Thursday, April 14, 2011

EXTRA CREDIT: Do Pink Fingernails Make You Gay/Transgender?

This ad appeared in the most recent J Crew catalog
This advertisement shows a mother painting her son's toenails pink. It stirred up a lot of controversy in the media. Read this article about it:
What do you think about this advertisement? Do you think it could do damage to a growing child's sense of gender roles? Are people making a big deal out of nothing? What does the controversy surrounding this advertisement say about us as a culture? For extra credit in the form of a half a letter grade boost to your paper on SU, write THREE WELL-FORMED paragraphs discussing this issue. DUE MONDAY by NOON.



    As a child we never knew what was being gay or straight were and never cared. The only concern we had was to have fun and to not get caught when we were misbehaving. The only things that distinguish boys and girls from each other were what we played with and how we played. Most boys would play with G.I. Joe action figures and monster trucks while girls would have baby dolls and play houses. Yes, toys separated the characteristics on what boys and girls should play with, having color playing a small role as well.
    I think and young boy wearing pink can have a major effect on their gender role. For instance, as a baby a boy always sees blue and a girl always sees pink so for a boy to have pink nails at a young age will cause future problems. A parent should not want to put pink polish on their son, causing them to grow up confused and wanted to be more “like mommy”. This may cause them to act more feminine, maybe even dressing and living their life based on how a female leave theirs. Yet parent get upset at the fact outsiders are trying to correct them on how to raise and treat theirs boys.
    People are not making a big deal out of nothing. I feel that this is a universal more than a culture problem because this issue is not just with our culture but with everyone. All in all, I consider pink finger nails polish on a boy on any age to be gay. Culturally we were not taught that boy should were it so, of course, everyone will think it’s wrong. Certain color weathers its polish or clothes have an effect on a male’s life.



  3. Generia Vaughn
    I think that the advertisement is outrageous. It could damage do a child's sense of gender roles and yes I feel that people are making a big deal out of it.
    The advertisement is outrageous because the mother of the boy is painting his toes pink. The boy looks as if he's about 5 and painting his toes isn't an activity for a boy. It's not against the law or anything it's just not what a boy is suppose to get done to him. Then to make matters worse the polish is pink. That's what make this advertisement stand out.
    I believe that painting the boy's toes pink can cause confusion in gender because he's going to grow up thinking it's cool to paint his toes pink. However, some men get pedicures and manicures , but they don't get it done with pink polish and they are men not boys.
    People are making a big deal out of this because it's not against the law and she is the boy's mother. I personally think that she is doing it for the attention because out of all colors she picked pink. However, I don't think that it will affect the culture of americans, because not all parents are doing that, but it could cause problems because then boys will grow up to do women things. They will end up getting there toes and nails done.
    In conclusion, I believe that the mother was just trying to get attention and to use her son for it was a bad idea. However, it's not against the law, but I think that a boy should stick to playing with trucks and definitly not getting his toes polished because if this keeps happening they will get confused and believe that getting their toes polished is what they are suppose to do.

  4. Jude Chibuzo Mgbanwunne,

    Gay or not? Once again, we are confronted with this big controversial issue. Under normal circumstances, a mother painting the toenails of his young son should not be a controversy. but due to the quagmire we face in today’s world, "it is." a mother may be playing with her young son, and while painting her own toenails pink, innocently decides to do the same to her babies toenails too. Under this condition, I don't think there is anything wrong with such an action. Such an innocent action can only go on for so long; as the boy gets older he will begin to shake off and resist such feminine attention and care.
    Due to the state of affairs in the world today, one is expected to take precautions. As the old saying goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry." We are all aware of the impact of the society on young children and adults alike. Children learn and gather knowledge very fast. As such, it's most important to expose them to attributes that we would like them to exhibit in future. Due to the vast influx of information that is present in our society, exposing a boy to feminine roles, may lead him to incorporate that with the information present in the society; thereby altering and disorienting his sense of gender roles. Therefore speaking from the boundary of caution, I think exposing a young boy with feminine role may damage or influence his sense of gender roles.
    They advertisement have led to such a humongous controversy because of the gay quagmire present in the society. Under normal circumstances, the article should not be an issue. Considering that the issue cannot be resolved by ranting and calling names, I think people should not make a big deal out of it. Bringing articles like these to light and constantly debating on the issues surrounding the gay phenomenon, has only giving it more strength. I think the best way to handle the gay issue is to completely ignore it; keep it out of our laws, keep it out of our discussions and with time it will cease to exist; just like the nazis.

