Thank You, Jenna Lyons

In addition to the email I wrote to J. Crew and the comment I left on the Fox News site, I’ve written a note directly to J. Crew’s Creative Director Jenna Lyons. I encourage you to do the same. I’m sure she’s getting lots of hate mail, and I hope we can balance it out with love mail. Her email address is

Here is what I wrote:

Dear Ms. Lyons:

I am a writer and the mother of a “pink boy,” a long-haired almost nine-year-old boy who wore pink nail polish and dresses when he was younger. For magazines, radio, and my blog, I write about the joys and challenges of raising a boy who is different.

I want to thank you for your brave, bold choices to celebrate your son’s penchant for pink, and to publicly show your support for who he is. I am sure you are well aware of the double standard in our society that favors masculine girls and demonizes feminine boys.

Parents from around the world write to tell me of their struggles with school bullying, rejecting family members, and the health and mental health consequences of such challenges. And men who were pink boys when they were young (now gay, straight, or transgender adults) write to share their lonely, painful experiences growing up in even less accepting times than these–making me thankful for all the change we’ve seen in recent decades. Thank you for what you have done to make the world a better–and safer–place for boys who are different.

I’ve written a blog post about the controversy surrounding the ad (and my gratefulness to you and J. Crew!).

Thank you. What you’ve done means so, so much to many, many parents around the world.

All the best,

Sarah Hoffman




  1. says

    I sent a message, too, to both Jenna and J. Crew.

    Here’s what i sent (edited slightly for J. Crew):

    Dear Ms. Lyon’s:

    I wanted to thank you for your ad showing your son, Beckett, with pink toenail polish.

    I volunteer with a group of amazing gender non-conforming children in the Washington, DC, area. Most of the group is made up of feminine boys, and these boys have little in our larger culture to tell them that they are okay and that there is nothing wrong with them. And most parents of gender non-conforming boys have little access to positive images of kids like their own. Most of these kids are subjected to bullying and ostracism by their peers and are, hence, at high risk for substance abuse, unsafe sex, dropping out of school, and potentially suicide.

    Your ad can help make the world just a little better and a little safer for boys like the ones that I know and love.

    Thank you for taking a stand with this edgy and yet wonderfully tender ad.

    –Shannon Wyss

  2. Kris Pearson says

    Here is the note I sent to Ms. Lyons…


    I wanted to take a moment to applaud you and your fabulous mothering skills as well as making it known that its OK to step out of the “expected” state of mind of this country. I am a man that is 6’3″ and weigh 270 pounds. I am also a man who just last week, painted his own toe nails dark purple with sparkles. i love it. I am not by any means a feminine man, just a man who is comfortable in his own skin as well as my feminine side. I am married to a wonderful woman ans together we have 4 kids. One of them is gender variant and I like showing the other children (and supporting the other) that it is OK to do what feel good to you as long as you are not hurting others. Hence my purple toes! :)

    So once again, thank you for publishing your ad and PLEASE keep up the great work. There are lots of us out there behind you!


    Kris Pearson

  3. Kris Pearson says

    …and here is the one I sent to J. Crew…

    To whom it may concern,

    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for running the Jenna Lyons ad. I really applaud you in setting a good example by showing that its just fine to wear what makes you feel good. Regardless of gender orientation. Please continue to keep this type of advertising going. I have never been a J.Crew customer before today. I can promise you that you have one now.

    Thanks again!


    Kris Pearson

  4. says

    I don’t have a pink boy (or a blue girl) for that matter, but I am a member of the LGBT community and I commend you and Jenna. Thank you for helping everyone realize that acceptance is more valuable to “different” youth than anything. Our differences should be CELEBRATED, not attacked.

  5. Amy O. says

    THANK YOU for all that you have put on your website!!! This blog and responses are wonderful :) I have 2 boys – one who ADORES pink and I have also sent an email to Jenna Lyons to thank her for sharing such an amazing moment with her son. She is a mom who loves what her son loves because she cares more about him than she does about prejudice – what could be wrong with that?!?! LOVE this ad and, like another person commented, will now be a loyal JCrew customer from this day on. THANKS :)

  6. Karen says

    Very inspiring post, Sharon! I will send her a note, even though I’m a little late. Does she reply?

    • shoffman says

      She replied to me and a number of other people who write to her. I think she appreciates the support!

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