He talked about facing the pressure of fitting into traditional masculinity himself and how he doesn't want his son to go through the same.
Gender roles are often ingrained into children's minds from a young age. Little kids are forced to fit into the boxes of the gender binary and this ends up influencing their choices and mindsets throughout their life. Due to such stereotypes, a 6-year-old boy was bullied in school when his peers noticed his painted fingernails. These young children have already been taught that nail paint endangers their "masculinity" and anyone trying to break these rules should be ridiculed.
However, the boy's father is speaking out for his son and setting an example for all parents. Doug Weaver, from Missouri, said in a TikTok video: "Over the weekend, my son wanted his nails painted so we painted them. And on Monday, he came home from school and told us that three of the kids in his class told him that painting your nails is for girls." His son knew better and told his classmates that "nothing is just for boys and girls." Although two of the children did not agree, the third one understood what the young boy was conveying and even tried to tell others that painted nails are not only for girls. Weaver told his son to not pay heed to their comments and that "sometimes the people that are the meanest talk the most and talk the loudest."
Speaking to Good Morning America about the incident, Weaver emphasized the importance of addressing these issues on social media. He said, "I see a lot of people on TikTok talking about very similar topics and tackling the same ideas. One of the reasons that I want to post this content is because I am a [cisgender, heterosexual] man." He said that he rarely sees any "cis het" men talk about these stereotypes and that it is rather important to do so.
Weaver explained that this wasn't the first time his son had painted his nails but it was the "first time that other kids have given him a hard time about it."
"He painted his nails in kindergarten, no one cared. Everyone seemed to really like it," he said. " But this year, in first grade, it seems like more and more kids are aware of social norms and trying to enforce them. And so it's suddenly becoming more apparent to him."
Weaver stated that after he shared the video on social media, he received a variety of responses from social media users, the majority of which were positive. However, there were some who sent him angry messages that he is confusing his child and setting him up for therapy. Some even claimed that he is persuading his son to be gay as though it is something that should be prevented at all costs. He told the outlet, "My question is just how do they not see how silly it is to make all of these grand assumptions and get all upset and angry over a 6-year-old having color on his fingers? Like when you say it out loud, how does that not sound ridiculous?"
Weaver uses his TikTok account to do his part in breaking gender norms and stereotypes about masculinity created by society. He said, "This seemed like a relevant story about just how much pressure there is, as a boy or a man, to fit into some kind of mold. And it's something that we're dealing with our son." He shared that he has also faced this pressure of falling into the societal norms of masculinity and every time he refused, he was ridiculed. "Now, seeing my son getting a lot of the same pressures that I did, but in a different scenario... it's kind of hard to watch," he said.
Weaver wants this nail paint story to serve as an example for people that gender stereotypes are harmful and make absolutely no sense. He wanted everyone to know that "it's fine. If you like colors, it's fine... It doesn't mean anything more or less than just colors on your nails. And it's OK."