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.


  1. The advertisement ad of the mother painting her son toenail with pink nail polish is just a fashion statement. It will not have an affect on the child's gender roles as he grows to maturity.
    I believe the media and people made a big deal out of this ad. We were created with a conscious of knowing right from wrong, so regardless of how someone program us to react, we will react accordingly to our own belief and how we feel.
    We as a culture are not open, it is just like sociologist states, we are programmed to talk and act a certain way. If we don't respond to the way the public wants us to respond then something is wrong.

  2. Ethel W. Smith

    I think that pink fingernails are girly. Little boys does not wear nail polish at all. They play with trucks and trains. If little boys wears pink fingernail polish it tend to make them soft when they should be hard. These babies will grow up in life thinking that it is OK, because this is what they are used to doing, thanks to the parent.

  3. White, Deneen M.May 9, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Do Pink Fingernails Make You Gay/Transgender?

    Personally, I liked the J. Crew ad in which a mother painted her four-year-old son’s toenails pink. In fact, I think that J. Crew creatively and successfully marketed their company and the media certainly provided a great deal of free airtime. Does such an act damage 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? Notably, the advertisement has caused quite a debate; however, the mother’s interaction with her son appeared to be fun, genuine, and wholesome quality time.

    Firstly, painting a four-year boy’s toenails pink does not damage a growing child’s sense of gender roles. Pink is only a color. Four-year olds do not contemplate what colors girls should wear versus the colors boys should wear. Children at this tender age are not concerned with boy toys and girl toys; they just want to have fun. Consequently, after this activity of fun with his mother this kid would still identify himself as a boy.

    Secondly, people are most definitely making a big deal out of nothing. Jenna Lyons is a company executive for a popular multi-brand, multi-channel, specialty retailer. Her title and a bit of controversy make for a good news story. If she were the woman who lived down the street, this would not be an issue. Young Beckett is not the first and nor will he be the last young boy to have his toenails painted pink and then go on to live a normal life. Young girls in neighborhoods across the nation play cops and robbers day after day and no one makes a big deal of it. Does this four-year old even equate nail polishing to be an activity for girls only? Children should be able to have fun without having to be a boy child or a girl child.

    Thirdly, the controversy surrounding this advertisement says that we as a culture only view life as black and white. In other words, we are unable to see things in several different ways and as most of us are close-minded individuals. As a culture, we are unwilling to think outside of the box and we tend to choose negative connotations as opposed to positive. For instance, instead of seeing a mother and her obviously happy, young son sharing an enjoyable moment, we see transgender issues.

    In conclusion, the J. Crew advertisement stirred up lots of controversy in the media. The uproar of negative media coverage and professional opinions were unfounded. The advertisement was merely a marketing tool and did not warrant the attention that it received. My opinion is that pink fingernails do not make you gay or transgender. Nail polishing certainly does not define a child’s identity.