Sarah Michelle Gellar took full advantage of the holiday break to spend some relaxing bonding time with her family. In what seems like a feel-good family story, she took her child to get a manicure. Sounds great, right? Not according to the internet.
Trolls are piling on to Gellar for treating her 5-year-old son Rocky to a manicure. Gellar shared photos of Rocky proudly holding up his newly painted nails on her Instagram story. “We match!” she captioned one photo. But as Romper points out, the photos drew criticism and cheers from two sides of the parenting spectrum.
“He needs band-aids on the ends of his fingers, from his Dad teaching him how work on a car, fish, hunt, and farm…” wrote in one reader. “Child will be bullied for life!” added another. Thankfully, some parents came to her defense, and others were even jealous of the son’s spa day. “Yeesh even a five year old pulls off nail polish better than I do,” one reader laughed.
Plenty of people seemed to worry about what a manicure is going to do to a young boy. Fewer seemed to worry about the ramifications of mocking his manicure. “I think what [Sarah Michelle Gellar] is doing is delightful. She’s breaking gender norms,” says Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist specializing in family and relationship issues. “Of course, he’s going to be curious about what his mom is doing and he should be exposed to a variety of activities.”
Big mood: Sarah Michelle Gellar taking her 5 year old son to get his nails done to match his mother’s. pic.twitter.com/f88t7Vetgt
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) December 28, 2017
For Greenberg, the bullying reactions are more worrisome than the manicure itself. “What I’m more concerned about than her doing this is other people’s reactions. That judgment is the real problem,” she says.
Sarah Michelle Gellar isn’t the first celebrity to take her son for a manicure — or the first to get dragged online for doing it. Last year, Amber Rose brought her 3-year-old son Sebastian along to the salon for Halloween-themed nails. “We encourage our children to paint, draw and be creative, so why block them from their creativity when it comes to self expression?” she asked. Back in 2011, Jenna Lyons included a photo of herself painting her son’s toenails hot pink in a J. Crew catalog. Everyone online weighed in.
Greenberg offers her kudos to Gellar for not letting outdated gender norms influence her parenting. “I think that other people should take a lesson from Sarah Michelle Gellar here. Children should be exposed to a variety of activities, not just things that are gender appropriate. We shouldn’t send the message that certain things are exclusively for males and females,” says Greenberg. “Maybe this will be a learning opportunity for a lot of people that we don’t need to be restrictive for our children.”
The haters may have all day to post mean comments online and judge parents, but one thing they apparently don’t have? Nails as cute as Sarah Michelle and Rocky’s.
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