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The Case for Pink Fingernails

I painted my son’s fingernails last week.

One hand was bright red.  The other, a pretty, coral-y pink that matches my toes.  He chose both colors.

Over the weekend, he spent the night with my sister-in-law.  His nail polish had worn off, so she repainted.  Bright pink, with a layer of glitter on top.  (She also let him watch Ghostbusters, which explains the next picture.)

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Isaac, playing Ghostbusters with pink fingernails.  (Daddy is a ghost.)

Isaac is 3.  And he likes to have his fingernails painted.  And he likes pink.  And I don’t have a problem with that.

We’ve always told our boys that there are no “boy” colors and no “girl” colors, but it didn’t take long for our oldest to learn from his peers that “pink is for girls.”  After declaring that to us, once, we replied with something along the lines of, “Pink is not just for girls.  Anyone can choose any color they like.  After all, Mommy’s favorite color is blue, which some people think is a boy color.”

Now, when Adam, 6, sees a boy who prefers pink (or purple,) he asks, with some trepidation, “It’s okay for boys to like pink or purple, right?”

Dang right, son!

Adam, at last year’s church Christmas program, with a different color on each finger.

I recently read this article about a boy who wanted pink tennis shoes after a friend shared it on facebook.  And one of the comments on my friend’s facebook post struck me.  “My son wore a pink shirt to school and got all kinds of crap for it. Is that your moms shirt, or your sister's? Are you gay? Do you like boys? And he's only 9. Kids are buttheads.”

And a response.  “It's not even necessarily the kids who are buttheads - it's the stuff they learn from their parents and other adults.”


Isaac, when he painted his own nails red earlier this summer.  (He really did a pretty good job, for a 3 year old!)


So, my boys are free to strut around with pink fingernails.  And if they criticize another boy for his color choices, they will get an earful.  Because this momma IS NOT going to let her boys grow up to be the buttheads that shame a peer because of their favorite color.  Not on my watch.

~Katie, blue-loving, power-tool wielding, mom of 2 boys

Would you like to comment?

  1. Such a great post! My boys also enjoy getting their nails painted and they love sparkly things like glitter and jewels. They've gotten some backlash from neighbor & church kids, etc. We, however, have tried our best to encourage them to be true to themselves and so far they've done a good job of 'standing up' up for themselves. We've also had few instances were they've come to the defensive of others - hoping a new generation of boys (and girls) can finally get rid of some of some these ridiculous 'rules'.

  2. Applause. I jokingly call my twins poster children for gender stereotypes because as they've gotten older, their interests have become somewhat stereotypical, but we continue to advise them to worry only about their own likes and disinterests when choosing clothes, activities, etc., and not on what they think others will say about them.

  3. I saw this today and thought of you... check out photo number five. :)

  4. Duh, the link.