I PAINTED MY SON’S FINGERNAILS. SO WHAT?

So I want to say something. On Friday I posted a picture of my kiddo on Facebook getting his nails painted. No, that is not a typo. HIS nails.

HoldenNailpolish

And it got over 800 comments within a few hours, mostly from people shouting out tons of awesome support. So thank you.

But of course there were a few people who stated that I was not guiding my child properly and that I shouldn’t be afraid to tell my child “no” and some of them even mentioned that I was going to turn my son gay. Awesome. Shit, where the hell is the sarcastic font when I need it.

Okay, so I have a few things I want to say about this. Like for one, I just want to make it clear that I have no problem saying “no” to my kids. In fact, I say no all the F’ing time.

No, you cannot have Fruit Loops today.

No, you cannot go to Six Flags barefoot.

No, you cannot get up at 5AM to do your new Lego set.

No, you cannot punch me in the boobs over and over again.

No, you can’t lick my arm like a popsicle.

No, you are not allowed to stay up with us and watch the Walking Dead.

No, you cannot brush your teeth with honey.

No, you are not allowed to tie a brick to the cat’s tail.

No, no, no, no, no, no, NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Seriously, I say NO allllllll day long.

But sometimes I say yes. Like when he asks me to paint his nails.

Lemme start with the comment that bothered me the most. I’m 99.9999% sure that you cannot turn someone gay. You’re either born gay or you’re not. And even if you could turn someone gay, which you cannot, why the hell would painting their nails turn them gay? Gay men don’t paint their nails as far as I know. Gay men love men. That’s what makes them gay. Not makeup.

Did you mean to say that I could turn him into a transvestite? I really don’t think you can turn anyone into a transvestite either, but at least that would make more sense than gay.

Okay, here’s another thing I want to add. Let’s just say my kid is on the path to becoming a transvestite (or gay or an F’ing purple unicorn for that matter), then kudos to me for painting his nails and supporting him.

Would I choose for my son to want to dress like a woman? Nope. No, I wouldn’t. Not because I think that’s a bad thing, but because I think that’s a harder path to take in life. When you’re a parent, you don’t want your kid’s life to be difficult. There are A LOT of jackasses out there who are going to make fun of him and reject him and be a-holes to him, and there is no F’ing way that I am going to be one of those a-holes. The last thing I want to do is to make him think I don’t approve and to make his life EVEN harder.

I’m his mom, and I will always be there to love and support him more than anyone on this planet no matter what he does.

Because really at the end of the day, I don’t give a shit whether he’s wearing nail polish or heels or an F’ing bridal gown for that matter. There’s really only one thing I care that he’s wearing: a big ole smile in the middle of his face. And if you look closely you can see that this was taken after I painted his nails, so clearly I’m doing something right.

HoldenNailpolishSmile

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There are 169 comments for this article
    • Mommy of Two at 9:50 am

      Very funny because my 5 year old daughter actually polished my son’s 3 year old nails over the weekend and he then went to birthday parties and camp spring flings with pink nails. If anyone had a problem with it they talked behind my back because no one batted an eye as far as I could tell (nor should they have). I did, however, take a 13 minute long video of my daughter acting as the manicurist throughout this whole process and I hope to play it at one of their rehearsal dinners one day. Couldn’t be cuter. Love your blog- and your thoughts. The piece on adoption was fabulous. I just appreciate your candor – mommyhood is the best, but it is also hard. You capture it well. Now I just have to figure out if I am going to have any more children… (and yes, I have read your blog post on that as well… very tough decision). Thanks for this and keep doing what you’re doing.

  1. Erin at 7:51 am

    “There are A LOT of jackasses out there who are going to make fun of him and reject him and be a-holes to him, and there is no F’ing way that I am going to be one of those a-holes.” Perfectly said. PERFECT!

  2. Karen at 7:59 am

    This is why I love you so much! I paint both my sons’ nails because they ask me to. I love them and love to see them smile.

  3. Tamara at 8:01 am

    Why did he want his nails painted. Just because or because he wanted to because his sister got to. LOL. that’s usually the case way more than being gay. They’re so innocent. They don’t understand hat crap. My bet is he wanted it done because mommy and sissy have it done. 🙂

    • LoriKay at 11:13 am

      I have 6 Boys and two girls, and yes, as masculine as they are they have ALL played dress up make up and nail polish with us girls through out the years!

  4. Rebecca at 8:09 am

    Don’t let people’s stupidity get to you, painting his nails isn’t going to hurt him or turn him gay. Kids want to have fun, little boys often put on their sisters heals and crown the same way little girls put on construction hats and tool belts. Good for you for being such a great mom and letting your kids be kids!

    P.S. My sister-in-law was painting my daughters nails and my son wanted his done in his favorite color green so I said go for it, why not? The other boys in his class were jealous.

    • Cheree Pender at 7:52 am

      This happened to me I have 3 boys n 1 giri my daughter when she was 6 she’s 9 now painted her older brothers toes, he never noticed untill he had gym that day n all the boys are so mean to my son bc he’s a little different, he just laughed n said my little yet did it again but all the boys kept calling him gay well even till this day n he’s 13 I love him proudly n while all the 7 th he boys pick on him bc he likes girls but he’s not ready to date which is ok bc there’s to many teens having babies n I’m not for that

  5. greenapples at 8:27 am

    It’s all in the ‘why’. If he asked to do it because he wanted painted nails like yours, or his sisters, that’s completely natural. I’d let him do it, but not make a federal case out of it. What I think is excessive is when clearly it seems that a parent is pushing their agenda onto their kids, painting their nails to prove something, be it a gender-neutral parenting objective, or for the purpose of trying to instigate an argument about their right to do what they want with their child’s hair, clothing, etc. [I say this because I’ve seen several blog posts to this point lately in the blogosphere]. Clearly, you don’t have an agenda, so do your own thing for your own reasons. At the same time understand that you are going to receive comments when you post things like this – or anything – on Facebook, Instagram, or your blog. I don’t receive comments because people don’t know what I do with my child because it’s none of their GD business. But when you put your life on display, you’ve got to be ready to hear praise and criticism in equal measure.

