A mom penned a powerful defense of her son after he got teased for wearing nail polish
As parents, we strive to make our kids feel accepted and loved, no matter what. But unfortunately, the world doesn’t always treat them the same way. One Pennsylvania mom recently found out her son was being teased at school for wearing nail polish and liking stereotypically “girly” things, so she penned a must-read post asking the world to please support parents in allowing their kids to be who they are.
“My six year old son likes to wear nail polish. He likes to wear girls’ clothes and tutus. He tells me about the boys he likes at school,” mom Devon Berryann wrote in her now-viral Facebook post. “Maybe he will outgrow it. Maybe not. I love and accept him for who he is. I always thought that doing that would protect him from the pain of hurtful words and bullies, and I didn’t worry.”
That’s why Berryann said she was shocked and heartbroken when she found out her son was being teased for wearing nail polish at school. “For the first time ever I considered talking him into taking it off. Into hiding that part of himself,” she said. “Because for the first time ever I was scared that he would be gunned down one night when he was out having a good time with his friends.”
In that moment, Berryann said, she was “terrified” for her son, and thought maybe she should “stop appeasing” his wishes. Wrote the mom, “Then I remembered all the reasons I let him be who he wants. Because it makes him happy. Because nothing hurts more than seeing your child truly sad. Because pretending to be someone you’re not to please other people only leads to self-loathing. To depression and to suicide. And that too made me afraid.”
Ultimately, said Berryann, she realized it’s not her son who needs to change; it’s the world. “Why do I have to fear for him because of what he likes and who he cares about? Aren’t we past all this yet? I want this world to change. To be better for him. To DESERVE him. Because he is a wonderful, amazing person.” she said. “As scared as I am, I know that this world is not going to change with more fear.”
So she bought her son more nail polish, and let him wear an adorable tutu to match, and she posted his picture on Facebook with her inspiring message of acceptance and love. Since it went up, it’s been shared more than 9,000 times and received hundreds of supportive, loving comments — so many that she shared a second post with her a son holding a “thank you” sign to show gratitude for everyone’s unconditional support.
It’s not always easy to be a supportive parent, and when your kids are being teased and bullied, you’ll do just about anything to make it stop. Berryann chose the right path, though. Instead of teaching her son to hide his true self, she stood up for him, and she ended up showing him that thousands of people support his right to express himself however he wishes. She proved to him that there’s more love out there than hate, and it’s supportive parents like her that will actually help the world become a better, more accepting place.