Saturday, April 16, 2011

For J.Crew, Nail Painting Proves Controversial

This semester, I am taking an Honor's Class called Issues of Social Justice. Earlier this week, one of my peers shared an article she had come across that raised the issue of socialized gender roles in mass media. Then a few days later, the article was indeed in my PR Daily News Feed, so I thought I would blog about it this week.

The latest controversy seems to lie in a recent catalogue that showed its creative director, Jenna Lyons, painting her young son’s toenails pink. The caption read, "“Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” This photo received a huge response, and many have criticized it for setting a bad example. Fox News claims that, “This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity—homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such ‘psychological sterilization’ [my word choice] is not known.”

Should this really be so controversial, though? Take a look at the article here. I decided to read some of the comments that others had posted, and it seemed that a majority of the commentators did not believe it was such a huge deal. Personally, I do not see this as an issue. I have many guy friends who had their toenails painted as a child, and it did not seem to effect their "manliness" or sexual orientation. I think many siblings and family members use such activities as bonding moments, and nothing negative is intended by it.

Why then did J.Crew respond with "no comment?" It seems to me that they are contributing to the drama. If there is nothing to hide or regret, then why create such a mystery? I'm going to continue to check J.Crew's Twitter for the latest.


Here is a photo of the controversial article:

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