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Fox News Attacks J. Crew President For Ad With Son’s Toenails Pink

by David Badash on April 11, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Media

Post image for Fox News Attacks J. Crew President For Ad With Son’s Toenails Pink

Fox News today became the latest right-wing organization to attack J. Crew President Jenna Lyons for the online catalog spread (photo above) of her playing with her young son Beckett, and painting his toenails pink — a shade she says in the piece is his favorite color. “Lucky for me,” the copy reads, “I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” Last week, ultra-right wing media watchdog, the Culture And Media Institute, wrote a piece criticizing Lyons and J. Crew, titled, inappropriately, “J.CREW Pushes Transgendered Child Propaganda.”

If boys choose to wear nail polish the extreme religious and conservative right-wing media have no more business dictating whether or not boys should wear nail polish than they do the color — and both Fox News and the Culture And Media Institute are doing just that.

Fox News professes to be a “fair and balanced” “news” organization, so reporting on a story should not include statements in a piece mis-titled, “J. Crew Plants the Seeds for Gender Identity.” The piece, by Glenn Beck co-author and former Fox News host Dr. Keith Ablow offensively states, “Yeah, well, 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.”

Dr. Ablow has a high-profile psychiatric practice, so it is unprofessional and inappropriate to “diagnose” a person — or their parenting — without having ever met them.


Calling Lyons’ actions, “psychological sterilization,” Ablow continues in his blatantly critical manner, writing, “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.”

“The fallout is already being seen,” Ablow “warns,” saying, “Increasingly, girls show none of the reticence they once did to engage in early sexual relationships with boys. That may be a good thing from the standpoint of gender equality, but it could be a bad thing since there is no longer the same typically “feminine” brake on such behavior.”

Lost on Ablow is the teaching of respect. One is forced to wonder if Ablow has children of his own, and if Ablow is aware that teenage pregnancy — now that the government is no longer funding abstinence-only education — has declined.

But perhaps worse than misguided, ignorant pop-psychology is the strident attack by the Culture And Media Institute (CMI), an organization whose board includes conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III — also a Fox News contributor, and also a member of the board of the Catholic League, which made news today as well.

(Why is the Catholic League in bed with Fox News?)

First, it should be noted to CMI that the word is “transgender,” not “transgendered.”

Second, CMI should know that J. Crew also sells men’s and children’s clothing, contrary to their description which states, “Women’s clothing company highlights pink nail-polish wearing boy in promotional email.”

Third, it should be noted that painting a boy’s toenails will not make him transgender.

The piece claims that, “Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow.” It adds, “Jenna’s indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future. J.CREW, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the façade of liberal, transgendered identity politics. One has to wonder what young boys in pink nail polish has to do with selling women’s clothing.”

Actually, no, one need not “wonder what young boys in pink nail polish has to do with selling women’s clothing.”

J. Crew is the quintessential lifestyle retailer. What will “make life hard for the boy in the future” is attacks like the one which CMI is promulgating.

If Jenna Lyons, an extremely successful woman (who, at last report, according to Forbes, has an annual salary of $725,000, and total compensation for 2009 of $4,266,703,) and if her boy likes pink and wants to paint his toenails that color, what’s to stop him, except the bigotry of media whores like Keith Ablow and L. Brent Bozell III?

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Laura Sullivan April 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

All of my sons wanted to wear nail polish when they were younger and I let them. They also wanted My Little Ponies and I got those for them too. The majority of the little boys I've known have wanted to wear or play with stereotypically girl's things. This doesn't mean the boys are gay or will turn gay and those people who are so afraid of this happening are complete jerks. I think psychological harm is much more likely to be suffered by a little boy who wants these things only to be made to feel ashamed by their disgusted parents.

