning you have above when it comes to young children being "picky" eaters. I know this is on the other end of the specturm but what jumps out at me from above and my feelings on feeding kids is the fact that we as parents reserve the right and should facilitate the right, to teach, guide, show, and influence our children. And no where along the line does anyone else have to agree with us. We follow our hearts and raise our kids the way we want. This is a negative reality when parents are ignorant and they pass ignorance on down the line. But back to the picky eaters, I believe my child doesn't have the ability to form a picky eating habit at 6-18 months unless I allow it. Maybe I feel so strongly about this because I have a good eater and it has been easy for us. But I know I would never cater to my young childs picky eating habits, which are most likely behavioral issues disguised. The same goes for this type of behavior with the nail polish, dresses, make-up, and other things.

    There is a part of me that has to wonder what I would do if I was in these parents shoes. And what is more important, giving in to a feeling this child may have on the inside and putting them at risk of the brutal life of judgment and ridicule that's ahead. If you watch this video, the little boy/girl clearly hasn't learned the difference in anatomy of a girl and boy yet. How will she react towards her own self when she finally realizes she is not who she thought she was all along. And why am I calling him a she. LOL

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  4. Thanks for the comments.

    I just wanted to point out, for me this is not a "gay" issue. I stated that I don't think wearing nail polish as a boy makes you transgendered (or a feminine gay boy for that matter). It's just not something I want for my boys.


    Jess I will check out that link when I get home.

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  5. Oh and Cain and Zayd are taught to love everyone equally. Period. Cain got into it on the bus with a 3rd grader when he was in 1st grade, because the 3rd grader was making fun of a kid whose arm was cut off at the elbow. My boys are taught that everyone is different (including us) and that shouldn't effect how we treat anyone.

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  6. well i just dont beleive in the gay things ,end of the story, i dont want my boys to grow like girls or my girls to grow like boys , and i am not talking about games they play or different type of fun activities but mostly the way they talk or act or dress, and to the lady who said something about joining the bullies i say kids will be always kids even though there are little they are still not stupid, they know what is is funny and rediculous and what is not , a boy coming to school wearing nail polish deserve to be teased , we all were kids once and lets be honest , some kids (parents) are just looking for it, me as an adult i dont accept gays and of course i will teach my kids not to,

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  7. Everything that you teach to your kids must have a purpose, the question here what is the purpose of nail polish ? i dont see anything other than teaching them to be superficial. If they like colors then get them a coloring book.

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  8. I'm sorry, but our society makes us think Girl's grow up with Pink and Boy's with Blue, look in a toy catalogue for christ's sake.

    At the end of the day... It's just a colour.

    And wouldn't you rather your sons to grow up comfortable with their sexualities? And not be sexists pigs?

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  9. answering the last comment, hell no, i dont want my kids to be confortable with being gay even if they are, i want them to grow confortable with only what is right. it is that kind of thaughts that produce that kind of sexualities

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