Jillian Michaels Let Her 4-Year-Old Son Get His Ears Pierced Because She Rocks

by Jerriann Sullivan
Originally Published: 
Jillian Michaels
Image via Jason Kempin/Getty Images.

Jillian Michaels: I wasn’t about to say ‘that’s for girls’

Jillian Michaels doesn’t see a need for outdated, unnecessary gender norms and neither do we. The personal trainer and TV personality let her 4-year-old son Phoenix get his ears pierced because why not?

She posted the photo below with a caption that read, “The little man works on his selfie skills. And yes, he got his ears pierced. His sister got hers pierced and he wanted his done. I wasn’t about to say ‘that’s for girls.'” Bravo, Michaels! There’s no reason to deny our kids something they’ll enjoy simply because society used to think certain things only belonged to one gender. At one point it was a big deal for women to wear pants. Now we laugh at how ridiculous that was while slipping into our favorite leggings. If we don’t care that our daughters get their ears pierced why should we care if our sons want to?

Plus, it isn’t like a man with an earring is a groundbreaking thing to see in 2016. It probably would’ve been confusing for little Phoenix to be told “no, earrings are just for girls,” then see grown men with them. How would Michaels have explained her decision then? It’s much easier and better for the child if we just let them be who they want to be. Don’t just take my word for it – plenty of studies show pushing gender norms on our kids is a bad idea.

For example – gender-specific toys. “Play with masculine toys is associated with large motor development and spatial skills and play with feminine toys is associated with fine motor development, language development and social skills,” Megan Fulcher, associate professor of psychology at Washington and Lee University told The New York Times. “Children may then extend this perspective from toys and clothes into future roles, occupations, and characteristics.” In other words, if we only let the boys play with the fire trucks then our girls will think they can’t be firefighters.

In a different study, Fulcher tackled the roles kids’ rooms play. Her team found that kids living in rooms with traditional gender norm decorations had more stereotypical attitudes towards boys and girls. We can probably all agree we’re trying our best to raise our children to be open-minded. So we probably shouldn’t hurt their chances by dividing everything up based on genders.

Michaels made the right decision to let Phoenix embrace his new found love for bling. And the internet was quick to agree with her. Several parents shared their own stories too. “Both my sons have their ears pierced. They wear earrings more often than I do,” one mom wrote. “I wonder who came up with ear piercings are only for girls? No one says watches, rings and necklaces are only for girls.”

And we loved how this kid reacts to people’s questioning; his mom shared, “My son has hair down to his butt. When people tell him that only girls have long hair, he says ‘girls and cool boys!’ He’s 4.” This kid – and Michaels get it – being cool is all about being true to yourself. There’s no good reason to deny ourselves or our kids harmless fun.

The earrings look great, and he has some pretty awesome ninja skills, too. Good job, mom.

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