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.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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