An LA dad is winning hearts online after taking his toddler son for a manicure after his teacher told him it was “only for girls.” The dad told people that he wanted to push back on “strict gender norms.”
The Son’s Teacher Imposed Gender Stereotypes
The dad, Christian Shearhod, who works as a teacher himself, shared a photo of himself and his son, Ashton, getting their nails done on Twitter. He wrote, “My son came home from school upset because his teacher told him that painting his nails is only for girls, so today I’m taking him to the nail shop!”
The Story Went Viral
The TikTok video quickly went viral, with many people praising Christian for being a supportive and open-minded dad. People loved Ashton’s bright pink nails and praised him for being himself. One person commented, “This is so awesome! Thanks for being a great dad and teaching Ashton that he can be whoever he wants to be.”
His Message Spread Across the World
Another person wrote, “I love this! It’s so important to teach kids that there are no limits on what they can do or be, regardless of their gender.” Another person commented on the TikTok post, saying, “I’m a girl, and I work on cars. My brother-in-law loves the color pink. My son loves his nails polished. The earth still turns the right way.”
The Dad Has Been Overwhelmed with Support
Shearhod told NBC News that he was “overwhelmed” by the positive response to his post. He said, “I just really wanted to make sure that he didn’t have guilt or shame, because it is something that he enjoyed, and we had done together multiple times”
Dad Addressed the Issue with the School
Asked what he did about the teacher, Sherhold said, “’Hey, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say that kind of thing to Ashton, kind of let him do his own thing'” Christian did not go into details about how the conversation went but another teacher posted their thoughts. They said, “As a teacher, I am so sorry. I always tell my students there aren’t ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ things. Just things that we like.”
We Should Encourage Children to Explore Their Interests
This story is a great example of how parents can play an important role in teaching their children about gender equality. By supporting their children’s choices and interests, parents can help to create a more inclusive and accepting world. It is important to tell boys that they can’t play with dolls or girls that they can’t play with trucks. Let children explore their interests freely, regardless of their gender.
There Was Some Negativity Online
While most people supported Christian and Ashton, some were very negative, with hateful comments such as “So he is gay?” Nipping these comments in the bud, the loving dad said, “He is literally three years old; he can’t be gay, because he doesn’t have a sexuality yet, and you’re not going to assign him a sexuality because he likes feminine things or things outside of his typical gender norm.”
Christian’s Girlfriend is Transphobic
Christian is very popular on TikTok, with almost a million followers who enjoy his videos that talk about his home life with his transgender girlfriend. While Christian identifies himself as straight, he is plagued with people saying he is gay. He said, “I get stuff on my videos like, ‘You’re gay, you should go kill yourself.’ Like, all that kind of stuff. I’ve never experienced that kind of hate,” Having to deal with stereotypes all of the time is why he felt it important to call out harmful comments.
We Can All Play Our Part
We can all play our part in challenging gender stereotypes by calling people out when we hear something that doesn’t sit right with us. If you hear someone say that something is “only for boys” or “only for girls,” point out that this is not true. For example, you could say, “Anyone can wear nail polish, regardless of their gender.” It is important to remember that children are always learning, so it is important to be consistent in your efforts to reduce gender stereotypes. By following these tips, you can help to create a more inclusive and equitable world for children.
The Dad Was a Great Role Model
The dad showed that parenting should be done by challenging the teacher and allowing his son to paint his nails. We should all show the children in our lives that men and women can do anything they set their minds to. For example, if you are a man, cook dinner or clean the house. If you are a woman, fix a leaky faucet or build a birdhouse.
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