Picture 101

The GEM Debate:
Should Little Boys Be Able To Wear THIS?

I truly believe that children, no matter their gender, will try to emulate their parents’ actions.  This opinion is mostly based on the fact that kids aren’t like adults; kids want to experience all of life because it is new to them and no one has taught them any differently.  So you can see why I wouldn’t give one lick to see my son painting his toenails.

Yep.  That’s the debate today.  A lot of the hubbub around the Internet is about boys painting their toes and it reminded me of the little boy in a J. Crew ad a few years ago who can be seen painting his toenails with commentary from his mom about how proud she is of his choice in colors for his toes, “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink,” says the caption. “Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”  It begged the question of some parents as to whether boys should paint their toes.  I gotta say in the grand scheme of life there is no reason not to let your son do this.  Yes, he’s a boy and when he grows to be a man you might not want him doing that (and that’s really another debate), but as it stands now he just thinks it’s a medium to change things another color.  My daughter has her toes painted, but she likes to see all things painted; couches, filing cabinets, and I’ve got a wall that needs a good scrubbing because apparently she had some notes to take and couldn’t find a note pad.

Kids should be taught certain things.  Girls don’t stand up when they go to the restroom.  That’s a gender-specific lesson, but outside of that I don’t see why kids can’t learn or experience what their counter parts do.  There was a little boy in Joelle’s class that had an earring.  Joelle does not have holes in her ears. Joelle doesn’t have a train set, but she makes trains out of orange peels, candy, or whatever she can line up.  I can’t stop that!  This little boy could be the next Picasso and it would all start with exploring colors on his feet.  Just because our society has deemed that a “girl” thing to do doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have that fun.

Now, since he is a boy and some parents have problems with the nail polish, you can always make sure he wears sneakers outside the house, you can take it off in the middle of the night (I’ve done that with Joelle just because the polish had been on too long and she wouldn’t let me do it during the day), or you can be super creative and supportive and paint them “boy colors.”  Get him some black or blue to paint them and join in the exploration of color by using the same hues on mom.  Nail polish isn’t the end of the world and yes, I know some think that this will make their son gay.  It totally will.  He’ll be one happy little boy until the next experiment comes along!  (See what I did there?)

So what do you guys think?  Should parents try to keep their kids to gender specific items or should we just let them be?  Would you let your son paint his toes?  Let’s hear ya!

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Ella Rucker HeadshotElla Rucker is an Ohio native who moved to The Big Apple for fame and fortune.  After attending Wright State University for medicine and then working in telecommunications, she finds herself pursuing her dream of writing.  Ella is now a contributor at goodenoughmother.com in that vain as well as producing for the brand.  The mother of an amazing 3-year-old and surrogate to a few other, Ella is enjoying a life of watching the dreams she envisioned for her life unfold even if they did take the scenic route.  Her writing can also be found on mochamanual.com.