What is wrong with pink?(81 Posts)
Of course, I know what is wrong with pink-itis... but how do I explain it to my 4 year old? Needless to say, all girls in her nursery wear almost exclusively pink and all toys in the girls section are pink. I don't want to be authoritarian and just ban the pink, so I thought it would be a good idea to explain to her, in a way she could understand, what is wrong with it. Any suggestions?
it's not the pink itself, it's 1. the lack of choice and 2. the fact that they are led to believe that only girls can wear it and if something is pink it means it's for girls.
Grown-up explanation at PinkStinks, here
Nothing wrong with pink, and I wouldn't ban it. Pink is just the gateway to all that stuff that IS a problem - closing down girls' sense of the world of interest and opportunities and possibilities out there, and getting them to think that their natural path is populated only by princesses and fairies and Katy Price and low pay...
My eldest was into pink, and my youngest is currently pink crazy. They have plenty of pink stuff, but I make sure they get other stuff too. They have a trainset and a garage and toy cars and Bob The Builder, alongside their dolls house and fluffy kittens and so on. I (gently and age-appropriately) challenge stuff they come out with like, "Girls can't do that, it's a boy thing" or "You can only be a princess with yellow hair".
Mine have two mothers, both of whom have long hair and both of whom like pink (and lots of other colours too). But they also see us working for a living, changing plugs and painting walls, talking about fashion but also talking about books and politics. Even so, I'm aware they get so many messages about what girls 'should' be like, and pink is like the big organising symbol of that. So while I don't see anythying wrong with pink per se, I am aware that everytime something else pink and sparkly comes into our house it is saying something to my daughters, and making it all the more important that I give them a balancing, rounded message in order to help them find their own way in the world.
Same here - There's nothing wrong with pink itself, but the way that toys are colour coded does present a problem. i.e. If you tell girls that pink is a girl colour and they look and see that the toy household items are all pink, while the garage and robots are all blue, its reinforcing gender stereotypes and its annoying.
DD has a toy kitchen, pram and dolls, but also has a garage and toolbench. DS has a mixture of toys including a toy hoover which he loves. I'd prefer it if toys were not blue or pink so children weren't steered to one or the other.
Nothing wrong with pink, but an awful lot wrong with stereotyping things for girls or boys.
Also try having an older DDs who wants things purple and tourquise to go with their rooms. You can't even compromise on blue because its liable to have a football painted on it.
It's more than lazy design, it quietly removes and insidiously removes choice. A boy might love pushing his teddy round in a bright red buggy or feeding it plastic fruit, but if buggys are only frilly and pink and the only toy food is flowery cup cakes all but the very smallest boys are conditioned to flee.
Likewise girls will gravitate to the pink tea set and the obviously female dolls if only because its easier than fighting the boys to play with the duplo.
Pink is just a signifier- by banning it, you are reinforcing and perpetuating the gender divide it signifies.
It is what pink has come to signify which must be challenged- I think this is best done by encouraging boys to wear it, not banning girls from doing so. Banning something that is used as shorthand for female in our society can inadvertently communicate the message to girls that 'girly = weak, bad, to be avoided', and that 'male' pursuits are somehow more valuable, when the opposite is true.
Sorry strawberries, just realised I didn't really help with your question. I wouldn't make her think that there's anything wrong with pink, just keep alive the possibilities of other colours IYSWIM. dd1 used to ask me frequently why pink wasn't my favourite colour, and I'd just say, "I love pink, but I love green more". (Her favourite colours are now blue and yellow.) I'd talk about all the pretty colours of the rainbow. I'd just give her action-oriented toys without making a big deal of it. I'd make cupcakes with her but I'd make volcanoes too. I'd take her to the Science Museum and other non-pink places. Just keeping offering the opportunities, without making her feel forced in any direction.
And when she got older, I started saying things like, "I don't think it's fair that Louis got laughed at for wanting to wear a princess dress. Why shouldn't boys dress like princesses? Why shouldn't girls dress like pirates?" and just have a conversation with her about it. If she didn't agree with me I wouldn't make a big deal of it, just say, "Oh, well I think it's best if everyone can do what they want to do" and leave it at that.
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