Sunday 17 April 2011


I saw a photo of some celebrity’s four-year old son wearing nail polish. His mom had dressed him in some trendy outfit, and of course matched the nail polish color to what he was wearing. Okay, so this woman clearly has too much time on her hands and a remarkable son that will sit still to get his nails painted. At this point the King would try to eat the bottle or drink the polish. But it did get me thinking – and my partner and I discussing – about gender bias in children and the whole blue/pink debate. Of course my partner had a complete heart attack and said that the King would be as likely to wear nail polish, as my partner would be to go camping in a landfill (he is a total germ freak; need I say more). I think over his dead body might have been the term used.

I guess I’m a bit more relaxed when it comes to this stuff as I’ve always had a thing for guys wearing eyeliner; or maybe it’s just Ewan McGregor, I’m not sure which. Then again, I don’t even own a bottle of nail polish, so it shows you how hip I am. I suppose the whole gender debate can’t be avoided once you have children; from the moment you become pregnant your world – like it or not – becomes awash in blue or pink once you alert people to the gender of your child. The early gifts clearly demonstrating that for the boys it is about trucks and rocket ships and the girls, dolls and princess stuff. Occasionally there are the things that cross the divide, but from an early age we are gently told what is appropriate for our respective genders.

Funny thing is, I grew up a tomboy. I had a mean toy car and fire truck collection, was obsessed with my remote control Porsche (clearly I had taste as a child), loved sports, and was a diehard Vince Ferragamo fan. I think I also liked the fact that my dad and I could bond over football as we would sit for hours watching games and he would teach me the ins and outs of the sport. Basically, I was never the girl that would choose arts and crafts over climbing in a tree. In fact, I was the girl that would find herself in some old wagon with my best male pal at the age of five careening down a steep hill without brakes. I was either fearless, or incredibly stupid - perhaps a bit of both. But the bottom line was, I wasn’t into princess stuff, and my mom didn’t force it upon me. Eventually it all evened out and while I still adore sports and Porsches (I'm no fool), I'm a sucker for a pretty dress.

So I suppose where does one draw the line and at what age does one do so? If the King wants to put on a skirt when he’s four and hit the high street do I stifle his need to wear a skirt, or entertain it as his need to express himself and think it’s kind of funny? I’ve always figured that whether or not the King plays with dolls or trucks when he's young, he’s going to become whoever he is destined to become. And these days, the gender biases are definitely loosening; men are now wearing make-up and skinny jeans (hell, Beckham even rocks a sarong from time to time) and girls are throwing on their 'boyfriend jeans' and working on oil rigs. It's a modern world people. 

So, will I be breaking out the red nail polish and matching it to the King's new red dress? (Calm down, he doesn't own a dress), I'm going to say no on this one. But if he asks me to paint one of his nails when he’s older cause he thinks it’s fun (it is just paint after all), am I going to let him? Sure why not. But probably when his father is away for the weekend.  
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