    • carol at 12:10 pm

      Very well said! took the words right out of my mouth. We see it all the time with celebrities because we are influenced to do things that we see, even if it isn’t through celebrities. It could be tv, radio, Internet, etc…Naturally doing something out of curiosity because that is how children behave is innocent. As you clearly described using children to prove a controversial point of view is another issue. I don’t think BS is going for this reason and kudos to her for standing up for what she believes. On the other hand people’s point of views are different no matter how much time changes. Respecting people’s beliefs should be a priority but, unfortunately in the world of social media it can be a hard thing to do.
      Respectfully-BS follower.

  6. Anthea at 8:29 am

    You’re frickin awesome!!! Your post helped me feel ok about painting my sons nails like my mum who painted my brothers nails as a kid & he’s now 32, 6ft plus butch bloke who married – so not gay!!!!!

  7. dione at 8:35 am

    So if anyone’s daughter wears a baseball cap, sports a hockey stick or plays any rough sport she is going to turn into a lesbian? People are so quick to judge and tell u what your doing wrong. I have painted my 2 son’s nails numerous times. WHO CARES!!!!! Thanks for sharing this post. I loved reading it!!!

    • Lizzie at 4:25 pm

      I loved playing football with my cousins, never wore a dress if I could find any way to get out of it, spent my childhood climbing trees, and enlisted in the Marines out of high school. Nope, not a lesbian, married to a wonderful man with 5 little a-holes of my own. Lol

  8. Brian L. at 9:01 am

    I have an older sister. I wanted to dress as a girl for a local costume contest around age 7 or 8. My parents had no problem, I won the contest and had several parents ask “and what is this pretty young girl supposed to be?” It had zero affect on my innate attraction to women. I have painted my nails as well because it’s fun and is a conversation starter. Good on you for just letting him be happy. I’m married with a three year old son. If he wants to have color on his nails, more power. He’ll still look like a boss.

    • Mom of 2 boys at 9:33 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts here. My 8 year old (who has always loved to dress up in costumes) thinks my jamberry nails are cool and pesters me to put them on him. To him, it’s no different than temporary tattoos, but I struggle with it because I don’t want him to be teased.

      • Brian L. at 9:49 pm

        It is a fine line I guess. You never want your kid to be made fun of but that can happen for any reason. I was probably teased by my friends, but I don’t remember it at all…that’s how much it effected me. Looking back now, I think the love from my parents superseded any of that. I should add that I am 34 now and had my nails painted as recent as about 4 years ago. Most people loved it, those who didn’t wouldn’t even acknowledge it. Just think, long enough ago, boys with long hair would have been questioned.

  9. tessamartinuk at 9:30 am

    You’re supposed to match his nail polish to his outfit lol! Seriously who cares? So what if he wants to wear nail polish? Honestly is it really that big of a deal if he wanted his nails polished? I don’t get what’s so wrong with you painting his nails? With all the shite that’s going on in this world, people are worried about you painting your sons nails? Look at how happy he looks, to me, that’s far, far more important!

  10. Kristin Jaakola at 9:34 am

    I painted my son’s (both of them) toes and fingers!! They are 20 and 16 now and when they see a picture with their nice blue or pink toes they laugh. They people that seemed to have the biggest problem with it were our friends and family that had NO kids of their own. I learned when they were babies that I should say ‘no’ to things that could cause physical harm to them or others, otherwise with the amount of times a day we say ‘no’ we should really make sure it’s worth it. Why fight over something as stupid as painting his nails, when he asks for gauges in his ears, that’s when you say no and it’s worth the fight!!

  11. Bristleeone at 9:41 am

    As a single mom by choice of a boy, my son only had me as an example when he was little. He played dress up, wore heels, wanted make-up and nails painted. He didn’t “turn” gay. He is now 13, well adjusted, plays video games and has his first girl crush. If the trolls want to be trolls let them but don’t let it influence how you raise your kiddo’s or what you write. YOU are simply expressing (writing) what many of us have already done and never thought to write about!! Keep it up. Let the haters hate, they’re just bored with their sad little life.

  12. smiles at 9:46 am

    I’m going to let my son wear a cape to school because clearly if he wears a cape, that means he will turn into a superhero. I am hoping we can capitalise and make some money on this venture so capes everyday from now on.

  13. sue at 10:12 am

    My amazing brother is gay, and he’s never worn nail polish his entire life. My dad also never kissed him growing up because it wasn’t the “manly” way. And guess what? Stilled turned out gay. So there goes that theory too. I love my brother with all my heart, and will share any of my nail polishes with him. Won’t make him any more gay than he already is.

  14. J at 10:17 am

    Obviously, A to the MEN.

    But also, YOU can’t “choose” who follows your kick-a*s blog and musings. Take comfort in the fact that most of us are enlightened, funny, self-deprecating and kind people. And free yourself from the tyranny of trying to respond to the crazy.

    Let’s all instead spend that time un-praying for that commenter’s child and hope s/he/it grows up to feel safe and secure in their gender and sexuality despite their parent’s medieval views.

  15. Maggie at 10:20 am

    Rock on Sister! Just keep doing what you’re doing and let the trolls throw their opinions in on everyone else’s kids while theirs are probably the ones that make you want to double up on birth control pills EVERYDAY!!

  16. crissy spencer at 10:22 am

    I think it’s great that you are willing to let him express himself how every he wants. People are idiots and in the end it’s your kids so it not anyone else’s business.

  17. Dana at 10:22 am

    Awesome! I was painting my toe nails last summer and my son wanted his finger nails painted. So he got pink finger nails. My husband wasn’t so sure but got over it quickly. Our bigger problem was my son getting upset as it chipped off a few weeks later. If he wanted to paint them again we would. Kuddos to you and all the other moms that don’t care about what other people think, just that their son or daughter is happy.

      • Jiff at 4:55 pm

        Right… it has to stick so it does not come off…but it also “Cover Ups” (Cover All, is that a makeup line?) so when a child has dirty nails, no one will see dirt !!! ….just pretty blue nail polish… it is a shame they don’t have a “mouth polish” to cover up this mothers use of curse words.

  18. Patti Burnell at 10:30 am

    Good for you. My son who is 9 wanted to paint his nails purple (his favorite color) and I was so tossed. Not because I think it’s wrong but because I didn’t want him to get teased at school. I painted them for him anyway. When he got home the next day from school he said a few kids teased him but that he didn’t care what they thought. So this went on for a couple weeks and then the phase passed and he hasn’t wanted them painted since. I was so proud of him for doing what he wanted and not worrying about the other kids reactions.

