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What is wrong with pink?

(81 Posts)
strawberriesandmelon Sun 04-Mar-12 23:53:04

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?

MrGin Tue 03-Jul-12 14:05:08


It's called gender stereotyping somewheresomehow , you know men thinking they need to thump their chests, women feeling under pressure to inflate theirs. All starts at an early age.......

Anyway......My dd is three and she is in her 'pink phase'. One day she was happy to be in trousers and dresses of all colours and shade, have an interest in dinosaurs ( even had the duvet cover and loved it ! ) , the next seemingly it's all bloody princesses and pink.

All coincided with starting nursery pretty much and the odd Disney film that slipped through the net.

I just try and offer up alternates and remind her ( show her ) that there are many other colours. Also that princesses are pretty dull in their activities.

She now likes pink and purple so that's something I guess.

blackcurrants Thu 05-Jul-12 15:03:16

Two links that might be of interest:

This cartoon sums it all up for me

and this article Pink Is Not The Enemy, Sterotypes Are details how this happened in the late eighties/early nineties. I was born in early 1979 and I do NOT remember 'pink is for girls' - but it must have happened very soon after.

I think it's terribly limiting, specially when 'housework' toys like hoovers, kitchens, pushchairs etc are all pink and therefore, it is indicated, FOR GIRLS. DS has a doll pushchair which he likes to push (after all, he sees his dad pushing a buggy all the time!) but finding one that was just a 'neutral' colour was pretty hard. Even though our actual-size pushchair is green....

blackcurrants Thu 05-Jul-12 15:08:19

ooh this article really is good. It articulates a lot of what I was thinking, when reading this thread, about us all trying to 'strike a balance'

^"We don’t want to inadvertently assign significance to stereotypes. Some people WANT us to verify that certain colors are only for boys or only for girls, because then they can peddle fear of pink to parents who are afraid of having gay boys. Not that buying pink stuff for your boy in any way is going to make him turn out gay. It doesn't work like that, but a lot of anti-gay people try to convince us otherwise.

Pink is not the enemy. Limitation is. Princesses are not the enemy. Stereotypes are.

If you want to empower your daughter, there are a lot of ways to do it besides telling her not to like princesses. Tell her to question the stereotypes associated with princesses." ^

It also really nails down the point that, while you will buy a black and white football for your children to share, if you can be persuaded to buy a blue one for your son and a pink one for your daughter, then whoopeee, you've bought twice as much stuff from the football manufacturer! Evil mechandising bastards smile

I think that's why the few children's toys that are still pretty gender-neutral are the ones that NO PARENT who isn't a lottery winner would buy twice - you don't see a lot of pink trampolines or treehouses, for example. Because you expect your children to share them.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 05-Jul-12 15:16:15

DS likes pink, but always precedes pink requests with "I know it's supposed to be for girls but can I have......"

The tide may be changing though. Yesterday when shopping we saw pink Tshirts aimed at 7-14yo boys with the slogan "Strong Enough To Wear Pink".

blackcurrants Thu 05-Jul-12 15:27:38

ooh Dione where are those shirts? I WANT one!
Although DS is only two. But where are they?

Greymalken Wed 31-Oct-12 00:21:37

Indeed up until 1904 and the Sears catalog Pink was seen as a manly color and blue was considered a unisex color. The catalog contained a new summer range and within its pages they introduced the canalization that boys wore blue and girls wore pink. There isn't any real problem with the color persay the main issue is societal assumptions.

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