When a 4-year-old Brazilian boy was bullied at school, his parents, Thiago and Laura Sagrilo, had the best response.
Arthur, it seems, has an affinity for nail polish, something that caused him to be called a "little girl" at school. So in response, Arthur's father painted his nails in solidarity and posted a photo on Facebook. Now, when he picks Arthur up at school, it’s with his fingers on full display.
In an interview with HuffPost Brazil, the university student explained how he and his son fill their lives with color:
"Our nails will remain painted. Actually, we need a retouch. I try to keep my nails painted when he does. The colors change constantly. Arthur knows colors are for everyone, and every day he tells us that he has a new color... One day it’s blue, the next black, then pink. And he says that each new color is his favorite.
Thiago and Laura say that the first weapon against discrimination is enlightenment, information and communication with the child:
"Classmates or parents never complained and we were never called in for meetings about [painted nails] specifically... There was another case where Arthur told us his classmates said he looked like a girl because of his long hair. When that happened, his mom looked for photos of men with long hair and showed them to him. This calmed him down. In both situations, we always try to act and handle the issues immediately."
With each new share of their story, Thiago and Laura have received private messages on Facebook. The majority of the messages, they say, are from teenagers, complaining about not having an open dialogue with their family. Many asked for guidance, and some support.
"I still do not know how to handle the [messages of] congratulations, because we both see this as the minimum requirement to raise a child," Laura told HuffPost.
Arthur doesn’t understand why people keep talking to his parents. He spent the weekend playing ball, watching cartoons and building forts -- with his nails painted.
This story was originally published on HuffPost Brazil and was adapted for an American audience.