A California man took his young son for a manicure after the boy’s teacher said «nail painting is only for girls.»
“My son came home from school upset because his teacher told him nail polish is only for girls, so I’m taking him to the nail shop today!” Christian Shearhod said in a video shared on TikTok on Saturday.
The clip, which now has more than 4 million views, captures Shearhod’s 3-year-old son, Ashton, in a West Hollywood nail salon, proudly yelling, «I want pink!» before sitting down for a full-service manicure and pedicure.
At the end of the clip, the boy shows off his bright pink manicured nails.
In an interview with NBC News on Tuesday, Shearhod, a teacher in Los Angeles County, said his son first expressed an interest in nail polish around age 2.
“Since then, we started painting our nails together,” he said.
When Ashton came home upset by his teacher’s comment, Shearhod said he and his girlfriend hoped to cheer the boy up by taking him to the beauty salon.
“I really just wanted to make sure there was no guilt or shame, because it’s something he enjoyed and we’d done it together a few times,” Shearhod said, adding that he wants his son to enjoy life to the fullest. at his age, without “strict gender norms”.
The next school day, Shearhod said she spoke with teachers at the Ashton day care center.
“I just told them, ‘Hey, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t say those kinds of things to Ashton, let him do his thing,’” Shearhod recalled.
Since the video was shared on TikTok, more than 14,000 users have posted comments, mostly supporting the father and son.
One user wrote: “As a teacher, I am so sorry. I always tell my students that there is no ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ stuff. Just things we like.»
Another user wrote: “I’m a girl and I work on cars. My brother-in-law loves the color pink. My son loves to have his nails polished. The earth is still spinning in the right direction.»
While most responses to the video have been positive, Shearhod said there have been some negative comments and inappropriate questions, including one user who asked, «So he’s gay?»
in a video In response, Shearhod 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 girly things or things outside of his typical gender norm.”
Shearhod, who is dating a transgender woman and identifies as straight, is actively sharing videos about his life on TikTok and has more than 900,000 followers. Most of his videos highlight aspects of his life, including his relationship, which he says makes him a target of hate and transphobic comments.
“I get things in my videos like, ‘You’re gay, you should kill yourself.’ Like, all that kind of stuff. I have never experienced that kind of hate,” she said.
Shearhod said that despite the negativity she sometimes receives, she wants to use her platform to advocate for LGBTQ students.
“I just want to inspire students to really want to be themselves, without filters,” she said.