THE BLOG
10/27/2011 08:32 am ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

The Real Reason Jenna Lyons Painted Her Son's Toenails Pink

There is a story getting a lot of coverage recently, maybe you've heard about it. Jenna Lyons, president and creative director at J. Crew, had a picture of herself and her son in the spring catalog. She was painting his toenails hot pink with the caption "Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon." It caused quite a bit of reaction earlier this year, like thisfrom Dr. Keith Ablow:

This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity...These folks are hostile to the gender distinctions that actually are part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race.

Well, the story gets better. This week we learn Jenna Lyons is getting a divorce and is having an affair with a woman. Aha! Dr. Ablow was quick to say I told you so in a new post today:

What it says is that my worry that Ms. Lyons' might be expressing her own discomfort with masculinity and projecting it onto her son--and mine, and yours--seems to have been justified.


Do people really think that putting paint on a boy's toenails will somehow impact his gender identity or cause the downfall of the human race? Is it the paint or is it the color pink? Would blue paint have been ok? There are cultures in the world where painting nails is acceptable for men. I suppose they all have gender identity issues?

My boys make a mess when they paint. Sometimes, paint even gets on their nails. And sometimes -- brace yourself -- the paint is pink! I have seen very manly men wearing pink. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the players in the National Football League are wearing pink jerseys, pink shoes, and pink ribbons. This must be stopped!

To Dr Ablow, who asks rhetorically, "If you have no problem with the J. Crew ad, how about one in which a little boy models a sundress?", I have some news for you. There are men around the world who wear what may be called a dress. Have you ever seen Prince Charles wearing a kilt?

It is just plain absurd to suggest there is some grand conspiracy afoot, where the president of a company would use the J. Crew spring catalog as a platform to push her anti-gender identity agenda. No, it's very clear what Jenna Lyons was trying to do. She was trying to sell clothes. What? A company would use controversy and provocative images to sell products? Impossible!

Maybe if people like Dr. Ablow and Fox News didn't make such an uproar and give these ads so much free publicity, there would be no reason for companies like J. Crew to create them.