J.Crew Ad causing gender controversy

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

J.Crew’s website is currently featuring an ad of the Creative Director Jenna Lyons and her son Beckett demonstrating what they do on Sundays (read: how they use J.Crew clothing/products to relax on the weekend, but that’s a different post altogether). The ad has caused some controversy because in one set of images, Beckett is wearing hot pink nail polish.

For me, this isn’t controversy. For me, it is an ad that captures the creativity and fun that can be had when we aren’t stuck in tightly constructed gendered boxes. So what if this little boy likes hot pink nail polish? Or even more so, that according to the ad copy, his favorite color is pink. He looks happy and he looks loved and wearing pink nail polish isn’t going to make him “different” or gay or less of a boy (all arguments some news outlets have been basing their criticism of the ad on). And, then again, so what if he is? What if he is different? What if he one day identifies as gay? What if one day he helps redefine what it means to be a man or a boy? What if, what if, he just happens to be little boy who really digs the bright, happiness inducing qualities of hot pink?  I say kudos J.Crew for celebrating this little dude and his love for pink and doing something (slightly) different with your advertising for a change.

What about you all? Is there something you love to do or wear that goes against stereotypical gender norms?

To see the full spread visit J.Crew and for another analysis of the ad and the media hoopla it induced visit Sociological Images.

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