Society has long seen spa days and nail salons as places for females only to co-exist and gossip together, get a little pampering and enjoy some relaxation. However, many people are flipping their beliefs and cultivating an environment of open-mindedness and acceptance. In doing so, many men have found that they can get just as much out of a spa day and a bit of relaxation. One dad, already knowing this secret, took his 3-year-old son out for a manicure and pedicure to cheer him up after a tough day at school.
A Little Manicure Pickmeup
Christian Shearhod picked his son up from school and was upset to find Ashton feeling a little sad. Ashton’s teacher had told him that ‘painting your nails is only for girls’. “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!” Christian said in a video shared to TikTok. The video, with more than 4 million views, captures the sweet moment Ashton picks out pink nail polish and the joy in his face as he shows off the final results.
The family spa day consisted of Christian, girlfriend Eden, Ashton and a full-service manicure and pedicure, with Christian sharing, “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!” After the video went viral, Christian sat down for an interview with NBC News. During which he disclosed that his son has been interested in nail polish since he was 2. Also, sharing that they often go together for a manicure and pedicure.
“I really just 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,” Shearhod said. He identifies as straight and is dating a transgender woman. He currently has more than 900,000 and documents moments from his day-to-day.
@mr.shearhod ♬ Pretty Girls Walk – Big Boss Vette
People will always want to express their own opinions and social media platforms are the perfect place to do so. As a result, many people have commented on Shearhod’s relationship and his choice to allow his son to go get a manicure. Most people have been supportive saying things like: “I’m a girl, and work on cars. My brother-in-law loves the color pink. My son loves his nails polished. The earth still turns the right way.” And “As a teacher, I am so sorry. I always tell my students there aren’t ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ things. Just things that we like.” However, he often faces transphobia. “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,” he said. Adding that someone asked him if Ashton is gay.
Read: When my child was born, I decided to raise them without a gender. I was told it was ‘child abuse’
A Manicure Isn’t Just for Girls
Shearhod heroically responded, “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.” Shearhod hasn’t let the backlash, derail him from using his platform to be a voice for the LGBTQ community. Particularly, looking out for students who are struggling with their identity and being bullied.
Using His Voice to Make Change
Although he can’t take everyone out for a manicure or pedicure, Christian can impact others through is platform but also his job. The open-minded father is a schoolteacher for Los Angeles County and has an opportunity to reach students every day. “I just want to inspire students to really want to be themselves, unfiltered,” he said.
Some parents fly completely off the handle when it comes to someone upsetting their child. However, Shearhod remained calm when confronting Ashton’s teacher. He explained, “I just told them, ‘Hey, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say that kind of thing to Ashton, kind of let him do his own thing,’”
Meanwhile Shearhod also found a way to have a little fun. And lift his son’s spirits by harmlessly rebelling against comments dissuading the boy from getting a manicure.
All in all, Shearhod’s message is based on the notion that people should be comfortable with who they are and free to enjoy their lives with few inhibitions. Life is hard for everyone, and people learn to cope in their own way. Fortunately, healthy coping skills are becoming more widely known. Shearhod is not the only parent breaking free from gender norms and societal expectations. Allowing boys to also get a manicure may bring families peace and relaxation, and consequently closer together.
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