Boy With Pink Toenails Tickles Some, Outrages Others

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The notion that blue is for boys and pink for girls has been turned upside down. A new ad for J.Crew shows a 5-year-old boy with his toenails painted hot pink.

While some say it’s all in fun, others see danger, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

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The new Internet ad shows a happy mother and son, doing something unconventional. Brooklyn’s Jenna Lyons, who is J.Crew’s creative director, is seen applying the hot pink polish on the toes of son, Beckett.

The caption reads “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink.”

“It’s just kids and moms having a good time,” said Pat Carpenter of Bright Waters, N.Y.

But not everyone is tickled pink by this image, with some saying they are concerned — even outraged and worried — that what is depicted here could lead to gender identity confusion in some children.

“I think it’s not the right message,” said Ziva Segal of the Upper East Side.

“A little bit weird not very. I wouldn’t like it for myself or my son,” added Antoine Courcelle, a tourist from Washington D.C.

Conservative columnist Erin Brown of the Media Research Center wrote, “propaganda pushing the celebration of gender-confused boys wanting to dress and act like girls is a growing trend, seeping into mainstream culture.”

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The notion has led some to debate whether a child can be “turned” gay or transgender? Child psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell said no.

“Their gender is going to emerge naturally as part of who they are,” Dr. Bartell said. “Not from something you put on your toenails.”

Author Cheryl Kilodavis said at first she tried to redirect her son, Dyson, from his love of dresses. He was stubborn and she decided not only to give in, but she wrote “My princess boy” in celebration.

“Ever since the age of 2, loved anything pretty pink and sparkly,” Kilodavis said.

“It’s sending the message we are accepting our children for who they are.”

For many, it all boils down to the smiles on the faces and not the tint on the toes.

“Nothing shocks me. Twenty years ago it might have been something,” said John Benemerito of Staten Island.

Lyons and others at J.Crew declined comment on the pink toenail controversy.

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