  19. Samantha Booth at 10:35 am

    So my 7 year old son is currently rocking fluorescent orange nail polish on his fingers and toes, he is also wearing a flat cap and an emerald green, sparkly pendant necklace (and not much else) he’s beyond happy and I’m an amazing mom for letting him be him!

  20. Elizabeth at 10:36 am

    There are a LOT of really stupid people out there. A lot lot lot lot lot. It really just doesn’t matter what they think, even to the point of gracing whatever idiocy they come up with with a “I’m right, you’re wrong.” You cannot win an argument with a stupid person, because they truly just can’t grasp the whole concept of logic, so why waste your time and effort trying?

  21. Emma at 10:37 am

    Haha! I love this.
    You cannot make someone gay, for sure. Hell, I painted my daughters nails when she was little, she turned out to be a lesbian. So, on the other side of the coin, I guess it had no effect on her staying straight, and liking girly things.
    My three year old son loooooovvvveeesss my heals, wearing princess crowns, dresses, and wants to have his nails painted. I won’t paint his nails because the only nail polish I own is the UV stuff, and I think he’s too little for that. He also has Barbie dolls.
    But! He also loves the Avengers, trucks, dinosaurs, and robots. He also loves dressing up like the hulk, and captain America. And doesn’t like me blow drying his hair because “he’s not a girl!!!” In his own words.
    So? None of it matters. They are too little to know the difference. The only way they’ll think they’re doing “something wrong” is if we teach them that. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with boys and girls playing with gender specific toys. Who cares? Stupid people, that’s who.

  22. Mandy at 10:38 am

    I have a 10 year old and an 8 year old and last week at the school carnival they went to the nail painting booth and both got their nails painted, and you know what the girls painting the nails said “we have painted more boys than girls nails!” I loved that all those boys no matter the age felt perfectly comfortable doing something that society says isn’t okay. There is no harm in painting boys nails. It’s just paint!

  23. erica at 10:40 am

    You know you just fed into the small amount of ignorance of one or two fans (out of hundreds)? Kind of a cheap way to get more blog hits. You’re better than that.

  24. Dollhia at 10:40 am

    Awesome. I paint my sons toenails and my ex and his new wife had a fit. Get over it! He wanted to be included and I think it’s awesome. I watched one of my mom friends sons the other day. When I took his socks off to go play in the yard, yup, you guessed it. His toenails were painted too!!! So normal.

  25. Kristi at 10:42 am

    I bet some of the same people that think painting your son’s nails will turn him gay also think that same s*x marriage undermines the “sanctity” of marriage or causes earthquakes and floods!

  26. Adi at 10:46 am

    I was a camp counselor at a summer camp for sick kids and a bunch of the young boys begged me to paint their nails– which I happily did. None of them “turned gay” to my knowledge. I guess I wasn’t doing it right /s.

    People are so dumb.

  27. Sandra at 10:52 am

    Good for you! Some people are just unbelievable. If they are parents themselves I truly feel sorry for their kids. Cudos to you momma

  28. Ann at 11:06 am

    I have 3 girls and 1 boy. That one boy loves to get his nails painted so he can be like his sisters. He even showed off his colorful nails to his buddies at preschool. It makes him happy, just like monster trucks and riding his bike do. Happy kid, happy mom, nothing else matters!

  29. Emma Tucker at 11:06 am

    People suck. You don’t. You’re awesome. We love you, and love how you love your kids. Painted both of my boys’ toenails and fingernails repeatedly over the past 12 or so years (the oldest is 12), and painted the youngest’s toenails just a few months ago (he’s 9). He thinks it’s fun, so do I. Are either of them gay? I don’t think so. Would I care if they were? Of course, because as you said, it’s not an easy life, though it is getting better. Would I love them no matter what? Always and forever, to the moon and back, painted nails or bleach streaks in their hair. They are mine, I am theirs.

  30. barbiedoll at 11:10 am

    Sorry but that’s really terrible your son needs to know what’s for girls and what’s for boys and by u painting his nails u r going to make him a fruit u as a parent knows right from wrong But obviously you don’t and u also seem like a single parent because no real father would allow his boys nails painted especially out in public

    • Jenn at 11:40 am

      Who says it’s for girls? So her daughter shouldn’t play ball either, because it’s for “boys”? Remember when women couldn’t vote? Shame on you!

    • Ali at 11:48 am

      Guess my husband is a closet gay because he had no problem with our 5 and 3 year old having painted nails. We did it for crazy dress up day at daycare, and they liked it so much we kept it up as long as they wanted. They grew tired of it when they kept chipping it in the sandbox on the Tonka trucks. Oh, and my husband is not gay……he’s just not close minded or afraid of what others think of something as silly as this.

    • Becky at 11:57 am

      I keep typing stuff and then deleting it, because I just can’t even articulate how sad/angry/disgusted a comment like this makes me. Then I remember that it’s coming from “barbiedoll,” so…yeah. Keep on living in your Barbie World where everything is pink and sparkly. My daughter and I will be outside with our Hotwheels and our open minds.

      • Annette at 7:23 am

        So love your comment!!! When my son was 3 &4, his cousins would paint his nails. He loved it cause they were sparkly. His one aunt would paint them once a month. My husband and I didn’t care. He is 6 now, hasn’t asked in a long time, probably due to the fact that I don’t wear nail polish. His favorite color at the moment is Pink. His reasoning: there shouldn’t be girl colors and boy colors, they are for everyone!
        His grandpa has a hot pink rogue rambler(think that is the name of the car). People need to lighten up and let their kids be kids.

    • Danielle at 12:34 pm

      I am married to a great guy and while he does not LOVE it when our son’s nails are painted he lets it go for a couple of reasons. 1. He has a twin sister who gets hers painted on occasion, 2. He is four and it is hard to explain to a four year old that it isn’t a “boy thing’ to paint nails, though sometimes we don’t let him get his painted. 3. Like any great parents, we pick our battles, and quite frankly sometimes we choose not to fight this one. 4. Nail polish on kids fingers stays on for approximately one day due to how much they use their hands. Barbiedoll, there are worse things that can happen to children than having their nails painted as a little boy…..like not knowing how to use correct grammar.

