Friday, April 15, 2011

My boys *must be gay*...They wear my shoes!

Kid Frank regular: Elisa Leavitt, You can view, purchase or maybe even have a chat with her by clicking here.

If you have watched the news at all recently, you probably saw the J.Crew-pink-toenails controversy. I feel the need to comment, because I am outraged at the idiocy that this is even a *story*.

LINK to complete ABC News story

First of all. I have THREE BOYS. I do not have a daughter. My house is full of testosterone, snips, snails and puppy dogs tails, and a whole lot of weird smells. My floor is never clean, and my bathroom? Well, forget it. It's just disgusting. Yes, I live with boys.
The thing that riled me up about this story, is the fact that people are assuming that this mother is making her child "gay" by painting his toenails. I would like to note that my kids would probably dress up like Shirley Temple --even put a curly top wig on and tap dance their brains out to get into a magazine or catalog. How exciting to get to be in print-- and for something as simple as letting mom paint their toes? well, we've already done that. All 3 of my children have asked me on more than one occasion if I could paint their nails. Out of mere fascination, and the FUN of having their nails colored. Nail polish is exciting. Its paint..made for putting on your body. Is it gendered? No. Thanks to the brilliant minds behind the scenes, we now have a billion color choices, and there are a lot of males who paint their nails. I'd be the first mom to cringe if my kids wanted press on nails... but as soon as they realized how few things you can actually *do* with press on's, they'd never want them again anyway. For injury sake, I'd say no. Is dress up only for girls? Not by a long shot. I know a little boy who wears a ninja suit on a regular basis. My children spent YEARS in red capes. 24-7. To Dr. appointments, to the grocery store... Whats the difference? Superheroes probably paint their nails. I've never met a superhero in real life... but I know spandex is a big part of their getup. How gender oriented is SPANDEX? I prefer my husband to NOT wear it... but if he was saving the world, yes. I think spandex would be very appropriate.
The psychologist making comments in this story is suggesting that the mother is psychologically damaging her son by painting his toes. I dare say that if you're not having sweet interactions like this with your mom, you're really going to be screwed up. Factually, the first 5 years of a child's life is the most important as far as development and character and bonding with your parents. It sets the tone for who you will become.
Little boys have a short window of time between birth and school age where mom is an all-powerful and important person who is their entire world. This child in the ad "clearly" is having a wonderful time of having his toes painted. And if his favorite color is pink? Well, that says an awful lot about his mother. I don't pick my kids favorite color, do you? My kids are allowed to have their own opinion... especially on favorite color. If you can't let your kid have a favorite color-- your child will DEFINITELY be in need of therapy when he's older.
My youngest child is now 5 years old. For the first time, I am forced to face the reality that my reign as "all powerful and amazing mommy" is rapidly drawing to an end. As my youngest child is joining the ranks with his bothers, and is now marching in his daddy's shoes with the other two. They are not trying to be like me anymore you see... They are now trying to be just like Dad. This is the natural course of things. My babies have now become little men, and have all realized that mommy powdering their noses, and trying on moms sparkly high heel shoes is not as cool as it use dto be.
This psychologist should have spent the last 9 years at my house. I'd love to hear the outrage over the way I let my kids all have their high-heel races up and down the hallway. I would love to see his eyes pop out of his skull when my boys helped fold laundry and tried on my bras. I'd love to see him reel over the desperation in my children's eyes to have me apply lip gloss to their lips when I was putting my makeup on. Are my kids gay? So far-- they aren't. If lip gloss and nail polish makes you gay... then I wouldn't have married my husband, and I wouldn't be cleaning pee from around my toilet seat 15 times a day. This is just the silliest thing I have ever heard.
If your little boy was repulsed by girly things, wouldn't you be more inclined to think he was gay? No? Its completely normal for boys to have a fascination for glitter. Its pretty. Girls are pretty. In my house, it's so rare to see pink and sparkly things, that when something comes into my house that is-- my kids stop dead in their tracks and gawk. We never had a Dora the Explorer play set. You betcha' that when they go to someone elses house, they want to play with that. Its a normal reaction.... Colors you don't see often are exciting. That's why we get excited to see flowers after a long snowy winter. Colors are exciting. High heeled shoes are exciting. (Any straight man can tell you this too.) Men design shoes. Sequins and fabrics are beautiful. Throughout history-- kings demanded to be clothed in the richest purples and silks because its SO BEAUTIFUL. Purple and pink are not gender specific. Its a color. And while you're at it with the gender identity... your little boys have estrogen too. Fact.
My youngest son had a pink and purple Mohawk for months. I dyed it with real permanent hair dye for him. He wanted it so badly that I caved. I'd say 95% of people had great reactions. The other 5%? Homo phobics who made comments as ridiculous as this story about the boy with pink toes. Its a pink Mohawk. He loves it. Have a sense of humor and keep your opinions to yourself.
I can imagine that someday my children's wives will be very grateful that I let them each have a doll and practice holding babies the right way. That they played house and cooked and cleaned with me and did all sorts of "girl things". Laundry is for everyone. Not for just for women. My boys will know how to sort and fold and cook and clean, and maybe even BRAID HAIR. They will be the best Dad's EVER.
No matter what these crazy people say, I know one thing for sure. Nobody rocks a pair of heels like my son can. He can walk better in them than I do! I know I am not a perfect parent. I am absolutely sure that my kids are screwed up and will probably need to visit a psychiatrist one day... but I'm sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's going to be for a million other things, and not for me letting them have polish on their toes.
Stephen Tyler sings a song about the color pink... He's revered as a legend. If you're a grown man, is it then alright to like the color pink? If you are a grown-up and you still feel like you aren't allowed to have a color you like, then perhaps you should make an appointment with a psychiatrist right away.

here's a great little video my friend found that seems exactly appropriate for this subject:


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  2. Gah! I love EVERYTHING about this article. People get soo concerned over the weirdest things. Why have we, as a society, become so opinionated over something as small as a little boy delighting in spending time with his Mommy? Shouldn't our hearts leap with joy at a parent actually spending time with their son? I mean COME ON! Are these the same people who'd encourage boys to just sit inside and play video games instead of going outside and getting into trouble? Children need to experience things for themselves as they grow. They need to wear capes, try on their parent's shoes, fall out of trees, learn that little girls should be handle gently while boys can wrestle...but, at the same time, a girl can get down in the dirt and wrestle too!! Honestly, I was very much a tomboy as a child. Wouldn't the reverse be true to say for me then? I played guns, wrestled, dug holes to China, beat up boys, etc. And you know what? I turned out just fine!

  3. You continue to be my hero! I am all for my children exploring, experimenting, and expressing themselves anyway that makes them feel comfortable.

    If my son wants to wear a dress and paint his nails, more power to him, and if my daughter wants to shave her head and wear boots, she is more than welcome to!

    I think it only healthy to be curious about everything, find beauty as only you can, and have a healthy desire to express who you are and be comfortable in your skin.

    I'm not a therapist, but I know painting my nails and wearing a dress didn't make me gay, and in addition to that...there is nothing wrong with being gay! Love who you want, make yourself happy, and support happiness!