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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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,