    • Selena at 4:58 pm

      Turn him into a fruit, eh? Hmmm. What type? Pineapple? Watermelon? No, let me guess! One of those damned strawberries! Yep, surely a strawberry. Can’t trust those bastards.

      BTW, I’d rather my son be “a fruit” than an ignorant person like you. My 4 year old wants his nails painted. He also needed relationship advise the other day because the 5 year old girl he likes broke up with him. My dad, a tough and gruff biker, used to let me not only paint his nails, but put makeup on him. That is one of the things I’ll cherish about him… he looked ridiculous because he loved his little girl.
      Our sons may need to know differences, but YOU need to know how not to be a troll. I doubt you’re mentally capable for such a task.
      Lastly, I doubt you look anything like Barbie, but one thing you should realize: she’s plastic, used by everyone, has no ability to think or feel, and FAKE. Hey, perhaps you do have something in common!

    • mommadeb at 3:52 am

      So, since I helped my dad work on cars when I was young (and I still enjoy it), that means I am a lesbian? Well…I am married with 7 kids, paint my nails, rock some tattoos and I can completely rebuild a car engine myself. If that makes me “a fruit” so be it.

      Ps: my 11yo and 3yo grandsons like to help me crochet. Should I “prepare” them for their destiny??

    • Shannon Durand at 12:21 pm

      Hey a$$hat… professional baseball players who are catchers paint their nails so that the pitcher can more easily see the signals. Pretty sure their teammates don’t think they are “fruity”. So many other comments, but so little time.

  31. summerclay at 11:12 am

    When I paint my nails my 5 yr old asks me to do his and I DO! He has even gone to school like this and loves it!

  32. Michelle W at 11:13 am

    OH Who really care? YOU do what is right for your kid. My son has had his nails done as well. He wants to be like Mom. People are mean and judgmental. F ’em!

  33. Jenn at 11:14 am

    My 3.5 year old son loves to paint his finger and toenails along with his older sister. We’ve even been told by his teaches that it’s a really cool thing and they love it even more that his daddy has no problem with it. He was teased a bit by another boy at school, but now he knows that he can do what makes him happy and not mind what others say. I will keep painting his nails for as long as he wants.

  34. Samantha at 11:15 am

    My boys go with me to get pedicures. As my son says, “I cannot think of anything better than having your feet in a Jacuzzi, having someone rub lotion on my legs, and trim my toenails!” He proudly wears his colorful array of neon nail polish to swim team. When it wears off, he tells me I need to paint them again because he swims faster with painted toes.

  35. Sarah at 11:16 am

    My son (7 years) went to a neighbor girl’s b-day party a few weeks and came home with some bright green polish on his nails – I though it was awesome!!! Left it on all weekend and he wore it to school Monday – THAT’S where he got teased. Elementary school… Ugh! I told him he had the b***s to go to school with awesome neon painted fingernails, why should girls have all the fun in that department? (Not necessarily those exact words).

  36. Laura Freeman at 11:21 am

    When I was little, I used to dress my younger brother up in curlers and dresses. He always had a grin for the camera Mom wielded, and we had fun, so no harm done. Fast forward thirty years. My brother IS gay. Huh! Didn’t see that coming. I guess, according to your haters, I can take full responsibility for making him the awesome, gentle, intelligent, funny man that he is today! Yay me, I turned him gay!!! 😉

  37. Renee Kessell at 11:25 am

    I ABSOLUTELY ADORE YOU!! YOU ARE A WOMAN AFTER MY OWN HEART & MIGHT I ADD ONE HELL OF AN INCREDIBLE MOTHER!! YOUR SON IS SO LUCKY & FORTUNATE TO HAVE YOU!! I MYSELF HAVE PAINTED BOTH OF MY OWN SON’S NAILS & I EVEN ALLOW HIM TO PLAY DRESS UP (make-up included) WITH HIS OLDER SISTER. I APPLAUD YOU FOR MAKING YOUR SON FEEL INCLUDED IN THE ACTIVITIES THAT HE SEES YOU DOING, AS WELL AS FOR TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH HIM!! WAY TO GO MOM!!

  38. Jessica at 11:52 am

    Just this Saturday my 6 year old son joined my girlfriends and I for pedis. I told him he can have color or no color. You know what he chose? Color. Because he’s 6. And at 6 color is way cooler than basic toe nail. He asked if it’s OK for boys to have their nails painted. I said as long as you own it, buddy. Haters gonna hate 🙂

  39. Life With Teens and Other Wild Things at 11:55 am

    Hilarious responses… I think I had more fun reading the comments than the post! LOL

    Thing1 preferred orange or hot-pink-with-glitter nailpolish when he was about … Idk 3-5 I’d guess. Blue eye shadow. Bright red lipstick. (His sister happily obliged with his desire to look like Tammy Faye Baker.) I vetoed the mascara, only for safety reasons. lol

    At 15, he’s out in the yard working on our mower at the moment. Yesterday he was teaching his little cousin how to shoot a compound bow (he has his hunting safety certificate, and the child he was teaching is my brother’s son, who is a hunting safety course instructor. My brother was also present.) He has a girlfriend, and showers excessively, just like every other teen boy I know.

    Would I care if he were gay? Not in the least. Nailpolish has nothing to do with body chemistry and sexual orientation. People need to grow up, get their heads out of their rear-ends, and get a life. It’s ridiculous, in this day and age, that anyone would make a fuss over a little boy wanting to try on nail polish.

  40. Tiff at 11:57 am

    Off topic but that kid has some long fingers. That nail polish would look awesome gliding over piano keys 🙂 My son has a little cherry purse he carries his “keys” “phone” and hotwheels in. He’s a month from being 4 and autistic. He spends 99.9% of his time with women. between me and my husbands family there is: mom, 2 mamaws, great grandma and 3 aunts for my lil bear. I think he sees all of us and doesn’t realize gender so just assumes people carry purses. He had a fit when great grandma tried to make him leave it at her house. He only plays with it at home, he’s never tried to take it out anywhere when we leave. Kids don’t realize gender stereotypes. They see their family doing something they wanna do it too. Kudos to you for being an awesome mom!

