The people at Fox News are seriously upset over a J.Crew feature that popped up on the brand’s site this weekend. In it, J.Crew’s creative director Jenna Lyons is pictured painting her son Beckett‘s toenails pink. The image is accompanied by the text, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” When we saw the ad — it’s included here, and you can click to enlarge it — we thought it was adorable. That pink is really close to Styleite pink, after all. But a number of media commenters and Fox writers fear the ad might encourage children to become transgendered.
Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist who writes a health column for Fox‘s website, called the ad a “dramatic example of of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.”
But Ablow didn’t stop there. In his opinion, painting a boy’s toenails pink in a high-profile ad puts not just that boy but our entire society on a slippery slope that’s pointed right in the direction of mass identity confusion. And not just where gender is concerned:
Well, how about the fact that encouraging the choosing of gender identity, rather than suggesting our children become comfortable with the ones that they got at birth, can throw our species into real psychological turmoil—not to mention crowding operating rooms with procedures to grotesquely amputate body parts? Why not make race the next frontier? What would be so wrong with people deciding to tattoo themselves dark brown and claim African-American heritage? Why not bleach the skin of others so they can playact as Caucasians?
Fox also quoted a post from the Media Research Center, which denounces the ad, and talked to the author of a book on gender identity who said there’s no problem with painting a boy’s toenails. The post also acknowledges that Fox‘s reader comments were split, with some saying they didn’t see what the big deal was and others just as concerned as Dr. Ablow.
We’re not doctors, but we don’t think a layer of topcoat is going to convince a boy that he should want to be a woman, any more than wearing pants or having short hair will convince a girl that she should want to be a man. (And pink nail polish isn’t going to make anyone wish they were another race.) Maybe Fox‘s experts have a problem with the fashion industry altogether? After all, it was just last week that the news outlet went after designer Vivienne Westwood for speaking her mind about climate change.
What do you think? Is Fox overreacting or are they right on the money?