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So, girls being 'pink' was popularised by Hitler

(38 Posts)
lowrib Thu 20-Aug-09 22:49:46

Always knew pink for girls was evil!

Seeing as it's lazy journalism week, I'll simply cut and paste

"The BBC has an interesting story on the impact the color pink can have on a girl ...
According to the story, in the early 1900s, pink was the preferred color for boys while girls were adorned with blue, which was considered the paler, more delicate shade on the color spectrum. Go shopping for kids clothes today, as you probably well know, and you'll hit rack after rack of princessy pink crap for the girls and rack after rack of cool grays and blues for the boys.

But I digress.
Hitler. I was just getting there. So where does he come in?
Apparently he's to blame for the role reversal of colors and gender. According to the story, when he shipped gays and lesbians off to concentration camps, he ordered the ones who could be "cured" to have a pink triangle attached to them. And soon the color became one and the same with femininity."


"I'm a 19th-c. historian. This is all true, although by far the most common color for babies and small children in both England and the U.S. was white--undoubtedly because it was easy to wash and bleach. The link between blue and femininity persisted even into the 1950s: the "girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes" and the blue dresses of Disney's Cinderella and Snow White!"

(ref this page)

and from the BBC site

"What prompted the switch is unclear, but it had been made by the time Adolf Hitler ordered the classification of homosexuals. Those deemed "curable" were sent to concentration camps and labelled with a pink triangle. This suggests that by then, pink was associated with femininity.
But some commentators now believe pink dominates the upbringing of little girls, and this may be damaging.

Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, says the "total obsession" with pink stunts girls' personalities."

rasputin Fri 21-Aug-09 00:52:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SOLOisMeredithGrey Fri 21-Aug-09 00:57:29

My 2.7yo Dd chose for herself pink as her favourite just is!

RHWill Thu 19-Nov-09 13:59:22

This is fascinating...
I went took my twins 2yo to a little dance class on Saturday and everyone else was wearing top to toe pink ballet - and the ballet teachers were Miss Ellie and Miss beatrice. it soemhow made me recoil - but is that enough reason to not take them? it was quite sweet, but so ... indoctrinating really

colditz Thu 19-Nov-09 14:01:02

That is fascinating - thanks for posting that!

MaggiePie Thu 19-Nov-09 14:03:41

interesting. I always tried to pour a bit of cold water on my dd's love of pink. But it was quite innate I felt.

She's better now. Moved through it. I don't think it's stunted her personality though!?

Sakura Thu 19-Nov-09 14:16:30

Very interesting. I'm going to read more about that.
My daughter is three and has just started a pink obsession sad. I don't think its innate at all.
She doesn't actually own many pink clothes though, and she doesn't mind that. Brown looks gorgeous on her, blue in the jeans she wears every day, grey, white, even black, and the odd bits of pink. But yes, she's started asking for pink just recently. I will keep an eye on it.

OrmIrian Thu 19-Nov-09 14:21:40

Ha! Knew there was a good reason for my prejudice against pink for girls. Vindicated! grin

edam Thu 19-Nov-09 14:30:01

oh, I knew it used to be the other way round but had no idea the reversal had anything to do with Adolf. Golly.

Even more sucks to those stupid 'researchers' who last year produced a 'study' proving pink for girls was somehow innate and down to prehistoric women gathering berries, then!

MaggiePie Thu 19-Nov-09 15:50:47

if it's not innate where does it come from then? I actively tried to steer my dd away from pink towards other colours, to no avail.

dittany Thu 19-Nov-09 15:56:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilfSell Thu 19-Nov-09 15:56:38

The idea that it is innate is utter nonsense. I read some study in New Scientist last year claiming that women were predisposed to red tones because they were 'gatherers' of berries etc.

Yeah. Right. Cos that makes sense. Hunters being surrounded by, um, red blood and all. And berries being, um, red and purple and blueish and black and orange. And none of them being, um, pink.

Given most animals worth eating are brown, you'd think that'd have an effect no?


dittany Thu 19-Nov-09 15:58:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaggiePie Thu 19-Nov-09 15:59:04

I never said that. I thought orange and brown was lovely on my dd.

I used to think it wasn't innate. NOw I think there is an element of innateness. I don't know about the rest of you, but I know I never pushed pink. Far from it.

dittany Thu 19-Nov-09 16:00:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaggiePie Thu 19-Nov-09 16:01:16

men do turn their noses up at grated carrot with broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes with black olives and so on... all the foods I like.

edam Thu 19-Nov-09 16:02:00

No but society does and your dd will receive those messages from TV/shops/nursery/toys/other people.

It is definitely not innate because in Edwardian times blue was for girls, pink for girls.

dittany Thu 19-Nov-09 16:02:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilfSell Thu 19-Nov-09 16:04:26

You're a sample of 1, Maggie: I'm afraid it isn't enough to generalise about the whole of humanity grin

Look, all you need to do is look at colour preference in other societies to find it is bollocks.

And every single card your baby will have been given at birth will have been colour coded and it carries on from there.

MaggiePie Thu 19-Nov-09 16:05:15

I just mean generally...

You ask a hundred men, steak and chips or a nice feta cheese salad with hazlenuts, cherry tomatoes etc,,,, I'd have 80 steak and chips ready....

not that that proves the new scientist article has basis. Just saying, I think women rate salady food such as berries more highly.

WilfSell Thu 19-Nov-09 16:08:04

No, you're missing the point. The research was trying not to make a point about food preferences, but colour preferences.

In other words, the reason why women supposedly prefer pink was because they were supposedly evolutionarily predisposed to see and prefer red things, because, the nutty evolutionary biologists claimed, they were the ones doing the gathering, as opposed to the hunting.

It is VERY implausible for the reasons I mentioned. And of course gives no explanation for why men are supposed to prefer blue. Steak isn't blue.

dittany Thu 19-Nov-09 16:09:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilfSell Thu 19-Nov-09 16:10:30

Very good piece from Ben Goldacre on pink and the research in question here

Dunno about the Hitler thing though: sounds dubious and a bit Urban Mythic to me...

OrmIrian Thu 19-Nov-09 16:13:20

DS#2 used to be just as attracted to pink. It's a warm appealing colour. When he got to school he learned that it was a girl's colour. And consequently refuses to have anything to do with it.

I don't think it has anything to with gender - all small children are attracted to pink. But girls don't receive the message that they shouldn't like it.

WilfSell Thu 19-Nov-09 16:15:02

Yeah. DS2's favourite colour was purple until he started school when he denounced it. In favour of blue.

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