  41. Hillarie at 12:05 pm

    My son loves his nails painted, he has for years. He is 20 now and paints his own nails, has put hot pink streaks in his hair and loves all his “girl” colored tanks and tee-shirts, and no, he is not gay, he just does as he likes and doesn’t care what others think 🙂

    • Ali at 3:24 pm

      I painted my kids nails for crazy dress day at daycare, and both wanted to keep doing it…..then 5 year old changed his mind because kids at daycare said it was for girls. I proceeded to go online and show him all of the famous men with painted nails and said “don’t change because someone is jealous. Look at all these famous men rocking painted nails, and women love them. (Hellooo Johnny Depp)” He decided to keep the polish on for a few more days until it wore off naturally.

  42. Elise at 12:14 pm

    Horray! I have 4 kids. My daughter won’t get near a dress unless I tie her down first and my son wanted to wear a pink shirt and tuxedo to school the first day. Go figure. Guess what? Its ok. Breathe, people. I hear a shot of vodka works wonders too.

  43. jenn at 12:15 pm

    My son is 3 and picks out nail polish in the store and wants his nails painted all the time! And guess what??? I do it for him & let him get nail polish when he wants. He doesn’t have the worlds view of what’s for boys and what’s for girls and I’m not going to introduce that’s to him, he’ll find that on his own soon enough. Do I steal him towards blues, greens, and orange, yes, but I’ve painted his nails bright pink before and right now his toes are purple!! He loves it and thinks it’s just like painting a picture!! He’s happy and a boy through and through, rough and tumble, wrestling, sport loving boy, and painting his nails makes him happy!

  44. Jeni at 12:21 pm

    I can’t even begin to tell you how sick I am of these t**t waffles saying a child will “turn gay” because you paint their nails, let them play dress up with the girls, play with dolls, etc. Etc. You can’t turn someone gay you jack wagons! Just like you can’t turn me, a Caucasian, into a Hispanic. It doesn’t work that way. It’s how you’re born! Keep being the awesome, supporting, funny, sarcastic mama you are Karen! You rock, I adore you!

  45. Willow at 12:22 pm

    Love your post. My 3 year old asked for his toenails to be painted this weekend, for the first time. Of course! It was fun mom & son time, and he had fun showing it off at a party we went to later in the day.

  46. Brs at 12:29 pm

    High five! My son’s are blue and pink right now (pink is his favorite color, it will probably make him a sissy 😉 )

    • Annette at 7:36 am

      My son’s favorite color is pink too. He told me when he goes into 1st grade, it will be purple. He even has a pink shirt that says “tough guys wear pink”. He has worn it to school a few times. One kid made fun of him the first time but after that, no one did. His class has to wear pink tomorrow 5-21 for relay for cancer day. He already has his pink shirt and proudly says ” I look good!”

  47. Elaine A. at 12:30 pm

    Turn him gay, OMG. Some people. I say “no” all day too. Sometimes it feels SO good to say “yes”.

    My son likes to put on my high heels sometimes. As does my daughter. They are hilarious when they try to walk! Pretty sure all the kids have found something fun in my make-up drawer too. Who cares?
    (okay, I kinda cared about the lipstick on the sofa, but whatever).

    Anyway, you go Mom, you rock! 😀

  48. Vikki at 12:31 pm

    No..you cannot punch me in the b**b over and over again..Lol!! I say that many times a day to my 6 year old!! Nothing wrong at all with the kiddo wearing nail polish and fk those idiots that think their is.
    My lil dude likes watching My Little Pony and he also likes to watch The Amazing World of Gumball and Thomas.
    Kids are curious and kids are open minded..we adults should be more like them in that regard!!
    You are a great mommi!!! 🙂

  49. Jenny at 12:36 pm

    I’ve painted my son’s nails plenty of times…it’s hard to say no to something that inevitably won’t hurt him when he wants it done because he sees how much fun his sisters and I are having…it’s like telling my daughter that she can’t play with his trucks and trains…there are worse decisions you can make as a parent, this isn’t one of them! Oh and you are awesome! I love reading your blog 🙂

  50. Kaliarii at 12:37 pm

    While I love the overall message of both posts, I feel compelled to gently point out that “transvestite” is in fact, a derogatory term. It’s a lot like using the “N” word or any other racial/exclusionary term. Transgender would be the inclusive word, and far more respectful to the people who happen to live the lifestyle. Kinda bummed me out to cringe on what was otherwise an empowering, fantastic message

  51. Momma of two boys at 12:38 pm

    I can’t image all of the comments you have to read all day. I have two boys 5 and 2, when they see me paint my nails, they want theirs done too. and i say YES and then they go play in the mud. what the heck is the big deal. the neighbor girl likes worms and and playing in the mud too, what does that make her? my boy wear heals, and tutus and have just as much fun at princess parties as any other kids. I wish i could write as well as you cause i’d tell people to go F themselves 🙂

  52. milinda at 12:55 pm

    Good for you! You are an awesome mom and your son is adorable. About ten years ago, my son also wanted his nails done, and since his father did not want him wearing pink nail polish, I promptly went out and bought blues and greens for him. I would have been fine with pink, but you do what you gotta do.

  53. [email protected] at 1:18 pm

    It’s paint, it’s colorful, it’s fun, and girls do it – why can’t boys? If girls can play in the dirt and play with trains and Matchbox cars, why can’t boys have a little color on their nails? I love that you said that even if he were gay or transvestite or whatever the socially acceptable term is today, that you would support him. I think that’s all that matters.

    I love that you wrote about this.

  54. majesta at 1:23 pm

    I am currently reading your new book * I heart my little a-holes” your humor and honesty about parenting isn’t all unicorns ans rainbows is such a breath of fresh air in this new parentinf generation of perfect parents, perfect babies and 3000.00 dollar strollers. Kudos. 🙂

  55. Sidney Rouse at 1:23 pm

    I’ve done it with my 4 year old son and yea he was laughing and smiling cuz he thought it was funny to be like mommy. But trust me he is all boy.

  56. jamieeb at 2:20 pm

    AWESOME!!!!!
    I sell Jamberry, and my 5 year old sone sees me putting then on my nails All. The. Time. So he wanted to try them. I let him wear one on each pointer (mainly because I am saving the design for July 4). He was so proud to have them he showed them off everywhere we went, including all his friends at school. And guess what? His friends LOVED them! Girls and boys alike said how pretty they were with NO gender barriers at all! So, kudos to you for supporting your child and making him happy!

