A California dad has won the internet over with a sweet gesture for his 3-year-old son after the little boy was shamed at school for liking nail polish.
Christian Shearhod, a popular TikTok creator who goes by the username Mr.Shearhod, says his son, Ashton, came home sad after a teacher informed him that boys shouldn’t paint their nails. “His teacher told him that painting your nails is only for girls,” Shearhod says in the clip. “So, today, I’m taking him to the nail shop.”
In the video, Shearhod and his girlfriend take the little boy to a nail shop in West Hollywood, where the preschooler proudly exclaims, “I want pink!” At the end of the video, he shows off his freshly painted fingers and toes.
“Let little boys like what they like,” Shearhod adds. “Trucks, Spider Man, Paw Patrol and maybe painting his nails.”
The father-son nail party goes viral
The dad’s video has been viewed more than 5 million times and ignited a wave of support from people online. Since it was posted on February 3, it’s gotten over 19,000 comments, many of them cheering Shearhod on for turning this into a special bonding moment with his little boy.
“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,” one person writes.
“My fourth grade class is running a ‘nail salon’ in my classroom using markers,” another person adds. “Oh, and the boys are running it! Love that you did this.”
Others encouraged Shearhod to talk to his son’s teacher about how her words impacted his child.
“This is amazing, but I’d be having a talk with his teacher too,” one person writes. “There was no need in the teacher saying this to that sweet boy.”
“As a teacher, I am so sorry,” another person adds. “I always tell my students there aren’t ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ things. Just things that we like.”
Shearhod says communicating with teachers is key
In a follow-up video, Shearhod shared the conversation he had with the teachers at his son’s school. As a teacher himself, he stressed that he doesn’t think any of his son’s educators intended harm and he doesn’t hold the incident against them.
“Before anyone tries to cancel his school, we have to remember that different cultures have different gender norms,” he explains. “His teachers love him and are really so good to him! As a teacher myself, I know his teacher probably thought she was helping him, and I highly doubt there was any malicious intent.”
Shearhod’s videos are an important reminder that even well-meaning adults can accidentally push harmful gender stereotypes or unknowingly say things that hurt a child’s feelings. Rather than going on the attack, Shearhod points out, it’s vital for parents and educators to talk about problems, work together and remember they’re on the same team.
“I understand the passion because I’ve definitely had my fair share of mad parents,” he says. “But the key really is communication. Let’s talk to teachers and work together.”