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Do Real Boys Wear Pink?

Or, perhaps more specifically, should they?

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches, in which local parents are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting issues.

Each week our Moms Council members will discuss a different issue. Join the conversation by weighing in on a topic or asking questions.  

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey, of Upper Milford Township, is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and long time member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew, of Emmaus, is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17-years experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston, of Emmaus, has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling.  She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother to a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, N.J. in January.
  • Lisa Merk, of Lower Macungie, is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.    

Today’s Moms Talk question was sparked by a recent J. Crew catalog ad that shows the company’s president and creative director enjoying some free time with her young son. The boy, Beckett, is five years old and the ad caused a bit of a stir because the mother is painting the child’s toenails hot pink in one of the pictures.

The controversy triggered by the ad led to conversations within my circle of mom friends and at one point one of us said, “this should be a Moms Talk question.”

And, so here we are: 

What do you think about the J. Crew ad? Would you allow your son to wear nail polish? Is the age of the child an issue here? Is it the color of the nail polish? What if we were talking about something less gender-related than nail polish, such as a clothing? Is a pink T-shirt okay on a two-year-old boy? What about a six-year-old?

Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. 

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

jeannie June 07, 2011 at 05:45 PM
The original colors for Penn State's football team were pink and black. The uniforms faded to white and blue as we see today, and those colors stuck as the team & school colors. I think it is only in the past few years/decades that we started associating pink with girls and blue with boys. Would love to get some research on this!
Phillyboy June 08, 2011 at 03:05 PM
We need to stop associating color with male or female. Let people wear whatever they want.
Erin T June 13, 2011 at 03:43 PM
WOW! I don't know what to think after reading all these comments! I have a daughter and a son. Bottom line-it is our job as parents to teach our children right from wrong. They do not have the knowledge nor the experience to make decisions on their own as children. It's part of our responsibility as parents to guide our children; not let them be free thinking children who have nothing to base their actions on. Why are we engaging in the feminization of men anyway? My daughter wears nail polish but I will NOT let my son. He, at the age of 7, clearly knows there is and should be a difference between he and his sister! There is a line to be drawn. In most cases there is black and white and no gray area! Boys don't wear nail polish just like they don't wear high heels!?!?!? If you are okay with your son wearing nail polish, are you also okay with him wearing a skirt and high heels??
mark August 15, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Erin, can you tell me WHY it's not ok for a boy to wear polish, or pink for tht matter? is it "just because?" I would hope there's a better reason than that. Why would putting polish on your son be an effeminization of him? he's a "real boy" tell him to check his pants and guess what he'll find. And while I agree that parents need to teach right from wrong, it seems lumping this in that category is a bit strong. Do you then tell your girl that she CANNOT be a fireman, or play baseball as that's just wrong, boys and girls need to be different as you say, so can you please tell me why when your son does something that usually girls do that it's wrong, but when a girl does something usually men do it's RIGHT. That makes no sense to me from a logic point of view. the skirt and high heel thing is not comparable at all. To be fair, why couldn't he wear a skirt? Your daughter I assume wears pants. The point is our society gives girls free reign, yet not the boys, and nobody I have ever discussed this with can give me a reason why. Other than "Hmmph, well, just because" well, Hmmpphh. why don't we think about why that is for a change? just sayin'.
Erin Tait August 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Mark-that is my opinion but if you are looking for approval for wearing nail polish, then by all means go ahead. I'm sure your Dad would be proud! I am a parent and I will not, nor will my husband, tell our son he can wear nail polish. Men and woman are different but it is apparent that society has been feminizing men for some time now. There has been such fuss over gender equality that it would appear much of the joy and pride of being a man has been lost! I see it on the stupid TV shows, especially the Disney channel. Just sayin...

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