Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nailed It

I've been seething since the weekend. A parent of one of Pickle's friends told him "you'll have to stop Mummy painting your nails in a few years". I turned around and politely told this man that Pickle actually asks me to paint his nails and chooses the colour each time.

The "offending" toes - outrageous!
I'm allowing Pickle to express his individuality as he wants. He wants to put the pretty colours on his toes, like Mummy does. Is he likely to want to conform to gender norms down the track? Probably. But it will be his choice, not something I'm going to force on him.

Pickle has a tea set, he has a baby doll he nurtures, along with a myriad of stuffed toys.  Not to mention Lulu and Hermes, who are subjected to his attentions he also adores. He also has a Buzz Lightyear, dinosaurs, light sabers, laser guns and a train set. He plays with the lot, in fact the dinosaurs often have tea parties.

As a society we're (still) figuring out that girls/women are as capable boys/men - if I had a girl, I'd be buying her Goldieblox.  If you don't know what they are, there are some excellent videos on YouTube here and here, and a fantastic TEDtalk.

Can we do the same for our boys/men please? (But in reverse, if that makes any sense?) They can be - and indeed are - loving, caring and nurturing.

Picture from Stonewall UK - a great resource site
And what about Rainbow individuals? As a counsellor, I particularly want to work with children, young people and their families. The risk figures around mental health and suicide sky-rockets for Rainbow youth. By raising Pickle to be accepting of all people, I hope he'll be an influencer in his generation on acceptance of all people.

If I painted that man's toe nails, would it change his sexuality or preferred gender? I promise to get off my soapbox soon, but would really love it if you watched this video that asks the question gay people get asked all the time... and this mind-expanding TEDtalk about transgender youth.

As a girl, I think I had the best of both worlds, I had dolls (and cats) I dressed up, but I also climbed trees, and rode both a bike and a skateboard... I'd like for Pickle to have the same opportunities.

Do your boys paint their toe nails or play with tea sets? Do you allow your girls to build with blocks or train sets? 

Cheers, KangaRue :)

PS. Thanks for allowing me my rant!


  1. Even as a 5 year old my son paint his nails, played with my makeup, owned a barbie doll and a baby born - much to the horror of family members.
    He's now 16 and loves fizzy bath bombs, facials and getting his eyebrows shaped at the beauty salon. He's also passionate about rock climbing, lifting weights and long distance running.
    Recently had one of his bi-sexual male friends express interest in him. He was flattered that his friend found him attractive but explained while it's ok to be gay, he's straight. His male friends call him a "cock block" a charming term for a mate that all the girls are interested in when they meet him, thus blocking their friends chances !
    Personally, I don't think it's the perfect eyebrows that draw the girls to him. Because he's never been forced into a gender roles, he can just as easily be "one of the girls" as "one of the boys".

  2. I was thrilled this week that another child in Pickle's swimming class had his nails painted too!

    I love that men enjoy pampering... why shouldn't they get to enjoy the fun too.

    Here's hoping Pickle can be as welcomed across the board as your son.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!