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Jenna Lyons and Her Son

Jenna Lyons and Her Son

Last week a picture of a J. Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons, and her son depicted them with hot pink toenails and including the description “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
Well. You would have thought the end of the world was nigh.

“This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity,” said psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow in a Health column.
And Media Research Center’s Erin Brown called the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”
What’s the big deal? When did pink get so loaded?

According to my research, pink has only been a “girl” color for 50 years. That's hardly a huge support of how our culture is shedding long-established gender trappings. Especially prior to WWII, pink was for BOYS and blue was for GIRLS. I have yet to come across an article in LIFE magazine in the 1950s talking about the horrors of blue for boys and how everything good and right is abandoning us.

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When my 3 year old son spied a huge pink Barbie car at Costco last Christmas his eyes lit up with wonder. “I want THAT!” he said breathlessly. I’m pretty sure that means he’ll be a swishy, Friend of Dorothy, out and proud gay. Oh, wait, that’s ridiculous? I know. (Did I get him the pink car? No, because spending $250 on a driveable electric car for a 3 year old is stupid, not because it’s pink.)
However, I find myself in a bit of a quandary over pink as well. I’m expecting a girl and I absolutely do not want a wardrobe filled with carnation, fuscia, baby, or bright pink. I know some of it is inevitable; I can roll with well-intended gifts. But just as I’m supportive of a son who would want to wear pink, I’m a little leary of dressing a girl in just pink. Is this my own pink double standard?

I don’t think pink will make my sons gay, but I don’t want my daughter to live in a sparkly pink plastic princess world.


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