  5. Shekaydra Green

    In a recent J. Crew ad featured in their online catalogue, the company's president Jenna Lyons is shown painting her preschool aged son's toenails neon pink. The caption below the photograph reads,"Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon." The ad has caused a lot of controversy throughout the nation because many people believe that allowing a young boy to paint his toenails will lead to gender confusion later in life. Although the ad was only meant to show a mother spending quality time with her son, it is sending the wrong message to parents all over the world. This advertisement suggests that it is okay for boys to partake in activities that are usually reserved for females, even if it is only toenail painting.
    I believe that this ad is sending the wrong message to parents because it is giving the idea that young kids should be able to do whatever makes them happy even if it is wrong. Although it may only start off as a small activity such as boy painting his toenails, it will eventually progress into the child wearing clothes and carrying themselves like the opposite sex because they do not know the difference between the genders and only want to be like which ever gender they like the most. When children are in their elementary years, they have little to no knowledge about gender roles. It is a parents job to show them the difference between the two genders, and how they should look and act. If a parent allows their child to dress and act like the opposite sex the child will most likely be ridiculed and abandoned by their peers,which can lead to depression and confusion about one's sexual orientation.
    The controversy surrounding this subject shows that our culture is still not ready to accept any type of public homosexual or transgender behavior of any kind. The country's reaction to this advertisement makes it apparent that many people still believe that homosexuality is wrong and that the way a child is raised can determine their sexual orientation. If people continue to think the way that they do transgenders and homosexuals will never have equal rights and will continue to be ridiculed and harassed.

  6. Cenea Taylor
    I think as the boy grows up every time his mother goes to the nail shop he might want to go with her. Then, when the boy realize that he likes to wear pink nail polish hopefully he will know once he start going out and entering high school that its a girl color. It will confuse the boy as a whole if he continues to wear this color polish. Because, he will think its okay for a boy to wear it and no one wont think nothing of him or judge him for wearing it. However, the boy will be alittle confused about his gender once he starts to grow up and people will talk about him.
    Every child knows once they reach a certain age they know they should and shouldn't play or do this because of their gender. For instance, a girl plays with dolls, wear pink, like to be always clean, and dress well. On the other hand, a boy wears dark color, dont comb his hair sometimes, plays with action figures, and likes sports. If this little boy in the article starts off wearing pink nail polish then he will certainly get the idea of he should start doing and wearing a lot of girly items. His mother probably thinks it wont affect him to wear this polish color but, it does and will once he gets older or even show his friends one day.
    This advertisement says as a culture, we take a lot of things out of proportion. Because of the color the mother put on the boy and also becuase of his gender. Then, most people will think the boy is a homosexual and will treat him differently. Also, as a culture we shouldnt judge a person just by what they have on or what color polish they are wearing. Finally, as a whole people take it out of content for what other genders wear and not treat them equal.

  7. Uduak O. Ekpe

    In the advertisement of J. Crew online catalogue, it shows the company’s president and creative director Jenna Lyons painting her son Beckett’s toe nails pink. The caption of the photograph was “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” I believe that people are making a big deal out of nothing. If it were an advert of a woman painting her son’s toenails black like the gothic symbol would the media make a big deal out of it or would it be featured in the news? No if it was a picture of a girl playing in the mud with truck and toy guns would it have made the news? No but since it is “Bright pink” the society has a problem with it. Personally, I believe that nail polish be it pink, green, black or any other color is artificial to both genders.

    The advert might have the motive of portraying Jenna Lyons as a family oriented person who spends time with her son doing fun things such as painting his toe nails pink. At such a tender age, a child has no knowledge of sexuality nor does he/she have secondary sexual characteristics. Being Gay is not a choice as some gay guys put it and putting on pink nail polish doesn’t make a person pink. The advert pointed out that Beckett favorite color was pink. This has nothing to do with his sexuality. Children have diverse favorite colors. Mine was black at the age of 3 and it changed to coffee brown and later pale green. My brother loved “shouting yellow” as we called it and later when he discovered girls his favorite color to brown. A child’s favorite color is subjected to change as he grows older.

    Dr Keith Ablow said that “our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity – homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such “psychological sterilization” is not known.” I think it’s time we accept people the way they are and stop stereotyping, and above all stop blowing things out of proportion or reading negative meanings into adverts or speech etc.

  8. Every culture believes in different gender roles. In America, more and more people are coming out in the public about being homosexual, transgender, and transsexual. In the past they would probably be more criticized than what they are right now but all homosexuals, transgender, and transsexuals are old enough to understand that they want to be that way. As children, we don’t worry about gender roles; we just want to play and have fun.

    People are making a big deal out of nothing because this child is not promised to become transgender. They believe he will because his favorite color is hot pink. They can’t be serious. I didn’t know that colors belong to a certain gender also. In these times and ages, men are getting pedicures and manicures. Does that make them transgender? No, it just says that they care about their appearance which I think everyone should. Men are also wearing pink ties, shirts, and suits. Is this just for people with a certain sexual orientation? I think, not.

    The controversy of this ad states that the American culture doesn’t like change. The things that they should worry about, like gas prices, don’t affect them because their moral issues go above everything else. This is one of the reasons why the Middle East has so many problems with us. The American culture wants their moral issues to be apart of every culture. American culture is one of the newest cultures and they think that the Middle East who has been year for years is willing to change their moral issues without conflict. America needs a serious reality check.

  9. Myron Lawson

    Someone painting my toe nails pink or any color is something I am glad nobody has ever done to me. A boy liking the color pink or painting his toe nails does not make them gay, however I do believe this will cause further problems in the future with the child. Honestly, if this was my child in this advertisement, I would be embarassed.

