His 5-yr-old was bullied for wearing nail polish. The internet showed up with mad support.

Aaron Gouveia is raising his three boys to reject toxic masculinity. But unfortunately, that garbage is everywhere.

Gouveia is the dad behind the website The Daddy Files, and his Twitter thread about what happened when his 5-year-old wore fingernail polish to kindergarten has gone viral.

It starts off as a sad story, but don't worry—it gets better.


Gouveia's son, Sam, is 5 years old. Dad says that Sam is what many would refer to as a "boy's boy"—rough and tumble, loud, always dirty, loves trucks and sports. etc.  

Sam also loves a lot of "girl" things. He carries purses and loves to paint his nails bright colors because he thinks they "look beautiful."

When Sam wore red nail polish to school, his kindergarten peers bullied him.

Gouveia tries not to reinforce unnecessary gender norms and says, "Sam has absolutely no concept of nail polish only being for girls or reason to think anyone would possibly have a problem with beautiful nails."

Unfortunately, that's not true for many of his classmates. When he wore nail polish to school, kids called him names and told him to take the polish off all day long.

These are 5-year-olds. Even at this young age, they are not only receiving the message that nail polish is only for girls, but also that it's acceptable to bully someone who defies that arbitrary "norm."

When Gouveia's wife picked Sam up from school, he burst into tears, devastated at how kids had responded to his nails.

Only one kid stood up for him.

When Sam called his dad at work, Gouveia reassured him that his nails were "BADASS!" and that the only thing that mattered was whether he likes them. Then Sam said something that broke his dad's heart: "Daddy, I want mommy to take off the nail polish so they don't make fun of me."

This is one of those moments as a parent that destroys you, when you feel torn between wanting your child to not face any more suffering, but also teach them to stand up for themselves and for what's right.

Gouveia was clear on how wrong this experience was for his son, and who was ultimately responsible for it: parents.

We teach our kids what's right and wrong, what's kind and cruel. And we teach them what it means when someone does something we consider "different."

But Gouveia encouraged his son to be himself and to show those kids that nail polish can be awesome on anyone.

I can feel the Papa Bear—and the aware male in a toxic society—in Gouveia's tweets. How refreshing to see a man dad of three sons take on the "restrictive bullshit that's been choking boys forever" and teaching them a different way.

Gorveia pointed out that lots of guys wear nail polish, even some of Sam's heroes like Thor and Capt. Jack Sparrow. But he told him that, more importantly, it didn't matter what anyone else does.

Sam decided to keep wearing his nail polish, and the better side of Twitter rallied right behind him.

The best part of this story is people's responses to it. No 5-year-old should be bullied for any reason, but the fact that a boy is bullied for something seen as feminine is a problem in and of itself.

Thankfully, the internet showed Sam that he was not alone.

First, Sam's dad and brother showed their support by painting their own nails.

Then the supportive tweets started rolling in. The best one may have been from NFL player Martellus Bennett:

Nail polish brand OPI offered to send Sam some nail polish so he could show off his unique style:

And someone created an initiative to get all of Sam's town of Franklin, Massachusetts to paint their nails on Friday in solidarity with Sam.

Awe.Some.

Kudos to this dad for helping his sons reject outdated notions of masculinity and kudos to the good people of Twitter for restoring our faith in humanity.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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