By Tim Nudd on Tue Apr 12 2011
It's turning out to be a funny week for gender issues in advertising. We have the girly dudes getting slapped in the Manwich spots. We have the woman compared to a used car in the auto-dealer ad. And now, we have this J. Crew ad featuring (horror of horrors) a boy with his toenails painted pink. Some people seem unbelievably upset by the image, which appears on the J. Crew site. Their outrage coalesces in this Fox News story, in which Erin Brown of the Media Research Center actually calls the ad "blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children." In a separate column, Brown blames J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons, the woman in the ad, for leading her son Beckett down a dangerous path. "Not only is Beckett likely to change his favorite color as early as tomorrow, Jenna's indulgence (or encouragement) could make life hard for the boy in the future," Brown writes. "J. Crew, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the facade of liberal, transgendered identity politics. One has to wonder what young boys in pink nail polish has to do with selling women's clothing." Poor Beckett—he's screwed for life.