A dad has received the support of the Internet after sharing his anger about his son being bullied for wearing nail varnish.
Aaron Gouveia, who charts his life as a dad of three under the Twitter name, Daddy Files, took to Twitter to explain that his five-year-old son, Sam had come home from school in tears.
In a heartfelt Twitter thread the dad penned a lengthy response to the bullies who had broken his little boy’s heart.
He began his post by saying how Sam had learned how “sh***y and harmful #ToxicMasculinity is.”
“My rage meter is spiking right now so excuse me if this is a little raw but there are some things I want to say about BS #gender norms,” he wrote.
He went on to explain that Sam, who has ADHD, is a “boy’s boy”, who enjoys trucks, sports and rough and tumble.
But his son also likes “girl things.”
“Sam has a collection of purses because he likes to carry things around. And he also loves to have his nails painted bright colours because he thinks they “look beautiful.” And he’s right – they are beautiful…” he wrote.
Aaron went on to say that Sam had “proudly worn his re nail polish to kindergarten this morning because he has absolutely no concept of nail polish only being for girls or reason to think anyone would possibly have a problem with beautiful nails.”
But it seems his classmates ridiculed Sam for his bright nails, calling him names.
By the time his mum came to pick him up at home time he was in tears, and when he called Aaron at work his father said little Sam’s words were “barely decipherable through the sobs.”
Despite his dad reassuring him that his nails were “Badass”, Sam said he wanted to take off the polish so the other kids would stop making fun of him, which made Aaron upset and angry.
“I know these kids are only in kindergarten but this toxic masculinity bullshit is LEARNED. Learned most of the time from parents. So parents, I hope you’re proud. I hope this is what you wanted. I hope you’re satisfied…” he continued his thread.
“My wife and I spent five years successfully preaching tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of expression and your kids unravelled that in one school day,” he added.
“He now feels the shame you desperately want to associate with being different.”
Still addressing the bullies’ parents he continued: “But I want you to know I talked to Sam and I told him those other kids are just jealous of his nails.
“I told him to wear an even brighter shade tomorrow.
“And I told him to ask these kids why they’re so upset and see what they say.”
Despite telling Sam that he could remove his nail varnish if he wanted to, the five-year-old chose to keep it on.
He went on to reveal that his elder son, 10, painted his nails in solidarity, at which point Aaron admitted he “nearly cried”.
Aaron got his nails done too and concluded his post sharing a picture of his painted nails giving the middle finger to the bullies.
“Be brave and shine bright, my beautiful polished boy,” he wrote. “Know that mom and dad always have your back and if the rest of the world has a problem with your nails, they can check out my nail polish!”
Unsurprisingly Aaron’s message received plenty of support from others praising the dad for his empowering message of acceptance and offering words of encouragement to Sam.
Many others shared their own examples of boys and men painting their nails
Speaking about the response to the post, Aaron told Metro that Sam was “overjoyed.”
“I showed him some of the responses before I left for work this morning and he was over the moon seeing all these pictures of men wearing nail polish and sending him support,” he said.
“He was amazed so many people loved his nails and it gave him the confidence to wear his bright red nails to school again this morning.”
Keep rocking that nail varnish Sam!
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