You may have seen the J. Crew ad featuring Jenna Lyons, J. Crew’s Creative Director, and her pink boy. Jenna said in the caption, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
Jenna, I love you. You’re brave and ballsy and badass. You’re promoting the idea that boys who like pink nail polish are cool—and their moms are awesome. You’ve launched a new national debate around gender norms, and my readers know how much I love that.
Fox News reported today that the ad sparked controversy over the meaning—and repercussions—of promoting such counter-cultural ideas. Erin Brown, spokesperson for the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center, said, “Jenna’s indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future.” Right. Because bullying is not caused by the systemic degradation of feminine boys promoted by people like Brown or Dr. Phil, but parental acceptance of kids who are different from the norm. That totally makes sense.
I encourage you to comment on the Fox site, to make your voice heard among the Fox News readers, who might have, uh, differing views from yours.
And J. Crew? You are awesome for supporting pink boys and their loving, accepting parents. You are awesomer still for holding up one of the only positive images of pink boys I’ve ever seen in mainstream media. You are awesomest of all for taking on gender inequities, unspoken bias, and, ultimately, bullying of boys who are different—even if you didn’t really know what you were getting into what you posted that ad.
If my readers are so inclined, I encourage you to contact J. Crew at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them what you think of their bold move. I wrote just a moment ago to tell them exactly how awesome I think they are. Because we need to celebrate every joyful victory that comes our way, and commend those who help get us there.
I’m sharing my awesome with Momma Made It Look Easy and you can too.