News | Transgender

Boy with Pink Toenails in J Crew Ad Sets Off Wingnut Alarms


A J Crew ad featuring fashion designer Jenna Lyons painting her son's toenails pink because it is his favorite color has wingnuts on full alert, according to FOX News:

“This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity,” psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow wrote in a Health column about the ad.

Media Research Center’s Erin Brown agreed, calling the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.” “Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna's indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future,” Brown wrote in an opinion piece Friday.

"J.CREW, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the facade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.”

J Crew declined to comment.

(via the daily

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  1. If you want to actually do soemthing here (instead of simply preaching to the choir), give J. Crew's media person a call:

    Heather McAuliffe, 212-209-2611, or send her email at

    I did both. It's easy.

    Posted by: ANON IN SO CAL | Apr 12, 2011 3:52:24 PM

  2. A doll! A doll! William wants a doll!

    Posted by: DW | Apr 12, 2011 4:10:39 PM

  3. A bit off topic, but WTF is up with the censorship on Towleroad now Andy? In this one comment thread, I see allowed:

    "get the poker out of your ass"
    "your vagina or your balls"

    Yet when I referred to Donald Trump as a d6o7u8c9h0e that apparently was too risque and my posts were removed. I thought this site would be one of the few open-minded enough to allow us to speak out minds, in an adult way. "d6o7u8c9h0e" isn't even a bad word, it's a real thing!! If you are going to censor naughty words, be consistent for christ sake. What has happened to this site...selling out to pressure from advertisers?

    Posted by: Ian | Apr 12, 2011 4:12:33 PM

  4. I just finished reading "I am an emotional creature:the secret life of girls around the world" by Eve Ensler and it's a must read for any woman(or man) who actually LOVE women and RESPECT women. Just like other repressed minorities(even though women are actually the majority) women are going to have to DEMAND and sadly FIGHT for their existence in this world because(especially in UNDER-EDUCATED and UNEDUCATED 3rd world countries)woman are treated as modern day SLAVES.
    Sad and Pathetic in 2011.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Apr 12, 2011 4:16:19 PM

  5. Erin Brown is exactly right: "Life [might be] hard for the boy in the future." But only if people like Brown perpetuate gender dogma and MAKE life hard for such boys in the future. Lighten up, Brown, and let all boys--and girls, and men, and women--live their lives as they choose.

    Posted by: Patrrick | Apr 12, 2011 4:38:31 PM

  6. I'm gay. I've NEVER desired to paint my toenails pink, red or any other color. It also happens to be feminine and I'm not feminine, I'm a dude. I will NEVER understand why some gay men think being gay means acting like a girl or taking on feminine characteristics. I've NEVER had any fascination with Broadway musicals, old female movie stars, shopping til I drop, etc., I've never had a lisp or spoken with any affectation. No limp wrist or swish either. And if you jump me, I most difinately will fight back and send you to the hospital. And this is not man [or woman] made construct....there are differences, biological, hormonal, brain activity, etc., between males and females. MOST males will act INSTINCTIVELY a certain way, without be trained or brainwashed. Social engineering and experimentation has been done attempting raise boys as girls and vice versa, they have universally failed.

    And I'll say it again: It's INSULTING to me that a man/boy acting feminine is associated with being gay. I genuinely find it insulting and it's been used and is used to mock, ridicule, and discriminate against gay men.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 5:00:53 PM

  7. My favourite part of the whole story is how J Crew refused to dignify their bullshit with a response. Stuff like that isn't even worth the effort it takes to acknowledge it.

    Posted by: Pira | Apr 12, 2011 5:16:53 PM

  8. "And I'll say it again: It's INSULTING to me that a man/boy acting feminine is associated with being gay."

    Well, then you and your kind should have been out of the closet in 1968 like the feminine Gay males. You waited too late.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 12, 2011 5:34:28 PM

  9. @RATBASTARD: I don't doubt your masculinity, but you sound awfully misogynist. The reality is that most man-loving humans are women. So maybe some gay men identify with women. Maybe most gay men are more feminine than most straight men because that's somehow connected to orientation? Why are you so defensive?

    Posted by: David R. | Apr 12, 2011 5:37:57 PM

  10. @David R.,

    Perhaps. And maybe nature has played a joke on me? Even though I've known I was gay since maybe 10, and it has never bothered me personally, I have never felt a connection to many aspects of the gay world or so-called gay community. I don't hate effeminate gay [or str8] males, but feel no particular connection either, and it bothers me how gays and so-called gay culture is portrayed almost universally in a way I don't connect to. Not surprisingly I suppose, the so-called leaders in the gay so-called community are top heavy with effeminate males and masculine females. Oh well.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 5:46:46 PM

  11. You don't belong to the gay community because you're too masculine?


    Posted by: crispy | Apr 12, 2011 6:06:00 PM

  12. Oh please, talk about blowing things out of proportion. I once painted my toenails neon green in college and I very much enjoy having a penis.

