Corsica part 6. LEs cultural differences or maybe just personal preferenses

One day when we had lunch this monsieur le waiter was joking around with Beppe alot. After we had eaten he suddenly realized that Beppe was wearing nail polish in different shades. He was suddenly shocked and started to argue with us, not really in a happy banter kind of way but more in a how can you do this to the child. He is a BOY. I started in my very best french to tell him about freedom of mind, happiness with colors and what the hell is the problem if the boy is wearing nail polish if he feels like it?
This made me think about the J crew ad that stirred up some issues a couple of years back when a boy had pink nails. Now when reading more things online about it I must say it’s a shocker how it can be shocking with a boy wearing nail polish? It’s like I heard another mom say. I’m not afraid he will grow up becoming a ninja so why should I be concerned if he wants to dress as a princess? And even if he will go for becoming a princess well- Good for him!

I do love the differences but naturally sometimes it also amazes me. In Sweden we have had restrictions about smoking for years now. And almost none of the people I know smokes or maybe a bit of party smoking. When I grew up everyone smoked and  there was chocolate cigarettes and all that stuff but in Sweden right now I would say it’s taboo with these kind of candy right now. I never smoked and think is a stupid idea but still I had to buy these gums. And what did the kids do? They went around the pool asking if anybody wanted some, having the time of their lives and I won the best parent of the year award.

more from Corsica right here.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

I huvudet på Elvaelva
June 15, 2013 at 05:54

Du är bäst – på många sätt och vis. Heja!

June 15, 2013 at 09:37

I am french and i will try to write in english for you (not easy!). I understand how shocked you are with this crazy monsieur. You know, french people are not so open-minded like you in Sweden, i am sorry about that. I am always happy when i hear or read that in Sweden/ Norway / Finland (it’s all the same for us ;) ) , people are very tolerant and it is not ” pink for the girls, blue for the boys “. I hope that it will be like that one day in France .. Enjoy the holidays ! :)

June 15, 2013 at 14:57

Nina is right. There are intolerant people here in France with very fixed ideas about how things ought to be and how people ought to act. It’s complicated to explain, but very early on, you have this ‘mould’ to fit into, to a certain extent. (The ‘mould’ gets to be a real problem when your kids start school! Believe me.) Some French people, like your close-minded waiter, are very attached to this ‘mould’.

So, keep wearing nailpolish, Beppe, and if you want to wear mascara, go for it!


June 15, 2013 at 17:14

My four year-old boy is wearing nail polish as we speak. He just picked out his colors – green, orange and aqua AND he’s very proud.

But the other week, he wore blue nail polish to the grocery store with his grandmother. The cashier made a foolish remark about his nails and my son immediately asked his grandmother to remove the polish once they got home. Unfortunately the grandmother didn’t say anything to the cashier – if it had been me it would have been a different story.

We have heard negative remarks from seemingly liberal friends AND strangers about our decision to let our son express himself in such a harmless colorful way. I don’t know why people feel the need to comment, especially IN FRONT of the child. It’s so rude and mean-spirited.

I should have mentioned from the start – we live in the United States, specifically the somewhat southern state of VA.

June 15, 2013 at 17:55

My sister painted my nephews toes recently, he’s 4. When I first saw it, it made me uncomfortable but then I realized that was because it was a really bad shade of red!!!!!

There are several boys in his preschool that are painting their nails. They think it’s super fun and I love that their parents a allowing them to be free and creative.

Jenny Brandt
June 15, 2013 at 20:53

I enjoy reading this conversation!!!
Love it when you readers get involved and share your views.

isabelle McAllister
June 15, 2013 at 21:12

Oh Yes, so nice to hear from you all!

First Tania and Nina, I don’t know if it’s because of France. Sweden is supposed to be pretty liberal and maybe we are a bit more liberal but I still think many of even my friends wouldn’t let their boys paint their nails. I think the world still has some way to go.
It’s so interesting what Cassie says about being mean spirited – telling/saying something infront of the kids. I go nuts hearing about it. I really try to think about that I lot and it’s tricky. We’re do I need to decide things for them because I’m grownup, know better and when does that feeling of wanting to raise them proper just simply crash their spirit?
and Erika I know about red. It’s a damn tricky color!

Elvaelva puss på dig!