May 11, 2006

Gender Bender at Preschool

Occasionally, I decide to polish my nails. Last week was one of those weeks, and Will begged to have his nails done, too.

Will: "I want red!"
Me: "I don't have red."
Will: What color is that?"
Me: "Teak rose."
Will: "I want teak rose!"
Jack asked, truly puzzled, "Why do you want to wear nail polish? Only girls wear that."
Will cried, "I want to! I want to!"
So I said, "Look, I'll give you a racing stripe on one nail." That will give him an acceptable explanation for the boys, should he need one.

So, that's what he's got, on his right index fingernail. Waiting for it to dry was more dramatic than one would think, with lots of "Oh, when will it be dry? It's not dry! Can I touch anything yet? What about now? Can I touch anything now?"

When asked later if anyone noticed his nail polish, Will replied that his friend Isaiah was "shocked."


jo(e) said...

I've never worn nail polish myself, but my sister does, and when she used to babysit my son, she used to put pink nail polish on him. When people acted shocked, I always assumed that they were worried about pthalates in the polish. But, no, it turns out they were shocked that a boy would wear nail polish.

I've always wondered how something like nail polish came to be gendered as "feminine." Then again, I don't get the whole appeal of nail polish in the first place.

Rachel said...

Too funny.

I let the boys pick out their own school bags this year. Brendon insisted on the pink one. I didn't care, but knew other family members would be concerned that he selected such a "girly" color. It's a color!!! How did colors get designated genders?