Several news outlets yesterdays made a controversy out of molehill when they questioned whether the above J.Crew ad featuring a 5-year-old boy sporting neon pink polish on his toenails was “gender bending.
Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, a Fox News contributor said, “This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.” He also slammed J.Crew executive Jenna Lyons, who is shown in the photograph with her own son, Beckett. “It may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your ‘innocent’ pleasure.”
Erin Brown from the Culture and Media Institute called it “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children” and accused J.Crew of “exploiting Beckett behind the façade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.”
When the ad arrived in my inbox last week, I had the same reaction as Jon Stewart: Isn’t it sweet that a mother and her son are shown sharing a loving, playful moment? My mind wandered even further, and I wondered what type of relationship I will have with my little boy. The photo of Jenna and Beckett made me hope that my son and I will also laugh, play and be silly together.
I can only wonder if critics of this “gender bending” ad would be as up in arms if Beckett’s toe nails were painted a more masculine blue.
What are your thoughts on this mini-controversy?