Father Takes To Social Media To Share A Photo Of His Nails Painted To Support His 5-Year-Old Son Who Was Bullied For Wearing Nail Polish
Aaron Gouveia, the founder of parenting blog The Daddy Files, like all good parents, takes his kids' physical and emotional well-being very seriously.
So, when his son, Sam, was bullied, he did not hold back his emotions.
In an interview with People, Sam's mother, Martha Gouveia, explained that she went to pick the kindergartener from school, but was surprised to see him sad.
On seeing her, he burst into tears and explained how boys and girls in his school had made fun of him for wearing red nail polish.
It turns out that Sam’s grandmother used to be a nail technician so nail painting is a favorite past time for both grandmother and grandson.
That moved me to paint MY nails. Sam picked out this color called “Main Squeeze” & I think it’s understated but lovely. Sam is sticking with red because “it’s pretty and good luck for the @patriots.” #ItsOnlyWeirdIfItDoesntWork pic.twitter.com/KtuwldiEJw— Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) October 23, 2018
Martha went on to add that, being ‘full of life with a big personality’, Sam just loves to express himself in different ways.
When his father learned of his son’s traumatic experience, he put his journalistic skills to work and vented about how upset he was that a part of his son’s innocence had been stolen.
He posted on Twitter,
This is my son, Sam. He’s 5. And today he learned how shitty and harmful #ToxicMasculinity is. My rage meter is spiking right now so excuse me if this is a little raw but there are some things I want to say about BS #gender norms (a thread) pic.twitter.com/NtoE2VHKsU— Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) October 23, 2018
Continuing in a thread, he emphasized that his son was devastated at the actions of his schoolmates, including his friends, then drew attention to a salient part of this discourse:
I know these kids are only in kindergarten but this toxic masculinity bullshit is LEARNED. Learned most of the time from parents. So parents, I hope you’re proud. I hope this is what you wanted. I hope you’re satisfied.— Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) October 23, 2018
Aaron said he allowed his son choose whether or not he would take the nail polish off but made sure to tell him that strong male characters, like Thor and Capt. Jack Sparrow, also wore nail polish.
After seeing the amount of support on Twitter, including former NFL player Martellus Bennett’s tweet about how he loves to polish his nails with his daughter, Sam was back to his boisterous self.
Rounding off the Twitter thread, Aaron encouraged his son to be brave, keep shining bright and to remember that his parents will always be there for him. Then, he concluded:
Be brave and shine bright, my beautiful polished boy. Know that mom and dad always have your back and if the rest of the world has a problem with your nails, they can check out my nail polish! pic.twitter.com/fvjD2IZnNQ— Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) October 23, 2018
The father was also put on nail polish, which he wore to work. Even Sam’s older brother, aged 10, painted his nails as a show of solidarity.
Sam has a collection of purses because he likes to carry things around. And he also loves to have his nails painted bright colors because he thinks they “look beautiful.” And he’s right – they are beautiful… pic.twitter.com/tdMdpJZH5w— Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) October 23, 2018
Indeed, no matter what we do, we should not allow strict gender roles to strangle the free-spirited nature of kids.