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Saturday, April 9, 2011
MRC: Boy With Painted Toenails = "Transgendered Child Propaganda"
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center finds a way to freak out about just about anything even remotely non-heterosexual. A prime example is a April 8 Culture & Media Insitute article by Erin R. Brown over, yes, painted toenails.

Brown declared that "popular preppy woman's clothing brand and favorite affordable line of first lady Michelle Obama" J. Crew "is targeting a new demographic -- mothers of gender-confused young boys. At least, that's the impression given by a new marketing piece that features blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children."

Sounds scary, huh? Turns out it really isn't:

An email sent to customers on Tuesday, April 5th contained a promotion for free shipping if the customer spends $150 or more. The email also contained a feature called 'Jenna's favorites,' highlighting special selections by J.CREW designer Jenna Lyons. Jenna selected a striped long-sleeve t-shirt, and hot pink nail polish by Essie, modeled by her young son.

In the feature, Jenna is pictured with her adorable curly-haired son Beckett, and the two are seen giggling with Jenna holding Beckett's feet, containing hot pink painted toe-nails. 'Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink,' read Jenna's quote. 'Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.'

Here's the picture Brown is so freaked out about:

Nevertheless, Brown remains in freak-out mode:

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. J.CREW, known for its tasteful and modest clothing, apparently does not mind exploiting Beckett behind the façade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.

Huh? A boy with painted toenails is suddenly a political symbol and a transvestite-to-be? Does Brown believe that the notion that pink can be a favorite color for a boy something that must be suppressed or beaten out of the boy? Further, Brown seems to believe that Beckett is such a horrible and ignorant mother that she is unaware that her child's favorite things might change on a fairly rapid basis -- something Brown has provided no personal knowledge of beyond trying to read the woman's mind through a picture in an ad.

Brown then tried to claim that "Propaganda pushing the celebration of gender-confused boys wanting to dress and act like girls is a growing trend, seeping into mainstream culture," as evidenced by the "Princess Boy" story, which fellow CMI writer Matt Philbin freaked out about in January as "promot[ing] the tolerance of cross-dressing boys."

Is insulting a woman over so-called "transgendered child propaganda" that is happening only in the writer's head really the best way for the MRC to spending its time?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT

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