Jenna Lyons and J.Crew Ad Spark Gender Debate


This imagewhich has inspired the biggest gender debate sincePrincess Boyfeatures Jenna Lyons, President and Creative Director of J. Crew, and her 5 year-old son, Beckett. The two laugh as Lyons paints her son’s toenails a bright, bubble gum, gay-as-the-day-is-long shade of pink.

The caption under the image reads, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

The ad, which was sent as an e-mailer to J. Crew customers, wound up in the mailboxes of a few critics atFox News, one of whom wasDr. Keith Ablow. The result:one of the most ridiculous, draconian, would-be-hilarious-if-it-were-a-parody-of-homophobia blog posts that I’ve read in a long time.

Here are a few choice cuts:

“Encouraging the choosing of gender identity, rather than suggesting our children become comfortable with the ones that they got at birth, can throw our species into real psychological turmoilnot to mention crowding operating rooms with procedures to grotesquely amputate body parts.”

Well there’s a visceral image to warm the reader up with. He continues:

“Girls beat up other girls on YouTube. Young men primp and preen until their abdomens are washboards and their hair is perfect. And while that may seem like no big deal, it will be a very big deal if it turns out that neither gender is very comfortable anymore nurturing children above all else, and neither gender is motivated to rank creating a family above having great sex forever and neither gender is motivated to protect the nation by marching into combat against other men and risking their lives.”

The link between men who blow dry their hair and a world where “neither gender is very comfortable anymore nurturing children above all else” eludes me. Lyons appears to be simultaneously nurturing her son and her company in what is possibly the most genius bougie ad for a sweatshirt J. Crew has ever come up with. What is Ablow getting at? Is he subtly negging Lyons for being successful? What year is it again?

Here’s my favorite part:

“Jenna Lyons and J. Crew seem to know exactly what theyre up to. Thats why the photograph of Jennas son so prominently displays his hot pink, neon toe nails. These folks are hostile to the gender distinctions that actually are part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race. They respect their own creative notions a whole lot more than any creative Force in the universe.”

That’s right, Dr. Ablow. A 12-inch J. Crew ad is endangering the propagation of our species. This is what the Mayans were referring to when they warned of 2012. Pink toenail polishnot global weirding or nuclear war will surely be the catalyst that ends the human race.

This may be obvious, but I have to say it: no matter what this “expert” says, a boy who is straight will not become transgender if his mom paints his toenails pink, just as a boy who is transgender will not become straight if his mother shames him every time he does a pirouette.

If Dr. Ablow is as repressed and miserable as he sounds, someone needs to coax him out of the closet.

Content via Death and Taxes