Dad speaks out on TikTok after son is criticized for wearing nail polish – GMA

A Missouri dad’s recent TikTok post has gone viral after he opened up about what his 6-year-old son told him after classmates noticed the boy had painted his fingernails.
“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,” Doug Weaver said in an Oct. 26 video post that has since been viewed over 978,000 times.
“He told those kids that nothing is just for boys or just for girls. So I asked him, ‘Well, what did they think of that?’ He said that two of them didn’t believe him, but one of them did believe him and he started telling one of the other ones that he also thinks that it’s OK for boys to paint their nails,” Weaver continued.
Weaver went on to share how he told his son “that sometimes the people that are the meanest talk the most and talk the loudest.”
The 34-year-old father and art teacher told “Good Morning America” in a phone interview that he felt strongly about speaking out about the encounter on social media.
“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,” Weaver said. “You don’t hear these things talked about by cis het men nearly as much. It’s a lot harder to find … I think because it’s easy not to [talk about it].”
Weaver, who describes his son Finley as “super creative,” noted that this wasn’t the first time his first-grader had painted or wanted to paint his fingernails.
“We’ve had conversations about it before. It’s the first time that other kids have given him a hard time about it,” Weaver said. “He painted his nails in kindergarten, no one cared. Everyone seemed to really like it. 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 said after he posted the video on social media, he received various reactions with many of them supportive. But others sent him angry messages, accusing Weaver of confusing his child and setting him up to “be in therapy when he’s older” or saying his child could be gay, insinuating it as a negative character attribute.
“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 countered.
Weaver, who has over 247,000 followers on TikTok, said that with his TikTok videos specifically, he hopes to dismantle gender norms and societal ideas of “what is considered masculine by many people.”
“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 added. “I know how much pressure I had when I was young to try to fit some kind of masculine image and it wasn’t pressure from my family. It was just the pressure that’s there — and 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.”
Weaver hopes that his nail polish video will help others see it doesn’t have to be a black-and-white picture.
“I know there are people who have never heard anyone say that it’s fine and have never heard anyone say that, ‘No, this isn’t harmful. It’s just paint,'” Weaver said. “Those are the people that I would like to just be able to say, ‘No, 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.”
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