  57. stacie at 2:26 pm

    I just want to say thank you for posting this and that I am so happy to have found your blog. These words were as if they were coming out of my own mouth. My son is 6 1/2 and has been playing dress up since he was 2. Nails. Make-up. Heels. Wedding gown. NOTHING in this world makes him happier than when he’s being Cloe, Hailey, or Violet. I too worry about what this cruel, hatred filled world will do to him. But one thing is for certain, his home will always be safe & supportive.

  58. Missy Smith at 2:42 pm

    THANK YOU for this. As the lucky mommy of a little boy who loves to wear dresses and long wigs, I am aware that my husband and I are constantly judged. I was recently told by an acquaintance that our support is “turning him gay.” He has said before that “the whole town thinks I’m cwazy.” But he knows that he is safe in our home. You hit every nail on the head for us. My son is an amazing person, loves to dance, and gives the best cuddles; I wouldn’t change a thing about him!

  59. Diane at 3:05 pm

    I never painted my 2 sons fingernails their older sister did it and I was happy to have the 20mins of me time! If she had a friend over they each took a boy and gave them complete makeovers so I got an hour break and some great blackmail pictures!

  60. Linda Myers at 3:06 pm

    One of my friends does Jamberry nails on all three of her boys per their request. Mine has never asked but if he did I’d hope he picked a fun color like I do. (My toes are currently sparkly blue.)

  61. shannonsfun at 3:54 pm

    I agree. When I was observing in a 4th grade classroom last year, they did a slumber party day for the entire school as a reward for good behavior. As part of the day, the girls had a spa component which included manicures. The boys felt left out of the fun, so the girls painted their nails, including the teacher’s aide. What a fun time was had by all and parent didn’t seem to mind.
    a

  62. sara at 4:00 pm

    LOVE love love your reply. Love the original post too, but this is a great follow-up. My son wore headbands of all shapes and sizes, dresses, HER bathing suits, plays with HER dolls, and – YES – requests to have his nails painted…still. Why?? Because his cool big sister is doing it. Sooo much to say “No!” to.. a few “Yesses” can be delightful!

  63. Kimmie at 4:04 pm

    My little guy has asked me to paint his nails when he sees me do mine. Who cares they’re little and only stay that way a very short time!! Kudos Momma!

  64. A.H. at 4:09 pm

    Seriously I have a 2 1/2 year old boy an all day long if he’s not doing “man” things with daddy he’s with me wanting to clean and do laundry or sneak my makeup away and try an put it on “just like mommy” ! There just children and when there screaming and crying that they want their nails painted bc your sitting there doing it too at some point it’s not about “winning or losing” the battle or what’s “right or wrong” it’s about curbing their curiousity, painting a nail or two or ten and then is done and over with!! And I’m pretty f-ing sure that’s not going to scar them for life!! So to all your predjusts fucks why don’t you take a good look in the mirror and at your life and really ask your selfs where and what went wrong with your sad pothetic lives that you have to slander a perfectly normal family!!

  65. Jo at 4:11 pm

    Perfectly normal for boys to want to do what mummy or their sisters do. Including painting nails. My son was the same. In fact, he use to breast feed his buzz light year doll when I would feed his sister. He’s now 13 and far from gay or a transvestite. And even if he was, I would love him every bit as much as I did when he was born and I do now.

  66. Kimberly at 5:08 pm

    I’m pretty upset that you would paint your son’s nails green…and not post the brand/shade…because it looks awesome!

  67. Kym at 5:53 pm

    You rock sister!! The color ?? Hmmmm….not so much 🙂 But hey…the boy likes it so who am I to say. I just agree with what you’re doin’

  68. Erin Dillon Bailey at 5:54 pm

    I agree with every single word of this! My son gets his nails painted every time I paint my daughter’s and sometimes just because he decided he wants his nails painted. He thinks it’s pretty. He also always chooses purple nail polish because it’s his favorite color. People need to open their tiny little minds! #boyscanbeprettytoo

  69. esoph at 7:33 pm

    my son is 5 now and he still loves getting his nails painted, but he senses that toenails are ok and fingernails not so much. i wonder when and how that happened. also i am disappointed in myself because i sort of agree with him, and am a little relieved by it. (well i don’t like my own fingernails painted, but so what if he does? why should it bother me?)

  70. Ingrid Holmes at 8:23 pm

    I paint my son’s nails all the time. He gets to pick the color for each finger. Lots of blues and greens with an occasional red or purple thrown in to spice things up!

  71. o at 9:06 pm

    I’ve never commented before, but thank you Baby Sideburns. For painting your son’s nails, giving him that enormous smile on his face, and taking a moment to defend that wonderful choice you made. Kudos to you!

  72. suzanne center at 9:59 pm

    My son is 6’7″ 265 lbs of heterosexual muscle and he and his college football teammates enjoy a pedicure once a month, you go girl 😉

  73. nicholerae at 11:34 pm

    People are so ignorant! I was a single mother raising a son, he would go to the nail salon with me. He wanted his nails painted… ok, we would even paint his toe nails. He would paint my mothers nails for her and guess what….my son is an amazing young man, who is a straight male. But even if he wasnt.. who cares? He is my child and he is strong and confident in who he is.

    PAINT HIS NAILS! if he is happy, thats all that matters!

  74. Amagz at 12:41 am

    Last summer I took my then 4 year old
    Son to see the My Little Pony live show at a local festival. He smiled bigger than I have ever seen him smile throughout it. Afterwards he wore the paper pony ear crown and skipped around the fairgrounds beaming ear to ear. As much joy as that gave me, it was a bittersweet moment because I found myself thinking that once he entered kindergarten things would change, and I was right. Boys will be hard enough on eachother on account of whatever crap they are learning at home, and I refuse to be that parent who shames her kid over something so innocent. Sigh. If only every parent thought that way!

  75. Ruaidh at 2:48 am

    I LOVE that you have common sense in a world where it seems so lacking. I painted my son & daughters nails too. When he was a bit older we switched to clear polish only. I am thankful that he has a great support system of men that also get mani-pedis.

