A Parental Guidance column about a J. Crew catalog that featured a mom painting her 5-year-old son's toenails (April 20) spurred readers to share stories:
"I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your article about the woman painting her son's toenails pink. I am a 40-year-old man and was always curious about it. About two years ago, I put my fears aside and got my first real pedicure (with color). I really like the way it looks, and I do not regret it, but I do feel like a criminal for doing it, sometimes. I went food shopping the other night in my sandals, and it felt so liberating. Hopefully more articles like yours can help take down some of the meat-headed stereotypes that we live with. You helped to make me feel a little less bad about this aspect of my life." -- Name withheld
"Your column today brought back a childhood memory, and I had to comment. Many years ago, there was a little boy on my block we'll call Jimmy. When this happened, I was 6, and he was 4. He came out of his house sporting red polish on his fingernails. I went inside and asked, 'Mommy, Jimmy is wearing nail polish. Boys aren't supposed to wear polish, are they?' She replied, 'Oh, that's nothing. He probably saw his mother putting on polish, and he wanted to see what it felt like to wear it on his nails.' "
-- Nancy Bischoff, Queens Village