Dad praised after painting his nails in solidarity with his bullied five-year-old son
The dad who painted his nails to support his bullied five-year-old son has received a tsunami of support from other fathers and sons who wear nail polish.
In a viral Twitter thread on Monday (October 22), Massachusetts father-of-three Aaron Gouveia described how his son Sam — who paints his nails so they “look beautiful” — had been taunted by other students, including his friends.
Sam was convinced to keep his polish on after his dad and 10-year-old brother both painted their nails in support — and told him that Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, Captain Jack Sparrow and New England Patriots footballer Rob Gronkowski did it too.
And well-wishers, companies and activists rushed to voice their approval of Sam and his dad’s decision to let him express himself in every way he wanted, proving Gouveia was right when he tweeted that “the Sams of the world aren’t going to suffer this bulls**t anymore.”
Fans included former Patriots tight end and Super Bowl winner Martellus Bennett, who replied to the thread by proudly writing: “I rock pink nails all the time.
“And one of my favourite activities with my daughter is when we do each other’s nails.”
One person has organised a campaign for people who live in Franklin, Massachusetts, to paint their nails on Friday (October 26) to stand against bullying.
“Some beautiful, wonderful person made this and apparently everyone is going to paint their nails in Sam’s town on Friday,” wrote Gouveia in response. “I’m…I’m floored. You are all unbelievable!!!!”
One tweeter sent a video of his son, called Danny, sending his support to Sam and his dad and telling them it would be “boring” if everyone was the same, and would make the world “black and white.”
OPI, a nail polish company, wrote: “Hi Sam & Dad! We would love to send you some nail polish so that Sam can continue to show them off no matter what the other kids say. Please send us a DM with your address!”
Another company called Pardot posted pictures of their staff with painted nails and told Sam: “Your authenticity inspires us. Keep sharing your light with the world!”
And many others sent pictures of them and their kids wearing nail polish with messages of encouragement.
One tweeted: “Hi Sam! This is Tristan. He is six now, but still loves to wear bright colours!
“Please never be afraid to be your amazingly beautiful self just because other people are jealous of how happy you are.”
Another sent pictures of her “cowboy husband’s pedicure when he had his bright pink toenails done,” adding that he had it done “to show his daughters that you can be tough and you can be gentle and both are okay.”
One mother wrote about her child having a similar experience, saying: “My six-year-old son likes nail polish and rainbows and sparkly colours too. Yesterday he wore a pink unicorn shirt to school.
“When he came home he sadly said to me, “It’s OK for girls to like boy things but boys can’t like girl things.” Cheers to our colourful boys.”
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The response was so positive that it led Gouveia, a director at a Boston PR firm, to update his followers on Tuesday, reassuring them that “Sam had a great, incident-free day at school.”
He added that “the school’s response and the community’s outreach has been really heartening. We bought a house here last year to raise our family and haven’t regretted it since. Thanks, everyone.”
And there was more good news, because not only did Sam continue wearing nail polish, but he also got a new shade of red — and it includes glitter.
PinkNews has contacted Gouveia for a response, and the New England Patriots for comment from the club and Gronkowski.