Hot pink-toenailed boy in J. Crew ad sparks controversy

Charlie - posted on 04/13/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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When J. Crew sent out its latest catalog, we doubt that the classic clothing company expected it would be blasted by social conservatives as "transgendered child propaganda." But alas, it has.

The images in question fall under pages titled "Saturday with Jenna" -- featuring products personally favored by J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons and her family. This particular Saturday for Jenna includes painting her five-year-old son Beckett's toenails 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."

Cue the outrage from America's culture warriors.

"Yeah, 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 others who'll be affected by your 'innocent' pleasure," Dr. Keith Ablow wrote in a Fox News op-ed. "If you have no problem with the J. Crew ad, how about one in which a little boy models a sundress? What could possibly be the problem with that?"

Erin Brown of the Media Research Center took the criticism a step further -- after being sure to remind readers that J. Crew is a fashion favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama -- accusing the company of exploiting young Beckett to advance the cause of "liberal, transgendered identity politics."

The ABC News report on the kerfuffle, below, includes a reaction from Sarah Manley, who set off a similar firestorm last Halloween after posting photos of her young son dressed up as his unconventional idol: Daphne from "Scooby Doo." Manley said today of the J.Crew ad, "If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

The Lookout contacted J. Crew to get a response from Lyons, but company spokeswoman Margot Fooshee told us that neither Lyons nor J. Crew would be commenting on the matter. However, others aren't being shy about offering up voracious defenses of the company's creative decision, pushing back on Ablow and Brown as holders of the unpopular opinion.

In another of the many critiques of Dr. Keith's critique, Jeanne Sager, on the parenting blog The Stir, asks: "So go back and look at that picture in the J.Crew ad, will you? What do you see? Do you see pink nail polish on a boy? Or do you see a little boy named Beckett, with beautiful blond curls, and a mom who looks like she is impossibly in love with her kid, in the very best way? Because that's what I see."

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Charlie - posted on 04/14/2011

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My son who has a baby doll that he has breastfed , changes its nappy and carries it in a sling also fixes trucks with tools , loves pretending to be a dinosaur and thinks he is Bear Grylls has lime green toe nails .

What will that make him ??? *eyeroll*

Rosie - posted on 04/16/2011

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OOOOOHHH the HORROR, the ABSOLUTE HORROR!!!
for fucks sake, get a life, it's pink nailpolish, stop acting like she just chopped his penis off.

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My 2.5 years old loves it when I paint his toenails because it's just like mommy. He also like to pretend to put make-up on while I do my own... I give him one of my older brushes and he mimics what I do..



Honestly, it doesn't change who he is or who he will become. Well, actually it might change him to be more accepting and being allowed to be himself and creative. If he likes it what;s the big deal?



This ad is just fine with me. Bonding with your child is extremely important and if it involves pink nail polish on your son's toes, so what? My niece loves princesses and sparkly, girly things but also loves to play with toy cars...I don't understand any of the outrage.

Carol - posted on 04/15/2011

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Did you know that pink used to be the color for boys and blue was the color for girls? Before that, there was just one color and style of dress for all young children: white. The current color scheme didn't come into play until the 1940's. This interesting article tells the history of baby/children's style: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cultu...

Jenny - posted on 04/14/2011

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Loureen, that will make him an awesome well rounded man who's not afraid of his softer side.

Stifler's - posted on 04/14/2011

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I got Logan a baby stroller the other day. It occupies him more than any of his other toys.

Jocelyn - posted on 04/13/2011

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That mom is an idiot; she's clearly going to turn her son gay.

*headdesk*

Give me a break. Some people just need to remove the stick that is up their ass.

April - posted on 04/13/2011

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LOL whats the big deal? It's nail polish, he won't die. Kids like to have fun, some people go nuts over nothing.

Amber - posted on 04/13/2011

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So boys who wear nail polish will need psychotherapy? People are idiots. Let kids be kids. They experiment and are curious about things.
It amazes me that people still don't get that the bigger deal you make of something, the bigger deal it's going to be! Let it be and act like it's nothing out of the ordinary and it generally fades into the background like a forgotten toy.

Jennifer - posted on 04/13/2011

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would they be so upset if the photo was of a little girl playing war and pretending to blow shit up?

Stifler's - posted on 04/13/2011

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Oh dear. I think this is great, people should keep doing it until everyone gets over the whole *omg your boy is playing with dolls and likes pink you'll turn him gay!* bullshit.

Charlie - posted on 04/13/2011

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I am also NOT suprised by the bat shit crazy political nutjobs who are trying to use this as ammo , I mean SHIT the world isn't flat anymore people !

Lady Heather - posted on 04/13/2011

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Well shit, my brother is screwed. When he was that age we put all manner of makeup and nail polish on him. When he was 8 he went to the water park with sparkly blue polish on his toes. He didn't notice until he got there. That one kind of made him mad.

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