Teachers are often undervalued and deserve a lot more credit for helping to uplift children. Many people know firsthand how impactful a teacher's encouragement can be. Unfortunately, it goes the other way as well. There are some cases when a teacher's careless words can hurt and debilitate a child. One loving father took it upon himself to undo the hurtful words of his son's teacher. “Yesterday, my son came home from school really upset because his teacher told him that painting your nails is only for girls,” Christian Shearhod, who happens to be an educator himself, shared on TikTok. In the video, the doting dad audibly sighs and rolls his eyes with disappointment, before smiling wide and cheerfully exclaiming, “So today I’m taking him to the nail shop!”
In the next clip, Shearhod’s 3-year-old son Ashton dejectedly recalls the encounter with his teacher. After that, Shearhod and his girlfriend, Eden, gleefully take the toddler to a nail salon. The child's elation is obvious as he giggles while he waits to get his nails done. The sweet boy selects a hot pink color—the same as Eden—and happily shows it off towards the end of the video. The TikTok closes with text on the screen that reads: “Let little boys like what they like… Trucks, Spider-Man, Paw Patrol, [and] maybe painting his nails.”
Shearhod shares that Ashton has liked nail polish since he was two. “Since then, we started painting our nails together,” Shearhod says. “I really just wanted to make sure that he didn’t have guilt or shame, because it is something that he enjoyed, and we had done together multiple times.” He explains, “I just believe in fostering his interests to the fullest, because life is meant to be explored and enjoyed (and as you saw, painting his nails made him really happy).”
The video has over 5 million views and has received an outpouring of support. Many commend Shearhod on how he’s raising Ashton and share how this video inspired them. One commenter, who related deeply to the whole experience, wrote, “Thank you for this. I do the same with my son.” Another person was so moved that he decided to try it himself, saying, “You and your son inspired me to get my nails painted for the first time in 59 years. Thank you!!” Others took the time to speak on how antiquated and irrelevant the social pressures of gender are. Similarly, there were many comments that criticized the teacher that made the upsetting comment to Ashton in the first place. One viewer wrote, “As a teacher, I am so sorry. I always tell my students there aren’t ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ things. Just things that we like.”
Shearhod later shared a video of him speaking with a different teacher who works at the school about the interaction with Ashton. The caption reads: “So before anyone tries to cancel his school; we have to remember that different cultures have different gender norms.” He goes on to say, “[and] his teachers love him and are really so good to him! As a teacher myself I know his teacher probably thought she was helping him and I highly doubt there was any malicious intent.”
While many comment in support of Ashton and his father, some have been negative and inappropriate. One such comment asks, “So is he gay?” Shearhod’s video response aptly starts, “He is literally three years old.” He continues, “He can’t be gay, because he doesn’t have a sexuality yet, and you’re not going to assign him a sexuality because he likes feminine things or things outside of his typical gender norm.”
Sadly, Shearhod’s no stranger to hateful, inappropriate comments. His TikTok shares aspects of his life, including his relationship, and as a straight man dating a transgender woman, Shearhod has been the target of homophobic and transphobic comments. “I get stuff on my videos like, ‘You’re gay, you should go kill yourself.’ Like, all that kind of stuff. I’ve never experienced that kind of hate,” he said. Despite the negativity, he continues to use his platform to educate people and dispel anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments. He says he wants to advocate for students of all identities: “I just want to inspire students to really want to be themselves, unfiltered.”
In a video response to another comment criticizing Ashton’s teacher, Shearhod says, “Let’s not cancel and crucify people so quickly, especially on things they don’t know. Like my son’s teacher did not know what me and my family’s opinions on gender norms are. That’s okay, she’s not a psychic. I went and I told her. We got on the same page, now the chapter’s closed. Everything’s good. And at the end of the day, it’s just nail polish, okay?”
In a recent video, TikToker and teacher Christian Shearhod shares, “Yesterday, my son came home from school really upset because his teacher told him that painting your nails is only for girls, so today I’m taking him to the nail shop!”
The sweet video has garnered millions of views and has received an outpouring of support for Shearhod and his 3-year-old son, Ashton.
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Shearhod shares that Ashton has enjoyed nail polish since he was two. “Since then, we started painting our nails together,” Shearhod says.
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Many criticized the teacher for their comments towards Ashton's nails, to which Shearhod responds, “So before anyone tries to cancel his school; we have to remember that different cultures have different gender norms.” He goes on to say, “I highly doubt there was any malicious intent.”
@mr.shearhod Replying to @elainamae ♬ original sound – Christian Shearhod
@mr.shearhod Replying to @the_jimmyyohe I understand the passion, cuz I’ve definitely had my fair share of mad parents… But the key really is communication. Let’s talk to teachers, and work together ❤️ #teachersoftiktok ♬ original sound – Christian Shearhod
While many comment in support of Ashton and Shearhod, others have been negative and inappropriate. One such comment asks, “So is he gay?”
@mr.shearhod Replying to @nachomanzz_ ♬ original sound – Christian Shearhod
No matter the hateful, homophobic comments Shearhod gets, Ashton will continue to enjoy getting his nails done, liking the color pink, and bonding with his dad.
@mr.shearhod Replying to @mikek755 Umm he is a boy (and he'll tell you himself). He just likes the color pink and painting his nails? I don't think it should be read into too much, especially because he is really young. I just believe in fostering his interests to the fullest, because life is meant to be explored and enjoyed (and as you saw, painting his nails made him really happy). #Inverted ♬ original sound – Christian Shearhod
@mr.shearhodHappy Valentines Day ❤️♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show