    Posted by: Jeff K. | Apr 12, 2011 6:26:13 PM

  13. @Crispy,

    It's been well observed and studied that gay males, especially effete or effeminate males either gay, str8 or whatever, are prone to being unusually nasty, even sadistic and cruel. Many serial killers [probably disproportionately IMO] are gay and specifically effete males or males with gender identity issues. I recently read one of William Shirer's great books on the time he spent as an American journalist in Berlin, Germany from the moment the Nazis came to power until the America entered the war. He had close up access to leading members of Nazi Germany, including Hitler. Shirer mentioned in several of his books on the Nazis that he was struct how effete and feminine some of the worse and most cruel Nazi leaders were, including Hitler himself. My own observations and experiences among effete and effeminate men [gay in my case] bear out Shirer's observations and the academic studies of many. And of course anyone who reads the posts on forums like TR will understand where I'm coming from.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 6:41:51 PM

  14. @ratbastard. I have never risen to the bait of your comments but this time I have to. To equate effeminate gays as serial killers is just absurd. I'm sure you will back it up with all your usual data and info, but to me you just seem like a self-loathing troll who hates everyone who isn't like you. The fact is, the gay world is made up of a myriad of types, just like the straight world. To say you are not represented in the gay world is probably more to do with the fact that you are not a very nice person, and less to do with the fact that you are mis-respresented. I expect a diatribe back from you but choose not to get in a fight with you... I am happy to live in my crazy diverse gay/straight world.

    Posted by: james Wood | Apr 12, 2011 7:00:27 PM

  15. @James Woods,

    The James Woods?

    I stand by my previous posts.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 7:20:28 PM

  16. It's James Wood, apparently you can't read. And I knew you would stand by your previous post, as do I stand by my response to you. To quote Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, "that's all."

    Posted by: james Wood | Apr 12, 2011 7:32:49 PM

  17. @Ratbastard
    We get it. You HATE "effeminate" gay men. You will probably deny it but you do.

    So, according to you, most serial murderers and the cruelest Nazis in Nazi Germany were effeminate gay men.

    And the gay/lesbian rights activists who are fighting for your rights (and mine) are mostly effeminate males or masculine women which, according to you, is a bad thing.

    So we now have what might be called Ratbastard's world view. Wow!

    Posted by: elg | Apr 12, 2011 7:38:31 PM

  18. Thank you ELG. You articulated what I could not.

    Posted by: james Wood | Apr 12, 2011 7:51:25 PM

  19. I wonder at what university this crackpot shrink managed to get a degree from. Anyone who's paid any attention in history classes (or watched Stephen Fry's QI as I did) knows this:

    Up until the 20th century, baby boys wore pink and baby girls wore blue. Boys at that time were also referred to as girls. In 1900, Dressmaker Magazine said "The preferred colour to dress young boys in is pink. Blue is reserved for girls as it is presumed paler and the more dainty of the two colours, and pink is thought to be stronger". In 1927, Princess Astrid of Belgium caused controversy when she gave birth to a girl, as "the cradle had been optimistically outfitted in pink, the colour for boys". It was believed that blue was more serene and paler, hence it was used for girls. Interestingly, up until the mid-15th century, all children were referred to as girls. Boys were known as "knave girls" and girls were known as "gay girls". Only in recent times, has calling a boy been referred to a male child, before that it meant a servant.

    Rather puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

    Posted by: Philippe Landman | Apr 12, 2011 8:02:46 PM

  20. Why am I not surprised you're quoting Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada?

    The James Wood[s] comment is what's called a joke.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 8:03:15 PM

  21. NO ELG, I do not hate effeminate men, gay or non-gay [many effeminate males are str8 actually]. I wrote in my previous post that I don't hate effeminate males. I do find it very difficult to relate to them.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 8:05:42 PM


    I'll take you at your word. Never the less, are you suggesting most boys aren't really male sexually, emotionally, etc.? I understand some gay [and non-gay] men who're themselves effete, or are attracted to effete men/boys, will try and rationalize their condition or fetish. I don't care if a man/boy is effete, and understand it's most likely genetic based mostly [probably a variety of causes, not just genetic] , but most boys ARE NOT effeminate regardless of how much some men wish they were.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 8:13:43 PM

  23. I am honestly surprised that anyone who watches Fox News gets the J.Crew catalog. It is an upscale brand-progressive by nature and represents a diverse view of fashion where people look to move forward not backward. Definitely not meant for the knuckle dragging inbred viewers of Fox News. Jenna Lyons is one of the most creative and culturally sensitive business leaders and clearly enjoys her child. Bravo and Great job J. Crew!!

    Posted by: Jim OToole | Apr 12, 2011 8:18:39 PM

  24. Mr. O'Toole,

    'On November 23, 2010, the company agreed to be taken private in a $3 billion deal led by management with the backing of TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, two large private equity firms.'

    Yeah, those large private equity firms are so 'Progressive' ... LOL

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 12, 2011 8:24:09 PM

  25. I have two perspectives on this. One, my husband paints his toenails all the time. Not pink, but still paints them. And he's as straight as they come. Also, my son has asked to have his toenails painted. But he wanted them green, because that's his favorite color. I don't steer my son in any gender-specific direction. He is 9 and wears kilts to school as well. So wearing a "skirt" isn't a big deal around here. His best friend is a girl. He's okay with playing with "girl toys" (in their words) and she's okay with playing with "boy toys". They get along famously.

    If he does end up being gay then so be it. I just don't think that painting your nails has any bearing on if you like girls or boys.

    Posted by: Tiffany | Apr 12, 2011 8:49:31 PM

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