“Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths.” – Lois Wyse (Author)
From the minute we’re born, the doctor tells our parents whether or not we are a boy or girl. Even though the “sex” classifications may seem harmless, those two simple words actually have very powerful underlying meanings. We are taught that boys should play with trucks whereas girls should play with dolls. With the help of print media and advertising, the notion of “gender stereotyping” males and females perpetuate till this very day.
J.Crew recently launched its latest campaign featuring what a typical Saturday would look like for the company’s president and creative director, Jenna Lyons, and her little boy. And yes, a typical Saturday would be spending quality time together painting her five-year-old son, Beckett’s toenails hot pink. She’s quoted saying in the ad, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” Seems like a fun time well-spent right?
What should be a seemingly good time for Jenna and Beckett, social conservatives were quick to ruin their fun. Dr. Keith Ablow lashed out on Jenna in a Fox News article, claiming that she should “at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by [her] ‘innocent’ pleasure.” Even, the beloved Sheri Shepard of The View somewhat agreed to the notion that boys don’t put on makeup when she was asked by Barbara Walters why Sheri wouldn’t let her little boy use makeup.
However, not everybody feels so negatively towards the issue. Apparently, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani love to give their kids pedicures and maincures. Even Adam Lambert took a jab at the controversy by tweeting , “If society didn’t work so hard to reinforce gender role stereotypes we would have a much more well-adjusted& open-minded future generation.”
The ad itself seems innocent and doesn’t seem to propose a real threat towards gender identities. What people fail to understand is that one’s identity is formed by multiple of factors and is not based solely on one. Whether or not Beckett will have a “psychological disorder” in the future, it really depends on factors like his family upbringings, morals, values, etc – not because he gets his nails painted with mommy.
Besides, it’s a known fact that children’s imaginations run wild, so why should we ever want to ruin that?
What are you thoughts about gender identities and gender stereotypes? Let us know in the comments!
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As Reported by Crystal (watermoolen)