  76. Jen at 2:59 am

    My brother has three kids, twin boys with an older sis and all of them like to wear nail polish and they all dress up, as dinosaurs, firemen and ballerinas. Why wouldn’t they?

  77. mommadeb at 3:37 am

    I painted the neighbor guy’s toenails bright red once. Ok, ok. There was alcohol involved and he made the mistake of passing out at my house. He is quite manly too. He loved his nails btw.

  78. Sabrina at 7:43 am

    My 4 yr old son loves to have his nails painted. Any time I do my toe nails, he asks for me to do his. I always say yes.

    His older brother did the same thing. Painted his nails, carried one of my old purses around, wore my heels when he swept the floor (where he got the idea I clean in heels I’ll never know!). He grew out of it. But even if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t thing it a big deal.

    My mom always told me as a parent to not sweat the small stuff because there is so much big stuff that needs dealt with. When I was in high school, I wore s spiked leather collar. My parents never said anything about it. Clothes come off, hair can be changed back or grow out, makeup can be washed off. Anything not permanent is a small thing in my book.

  79. thevoltz2000 at 7:56 am

    I find it so funny that people make such a big deal when young kids express the desire to ‘dress up” or do some sort of activity that is widely seen as the other s*x. I know these days there has been a lot of media attention about young children who are transgender- but wanting to dress up, paint nails, wear football helmets, etc by ANY s*x when you are young is just a part of growing up. People need to relax. And I really love that shade of green- what’s it called? Perhaps we can start a gender neutral color line for painting nails.

  80. Angela Palmer at 8:31 am

    I love this!!!!! You are one awesome momma!!! I have a 2 1/2 year old son and if he ever wants me to paint his nails, then dammit I will! Because I am awesome too.

  81. Jen at 9:30 am

    Oh god if paining his nails is going to “make” him gay, I guess my older daughter playing with hot wheels and digging in the dirt and looking for bugs is going to “make” get gay!!! WTH people!! Get an f’n clue!! You know I feel the same way you do about supporting my kids and being there for them. I yes, I say NO to them ALLLLLLL the time.

    Ps. Did you tell them that there are TONS of hot straight musicians that wear nail polish!!?? . WTG keep the funny awesome stuff coming!!!! Oxox

  82. Michelle at 11:38 am

    Painted my sons nails (blue his favorite color) per his request. He came home from preschool and told me his teacher said painted nails are for girl’s. I left that s**t on ALL week!!! :0)

  83. julie at 1:30 pm

    My son (now almost 9) loved having his toes painted in preschool. We got more than a few turned up noses to it, and one idiot who told us it was “child abuse”, we laughed when we went on to say that he was getting a toy kitchen and vacuum cleaner for Christmas… and he had a baby doll, and a doll house, (and any other toy he wanted) regardless of who it was marketed to. Of course now he prefers tackle football, Pokemon, baseball and all things “boy.” But if he had still liked painting his toes and nails and playing house to this day he would still be perfect!

  84. Cara at 2:33 pm

    Totally support each kid expressing his/her personality and there is no way fashion choices will “turn him gay” by any means — but the harsh chemicals in nail polish on little bodies does make me nervous. You know nail polish has formaldehyde? Like the same stuff we use to embalm dead bodies?

  85. Danielle at 6:11 pm

    Haha this is funny , I use to put pigtails in my god sons hair when he was little and he’s now 17 and isn’t gay , guess I didn’t do it right ,also if I may say they now make men’s nail polish in many colors including green blue and black , let the child be free and explore everything possible that’s the best way for them too learn. people love to criticize others and never look at their own lives .

  86. Jamie at 7:48 pm

    I seriously love you! Uh oh, does that make me gay because I’m a woman and you’re a woman and I just said I love you?!!!!
    GTFOutta here!!! People are seriously so stupid and it makes me sad and scared what this world is coming to!

  87. pattibrain at 7:17 am

    I was just talking the other day about how much my son liked his nails painted when he was little. green and blue with sparkles were his favorite. Fingers and toes. From ages 2 until about 5 he always wanted them done, so I did them. People used to say rude things to me about it too. People are dumb.

  88. Annette at 7:49 am

    My sister made a whole bunch of “Frozen” costumes that had tulle and some looked like Tutu’s. Her 2 year old son wanted to put one on so she did. He rocked it! Like my son and her daughter say: the colors are for everyone. Boys can like pink and girls can like blue.
    My son is in kindergarten and his favorite color is pink right now. The ladies in the after school program love that about him. He also told me that his favorite color next year will be purple. Rock on. But he is a total boy: cars, trucks, swords, etc. Most people aren’t happy if they aren’t b****ing about something and this is a stupid thing to b***h about.
    Keep on painting his nails and letting him be him!

  89. Timmy Blankenship at 10:59 am

    This is more about the mothers obsession with coming up with controversial posts than it has to do with her son. Get that poor boy off social media with his fingernails painted. Taking his pic for the whole world to see is the only thing wrong with this. Some family fun should be just that, doesn’t have to involve the whole world. This women is addicted to social attention and now has her son involved in gay and straight debates. That is very sad
    .

  90. Cheryl Gustafson at 9:55 am

    I totally agree with you. My nephew wanted me to paint his nails when he was three. Didn’t want his mom pissed at me so I just painted two on each hand lol.

  91. Suzannejan at 8:18 am

    I think he probably just wants to be like his mom. Not for any other reason than he loves his mommy. People needs to stop rushing to a hot button topic. Get over it.