Gwen April 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Agreed. You sound like an awesome mom.

johnleesandiego April 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

brought to you by the same people who found the multi-cultural skin tone crayolas offensive …. I'm seeing a pattern of being offended by coloured things at FoxNews, anyone else notice that too

Calum Robert King April 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Conversely, as a child I played with guns, military-orientated toys and frequently played battle games with my brothers; I shunned dressing up, let alone wearing girls' clothes and would not be seen dead playing with a doll, and yet I'm gay!
The idea that there is *any correlation between the games we play or our mode of dress as children and our sexuality is not only monstrously outdated, it fundamentally ignores the fact that the child is born into his sexual identity, and no amount of pink nail polish is going to make any boy gay, transgender or even a transvestite!

Andre Harrison Jr. April 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm

This Makes Me So Angry! Jenna is a huge influence in fashion and a huge supporter of the LGBT community. I'm sure she's a great mother and I hope she releases a statement expressing just that.

Christopher Gable April 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm

People who watch Fox can't afford J Crew.

Kerri April 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Why would we want to dress like you? It would get confusing for you to not know who you should hate…..Much easier to judge someone if you stick with J Crew and we stick with Target.

lah April 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

actually the govt is still funding abstinence only programs in Mississippi, the state with tthe highest rate of teen pregnancy

@Lvng1Tor April 12, 2011 at 9:25 am

My brother Jeff is the most secure masculine straight man in the world. He is a great father, a loving husband and fitness fanatic. He also had a baby doll when he was 5 that he would not let go of. I, the gay one however, could be found getting as dirty as possible jumping in creeks and swinging off branches like a lost boy. So um…What ever Fox.

What Fox viewers should have found shocking is a mother and son spending *shrug* quality time together, bonding over something they both find fun. I'm sure Fox and all their friends would agree that sitting the child in front of a huge flat screen tv playing excessively violent yet glamorized pre military indoctrination video games while mom yells from the kitchen that his processed food snacks are in the microwave and if he wants to eat he better get his lazy ass off the couch…Would be much better!

Sarcasm…look it up

Gromit April 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm
Isobel April 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

So Glenn Beck and the other mouths on sticks who vent hot air on Fucks News are lying, homophobic, racist douchebags, who exude zero empathy for other human beings, except fellow members of their rich, Christofascist WASP clique … this is supposed to be news? This is how they earn their pay, appealing to the gutter mentality of the sort of people who, in the past, would be setting fire to anyone who wasn't whiter than white.

What you're seeing here is the impotent thrashing around of slave-state white trash, with more money than working brain cells, who are annoyed because the nasty state won't allow them to call people "niggers", aimed at a target that enjoys less legislative protection. And as each of the targets for their bigotry start to become more and more mainstream, as a result of the rest of us growing up, the way that African-Americans have, the desperation to find outgroups to hate will become even greater. First it was non-whites, next gay people, then they'll find some other group to spew their bile at, until eventually they run out of targets, and they're left to do nothing more than sit in their basements masturbating at re-runs of "Birth of a Nation", and wishing for the "good old days", when setting fire to dark people wasn't considered psychotic.

Though, considering how many members of the rich, Christofascist WASP clan have been caught in flagrante delicto, engaging in a spot of knob polishing in recent years (and it's funny how some of the loudest mouths in the homophobic universe have had their *real* peccadilloes exposed – Ted Haggard, anyone?), one is tempted to ask if Beck and company are hiding something. Bet the flies on their bedroom ceilings could tell us a few interesting stories.

As for Jenna Lyons, if her parenting results in that young boy maturing into an adult who is compassionate, aware that there is more to life than guns and Nascar, and who doesn't think he has the right to tell the rest of us what to do in our bedrooms, then she can paint his toenails any damn colour she wants. If it helps him NOT to become a raving wingnut like Beck, more power to her elbow.

Mommy of 2 boys April 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I thought the add was cute! Iam a mother of 2 boys. My eldest went through his days of liking mama's make up, dress up, n dolls etc now he'll never admit it lol My youngest just finished his phase! Kids will be kids, don't cut them off from expression and exploration!!

mommy of 2 boys April 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm


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