Friday, May 20, 2011

Feminist Confessions: I painted my son's toe nails PINK

So there was a big brouhaha about a J Crew ad that involved a mama painting her son's nails...

Quite a few people were upset about the ad (*cough* Fox News). I of course, have my opinions about gender, and how colors do not have a gender. I have pink pom-poms in my sons' nursery and my son's wear pink and purple diapers. But that didn't mean I neccessarily planned to paint my sons' toe nails...

But when I painted my toe nails for the first time in three years with the only nail polish that I had (neon pink), Dmitri was enthralled. He didn't take his eyes off of me. And when I was finished, he wanted his "toes" painted too. I never knew an almost-two-year-old could sit so still. And he did not even touch it until it dried.

I'm glad that I did not deny myself or my son quality time together, laughing and painting our toe nails neon pink, for the sake of societal ideas of gender. I would have hated to miss out on that experience and memory...

 Mama & Dmitri feet

I love his little toes!

Do you have special memories of doing unconventional activities with your kids?

20 comments:

Kara said...

haha, how cute!!! Who really cares...do what's fun and creates memories, the rest of the chips will fall as they may!

Shoot, I fully plan on giving Kalia a mini tool set to play with while Momma builds...but for some reason, it's more acceptable for girls to do boy things than the other way around. I never played with barbies, I never played dress up, and for my 18th birthday, my best friend bought me makeup. My college roommate taught me how to do my hair. I have 3 older sisters, and they did some of that stuff, but it was because they wanted to!! Not because of some social pressure. I'm so thankful that I had parents that let me play with trucks, cars, and legos!!

Looks like you had some great bonding time with Dmitry! What a great Mom! :-)

Clandestine Road said...

Awesome. If we had a son, we'd do that, too.

heidi said...

oh, what a wonderful story. i love it.
yeah, the whole pink toenails thing was blown way out of proportion.

Cate said...

I love that you painted Dmitri's little toenails! Who cares that he's a boy? It was a sweet bonding moment. :-)

rindercella @ neatheringourfest said...

i think the big brew-haha is totally ridiculous. maybe instead of criticizing others and taking the time to post a comment on a story and raise a big stink about it they should have spent those 5 or 15 minutes with their kid! it's not like j crew said they absolutely must paint their kid's toenails pink to shop there! it was about a mom and her child bonding. i'm with you. who care's what is happening - as long as you are bonding with your child in a healthy way then go for it! :)

Sarah said...

It's amazing what some people get hung up on. Celia wears a lot of blue, and people always think she's a boy. Despite the fact that she looks nothing like a boy, they can't see beyond the color of her shirt.

Karri said...

Awww. That's soo sweet.
I am sure that there was a time I painted my son's toenails. However, it was pre-J Crew brouhaha, so I don't recall it. My boys, however, love love love to dress up. In girl clothes (princess costumes, old dresses from the thrift store, mommy's discards, whatever!) And I love to snap photos of it. Because they are having a ball.

Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse said...

Good for you! I grow so weary of people exlusively labelling pink or blue as feminine or masculine. In the 1900s, nursery colours came into fashion and pink was for boys! Society determines what colours go where, not nature. And it makes me smile when I see someone ignoring not only colour trends but also the restrictions of traditionally gendered activities.

emily @ the happy home said...

love it! the perfect shade for those little toes. and darn tootin' color is genderless...

Melana Lombardo said...

The title of this post made me laugh out loud. As did seeing the word "brouhaha" in print. Thanks for an uplifting post :)

Neisa said...

My cousin and I were giving each other pedicures and her little boy also thought it was fantastic. So, we painted each of his toes a different color. His dad was sitting there watching a baseball game and just shaked his head and laughed. Raising my children, I have tried not to limit their imaginations by saying certain things are only for girls or only for boys. My daughter had cars and her own tools and tool belt and my son had a baby doll and a doll carraige. It only becomes a big deal when people make it one. They are just children, let them enjoy life.

Sarah said...

My husband might kill me if I do that to any future sons but I don't care! If the boy wants his nails painted- HE'LL get them PAINTED. Lol. Growing up, my younger brother spent a lot of time with my mom and I. So when she painted my nails? She painted his too. She even went so far as to paint them his favorite color (blue) with his favorite thing at the time (trains). I'll never forget that. I think it's great. I also think it's great that he had pink streaks in his hair because I had them, and loved Ariel because his big sister did. Now that he's 17 and wants nothing to do with me, I love knowing we have those memories...and now he can play a more age and gender appropriate game with my husband- airsoft. Lol. :)

Comeca Jones said...

Hey its one moment he is a kid this will not define the rest of his life geesh!You were havin fun.Enjoy your son!

Jacinda said...

Adorable! Love the little tootsies!

Lynzie said...

I love that you are so open to things like that! I know people who would throw a hissy for it, but why? How many boys love to wear mommy's necklaces and make up? It's fun to them!!!

Kristen said...

that is great! i saw that ad, and thought it was so sweet. color is fun, and people are silly.

Christy said...

I couldn't agree more with your Caroline! I think gender roles only pertain to those who follow them. So if you don't then who care?
After doing loads of research (mostly for school) I've seen that the more you travel from area to area the gender identity changes.
People will always have their opinions about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Live life to the fullest & teach those sweet boys to live their lives:)

Sheena Louise Roetman said...

so cute caroline! my brother used to have a baby doll that he would carry around, and i definitely had cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. no harm in kids exploring whatever they're interested in.

and you're lucky to have him sit so still -- one of the little girls i used to nanny for wanted me to paint her nails once (she was two) and while i did get them painted, she ended up just smearing the wet paint all over everything. it was orange, glittery, and glow-in-the-dark. i'm pretty sure it's still all over her bedroom walls!

Bron said...

People were upset about a boy with pink painted nails? (Bit out of loop down here in Sydney.) How sad for them. Colours, and in my opinion, patterns, toys, clothes etc do not need to be gender-specific.

Be free wee children! Good on you Caroline :)

Mama Gone Green said...

I think its cute! Finn (who is 3.5) still loves pink and lots of things girlie. Let them be who they want to be now before there is so much peer pressure to conform, right? My husband has a little bit harder of a time with it than I do, but fun is fun!