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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?

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.

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?

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 15:08:19

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.

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....

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.

somewheresomehow Fri 22-Jun-12 21:45:52

grow up its a feckin colour
if you want to be a pain whats the 'problem' with putting boys in blue

Honeydragon Tue 20-Mar-12 23:50:49

I love the fact that due to the good behaviour of genuine posters the deletions make no difference to reading the thread grin, if still flows perfectly.

dollymixtures Tue 20-Mar-12 16:51:13

What about the sterling work on the other thread about all the nasty female abusers? Where did that go btw, I wanted to tell everyone about the amaaaaazing chocolate cheesecake that I had at lunchtime?

SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 14:38:22

Oooh where were they all from then? Do MNHQ know?

Ponders Tue 20-Mar-12 14:30:10

blimey, this is a contentious thread shock

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Mar-12 14:26:16


Can I just say how very much I admire the esteemed MNers on this thread?

For reasons that I hope will be obvious wink


MrsArchieTheInventor Tue 20-Mar-12 11:17:11

Really chaps?! Haven't you got more pressing matters to attend to? Like making premature travel arrangments for the semi-final?! confused

You have been ratted, naughty boys! Now go away and play nicely! grin

ElephantsAreMadeOfElements Mon 19-Mar-12 17:18:02

You didn't, FloweryRune, but that doesn't mean that no one did. Pregnant women are asked "pink or blue"? People buy pink or blue clothing as gifts for a newborn baby. Babies who aren't wearing pink are assumed to be boys. Boy babies are never dressed in pink. If a product's packaging shows girls playing with or using something, nine times out of ten it will be pink. Children very very quckly pick up the "pink is for girls, and girls like pink" message without their parents ever having to sit down and teach it to them. Because that pressure wasn't around (or not to nearly the same degree) when we were children, it's easy to miss it and assume that our daughters "just arrive at" a favourite colour the same way that we did, and that it's just some bizarre statistical blip that so many of them come up with pink, rather than a carefully planned marketing message.

FloweryRuna Mon 19-Mar-12 17:04:18

I never taught my dd to like pink (tbh pink wasn't ever my favourite colour, I liked orange and yellow as a kid). Still my dd was drawn so much to the colour pink since the beginning and wants something pink, even cats that are pink! She can only have pink cuddly toy animals.

It must be the candy shade? I have this condition (not sure if DD has it too) that I can add colours with a flavour.

AmazingBouncingFerret Mon 19-Mar-12 17:04:07

Ahh I see we are in agreement then tethers I have no issue with the colour pink either and hate that it has been made "for girls only" I was just offering a suggestion to the OP on how to calm down the pink addiction.

ElephantsAreMadeOfElements Mon 19-Mar-12 17:00:39

Who made them want to buy the pink sparkly things, though, Jiro? It's not hard-wired into the female psyche. The "everything pink and sparkly" cultural expectation is a very recent one (I'd guess around 25 years or so). It's a view that has been insidiously forced on children, and I entirely agree with you that that's wrong. Exploring with your children that the views that have been forced on them by other people might not be entirely justified, however, seems quite reasonable.

tethersend Mon 19-Mar-12 17:00:19

"Her DD is nursery age she doesnt want nor would she benefit from a full explaination of why her mother doesnt like the connections made with the colour pink."

This I agree with wholeheartedly- but I think her mother is wrong; rather than looking for ways to appropriately dissuade her DD from choosing pink, I think we should let her choose it and work on changing what it signifies IYSWIM.

JiroGym Mon 19-Mar-12 16:48:51

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

AmazingBouncingFerret Mon 19-Mar-12 16:47:40

Or fuschia maybe? grin

rubmeup Mon 19-Mar-12 16:46:37

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

AmazingBouncingFerret Mon 19-Mar-12 16:45:17

I'm not saying to make it like a villain. But when her DD says "ooh can I have it in pink please mummy?" just say "I think the other colour is much nicer than the pink one"

Her DD is nursery age she doesnt want nor would she benefit from a full explaination of why her mother doesnt like the connections made with the colour pink.
If the OP feels so strongly about her DD wearing so much pink or yammering on for the pink versions of toys then the best way to do it is paint the idea of a different colour being nicer.

rubmeup Mon 19-Mar-12 16:42:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

outofthelight Mon 19-Mar-12 16:39:10

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

tethersend Mon 19-Mar-12 16:38:37

But you can't make a colour the villain of the piece, ABF- that makes no sense. There is nothing inherently wrong with pink, and I think it weakens the argument to suggest that there is.

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