Friday, April 15, 2011

Nail polish: the gender wrecking ball

Dangerously Cute

The Daily Mail tells me that celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, and Christina Aguilera don't mind indulging their sons' interest in manicures. When questioned by People, J-Lo apparently shrugged and said, "It's just paint." Too true.

It went on to mention a J Crew ad which has thrown some people into a pink and blue tizzy. This "controversial" ad shows Jenna Lyons, the chain's president and creative director, painting her son's toenails neon pink. And here is the shit-storm that followed:

But psychiatrist Dr Keith Ablow told Fox News: 'This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.

Media commentator Erin Brown of the Media Research Center also had strong views, calling it 'blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.

She wrote: 'Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna's indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future.

'J Crew, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the facade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.'

Read more

Jo B Paoletti, author of Pink and Blue: Telling Boys from Girls in America, thankfully told Fox that everyone is overreacting.

How could nail polish have such dramatic effects on a person's psyche? Apparently it does a bit because this article is sitting in the "Femail" section. Its power is really that explosive to the other sex. As much as I hate to burst the crazy bubble, I must do it. Little lady-girls are not born with magenta fingernails that need to be maintained weekly, lest their little private bits morph into penises (which consequently shrivel with the threat of polish, the color pink, and voting for Hilary Clinton). These gender trappings are just that-- trappings. Things we've created. A whole bunch of nonsense that we like to label as Girl or Boy with indelible stamps. Just as my metaphor is just so much ink, nail polish is so much paint, and only that. It won't turn your boys into girls, or your girls into Kim Kardashian. It's just nail polish, made by us for whoever cares to use it.

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