  92. Lori Quaresimo at 2:41 am

    First of all I would like to clear up something. The word transgender is an umbrella term to include all gender varient people. This includes crossdressers and transsexuals and any other gender varient person.
    The second thing I would like to say is kind of a question. I would love to know why some people think if a boy or a man dresses in female clothing, wears makeup and nail polish means that person is gay. I really don’t understand it because it’s not even logical. A gay man wants to attract other men that is attracted to other men. MEN! Not men that dress like women. The only gay people I have seen that dress like women are drag queens and they only do it for a show. They don’t dress like women all the time. It’s like putting on a costume for a play.
    Then there are crossdressers. The enjoy dressing like a woman some of the time. Not all crossdressers crossdress for the same reason. Some do it as a fetish to get turned on. Some do it to remove stress from being a dominant man all day on the job. Some will go in public to shock people and some do it for fun to see if they “pass” as a woman. Most crossdressers are straight men and are married. Most crossdressers are men. I personally think it can be hard to tell if a woman is a crossdresser since it’s socially acceptable for a woman to wear men’s jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, etc.
    Transsexuals can be born with either male genitalia or female genitalia. They don’t “choose” to be a transsexual and what some people have a hard time with is discerning between gender and s*x. Someone can have male genitalia but their gender can be female. It’s how you identify yourself. I use the example, if a male is not transsexual and somehow he has an accident and has to have his genitalia amputated will he still identify as a male? Sure he will because that is how he identifies. S*x is between your legs and gender is between your ears. A transsexual isn’t comfortable with his or her assigned gender so they live the gender they identify with. Not all transsexuals will have what they now call gender confirmation surgery. It used to be called a s*x change operation or s*x reassignment surgery. Transsexuals don’t feel they need to be reassigned. They feel they were always that gender but their genitalia doesn’t match.
    Another thing I would like to bring up is the topic of this post. What’s it anyone’s business if a boy wants to wear nail polish or even wants to dress fully like a girl? Why are there so many people that care so much about other people’s lives? And not just care but judge? It’s no one’s job to judge anyone. We should worry about our own lives. There’s so much to do to care about our own lives yet some people choose to put their noses in other people’s lives. This mother is not hurting her son. She is making her son happy. See the big smile? She’s not forcing him to wear nail polish. She’s not hurting anyone. So why do some people have to show judgment?

  93. Tricia at 6:00 pm

    I Googled “my son likes nail polish” and found this. My 4 year old son just came to me with a bottle of my neon orange nail polish and asked me to paint his nails. So of course I did. One day at school he dressed up in a pink tutu and they took a pic for me (that’s adorable ) and I showed my in laws and my fil asked me if the school is trying to make him gay. Reading your post gives me an excellent comeback. At the time I said you can’t make someone gay; they’re born that way. But you said it better.
    My son is so happy to have his nails painted. He said “now I have my nails painted just like Mommy!” He loves me so of course he wants to be like me. And he also wants his toes painted. I told him we would do that tonight after his bath. 😉

  94. Ronni at 5:19 pm

    I am gay…and you’re right…you can’t turn someone gay…we are born that way…I applaud you for teaching your son that we don’t have to be bound by social boundaries. There are so many people in today’s society who are miserable because they are afraid to break free of the social standards that imprison them. Your son will grow up to be a leader and not a follower.

  95. Bill at 2:56 pm

    It should be because you or they want it . first painted toes was for men , 3200 BC babylonian men did it to show their standing in the community , then the chinese but they kept gold and silver for royalty and the Egyptians also which they have seen on Mummy”s , the Spartan warriors also did and they were no wimps. next Gay’s won’t do it or toe rings , but CD’s and TV’s do because they want to emulate women..I have been painting my toes since 1975 when a woman I was dating started me on it saying I had very pretty s**y feminine feet which at the time even I thought it was weird but then I saw it really did look nice. A couple years later another woman agreed with the first and said plain out if you were born with it enjoy it and show it off, I know about a couple dozen women that would kill for your feet ( glad she never introduced me to any of them) so I still do it today and have been in public with painted toes and toe rings for about the last 10 years and have gotten nothing but compliments from women and some men also….my daughters love it and so did their mother who was as she said jealous at first.(Passed in 1993) I am not ashamed at it doesn’t make me any less a man.I can’t believe there are still people who want you to live according to what they think when you know they wouldn’t live by what you think. with that logic then you are never really free . social NORMS are a starting point and only that. Normal is a word that really needs to be retired because what is normal is relative for each person and each situation.

  96. Corena at 11:15 pm

    I’ve painted both my sons’ nails; fingers and toes. They asked me and I said “yes”; I didn’t even think twice about it. And the best part? They were so happy afterwards. ?

  97. Lori Quaresimo at 5:54 am

    So you are 34 and still don’t know the difference between affected and excepted. Wow! As far as boys or men wearing nail polish or makeup it makes no difference to me because it’s not my business and you aren’t hurting anyone. If a boy or a man wanted to dress completely like a girl or woman it still doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why people tease or beat-up other people when they aren’t hurting anyone else. Those people are stupid. I see so many people online judging other people for being a crossdresser or transsexual and for what? How are they a threat to anyone?

  98. Megan at 11:01 pm

    I painted my 4 yr old’s nails and got the same stupid comment about how I’m going to turn him gay. People can be so dumb I swear! I feel the exact same way as you.

    • Lori Quaresimo at 11:07 pm

      Yes you are so right! People can be so dumb and there’s plenty of them around! Especially where I live. Would you believe not one woman in my town wears makeup! Not even a slick of lip gloss! So can you imagine what they would say if a boy or a man would wear makeup and nail polish?

  99. Shannon at 10:38 am

    Heeheehee my son’s nails are currently red. He started out asking for blue about 2 weeks ago, then asked for red. Daddy objected but let’s get real – it’s only nail polish! It comes off. He wants rhem painted because 5 year olds still want to do everything mommy does. I paint mine, so he wants his done. Whoop tee effing dooooo. This would be different if i was tattooing him.

  100. JJ at 10:34 pm

    Your an idiot, painting nails does not make someone gay but it reinforces feminine tendencies and gender confuses you r not born gay! God did not make a mistake on the human race people! Pretty simple d**k/ v****a the go together that’s how the human race continues on. And the said monkeys where dumb haha nope only people who think that men are suppose to be with men and women with women! Now let me b clear I am not being unloving to those people any more than I would disagree with imporality but come on!!

  101. Ellie at 11:57 am

    I hear you. My four year old asked me to paint his toes. He wanted orange on one foot, and green on the other. His rationale? The colors represent his two favorite things. Hot wheels and teenage mutant ninja turtles.? I don’t think I’ll do it again any time soon, only because it’s practically impossible to get him to sit still long enough for it to dry.

  102. Mendontpainttheirnails at 12:34 pm

    Straight men have never and will never paint their nails except in the cases of being closeted gay, royalty, cultural ceremony or battle. The fifteen odd photos of celebs don’t count; controversy creates press, and press creates interest and popularity. It’s just wrong to raise your boy and not teach him western norms or morays.

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