    As a child growing up, a parent's responsibility is to tell children right from wrong. Also this includes establishing gender roles. I do like the color pink and have some shirts and ties that color, but never would I paint my toe nails. Kids at a young age absorb tons of things. If they keep up that lifestyle, it could eventually lead to being gay or transgendered.

    I do think the advertisement was innocent. It
    was very careless, however innocent. I would not have published this advertisement because it does conflict with gender roles. The public should be concerned, however it should be dealt with by the parents.

  10. Alan Shaw Jr.

    Since when does painting your son toenails make him gay? Since when does a male liking pink make him gay? Being a homosexual has nothing to do with you hobbies. There are many male homosexuals who like football and wrestle, as well as, there are homosexual men who like to wear dresses and skirts. What a person does in their free time does not make them gay, it’s the interest they have in the same gender.

    The media is blowing this out of proposition. Yes, females paint their nails, so we assume males shouldn’t. But, if a mother chooses to paint her son fingernails, this does not mean her son will grow up a homosexual. Now, do i agree with her? No. I don’t think a son should have his nails painted but, that act, does not make a person a homosexual.

    Society has this image of the stereotypical male and female that we tend to obey by, and once someone steps beyond that line, we call them "gay." There are many men who get pedicures and manicures, so does this make them gay? There are women who would rather wear boots then heals, or catch a football then comb hair, so does this make them lesbians? We need to stop allowing society to paint this image of what we need to be, and allow every person, young or old live their lives and be happy doing it.

  11. Andrea Trahan

    Looking at this advertisement, I think that painting a young male's nails pink is advertising that it's ok for men to have colored nails. As a young child, we were taught that the color pink is for girls and the color blue is for boys. However, we were not taught what sexual orientation we are supposed to become.

    As a heterosexual female, I personally would not paint my son's nails pink simply because I don't want society to pressure him or make fun of him for having a "girl's color" painted on him, yet alone having his nails painted anyway. When the child in the picture would grow up and would face the issue of homo/heterosexuality, he would become confused as to which sexual orientation to choose.

    However, society has placed a big issue on sexual orientation today. Whether you are gay, bisexual, lesbian, or heterosexual, we are all people. As human beings, we have the right to choose which sexual orientation we want to become. Some people choose based on religious views, family morals, and other influences. But whatever people decide on becoming,the important thing is that it makes them happy.

  12. Larrimi Williams

    Pink toenails or any other color toenails for that matter is not the determining factor of homosexuality or heterosexuality. For a kid, growing up is a learning process, therefore, society is using what they consider to be right/wrong to assume that a child’s sexuality would be disturbed due to irrelevant things—such as pink toenails. Who are we to decide what makes a child gay or transgendered? I think that it’s outrageous to think such minute things as this are the cause for gayness and transgenderism.

    Personally, I would not go as far as painting my child’s toenails pink or buying my son a barbie doll but if he happens to do so on his own, I would not prohibit him from doing so. I think that people should give their children room to branch off and not be so judgemental and restricted over some thing that harmless. Face it, if your child is going to be gay or transgender it’s nothing you can do about it and it is not something that you can provoke. One will choose their own path based on what makes them happy.

    Thus, I feel that the advertisment was blown completely out of proportion. Society is so close minded and ignorant to a lot of things. This being one of them. Being gay or transgender has nothing at all to do with pink toenails but more so to do with the individual. There’s a saying that “There are different strokes for different folks,” implying that no one person is the same and just because it was the determing factor for one person doesn’t mean it will be the determinant for another.

  13. Wayne Christy

    I do not believe that painting the child's toe nails will depict his sexual orientation. Like the article said the child most likely saw this as a bonding experience with his mother. Most children are very curious with pure intentions, for all that is known the boy may have just wondered what toe nail polish was and the mother decided to quench his curiosity by showing him first hand what toe nail polish is and how it is used. Simply a learning experience.
    To address the issue of the action being related to transsexual/transgender, it’s absolutely idiotic. It’s clear the child is male. Also, at that age, what child knows anything about these topics. If this were true then the people who made the comments are saying that parent s raise transgender/transsexuals.
    Finally, the photo was used to advertise fashion. I doubt that the mother does the child’s toenails regularly. Its main purpose was to sell their products, not to culture the child’s sexual orientation.

  14. Dray Joseph

    Honestly, how many males do you see painting their toe nails? Futhermore, how many males paint their toe nails of the color pink? Some males think its a problem to paint their toe nails period so imagine the color pink. I do not think that their is a problem with a male liking the color pink or even wearing it but as far as painting your toes pink, yes.

    As a male, I think that as a father, children should be guiding by their father. And with that being said I do not think i would be painting my child's toes pink or things of that nature. I also understand that children would eventually become what ever it is that they want to be but if the kids were raised by a firm foundation there are some things that wouldnt occur.

    On the other hand this could have been used as a tool to teach the son that pink toe nail polish was not for boys and made him realize by giving him a first hand experience. He may not be old enough to recongnize it yet but that would most likely always stick with him. I could not see how the parents would paint their childs toe nails regulary any how therefore i feel to believe that the main purpose was to promote the products.