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My own experiment - little girls don't chose. Pink

(34 Posts)
SecretTryer Mon 12-Dec-16 21:40:41

I was working at our school fete and the little prizes for a ball game were key rings to hang on their school bag. Mostly little alien things with goggly eyes in a variety of colours.
When they won, I let the children pick which colour they want by holding up three or four in my hand and saying pick one.
The girls hardly ever (about 1 time of of 10) picked a pink one if offered and more. Boys than girls (about 3 or 4 out of ten) did pick the pink one when offered.
I found it fascinating and thought I would share!
Where do toyshops do their research? Or is it some sort of subliminal conditioning that's not working when girls are given a choice. Why are we pushing pink on them at all?

DameDeDoubtance Mon 12-Dec-16 21:59:51

It's not just a colour though, pink comes with a set of rules and society wants little girls to like the rules pink.

Society teaches them to like pink and we are living in an era where it's hard to step outside societies expectations for our sex and still call ourselves girls and women.

Accept the rules, accept pink.

Hamsolo Mon 12-Dec-16 22:05:40

What age group Secret? In my three yearoild's nursery group you'd have run out of pink ones, but I think that age is particularly susceptible (I'm hoping we're at peak pink).

MrsBlennerhassett Mon 12-Dec-16 22:10:45

I love pink but then so does my son! I think its sort of counterproductive to be anti pink for girls tho because it adds to the stigma of traditional girls things being stupid or frivolous. Pink is just as good of a colour as blue. In my experience i find that its boys who are more afraid to chose pink clothing or toys as they get older rather than girls being afraid to branch out and try more trad masculine colours.
I think its a shame that because pink has come to symbolise femininity that its also come to symbolise frivolity and vanity etc its really about what people think of femininity and of women in general.

0phelia Mon 12-Dec-16 22:14:03

Pink is a fascinating concept.

In the adult world it's linked to femaleness, vanity, caregiving and softness.

No bank ever uses pink in it's logo.
Nothing of "real" importance uses pink, you don't see it in the house of commons etc.

Yet girls are persuaded to choose pink, pink lego, pink fairy toys, pink clothes and bedroom sets, with a plethora of associated meaning.

I agree there is nothing "innate" about a girl liking pink. It's the inflexible gendered world we live in that says so.

My son who is two bloody loves pink. I'm not going to cramp his style.

quencher Mon 12-Dec-16 22:14:09

Children are not the problem. It's the parents and the people selling and promoting the products.

I agree that pink comes with rules including glitter.

My Dd loves yellow followed by red and blue. I d buy my Dd pink things but I make sure she has plenty of other colours. My dd's cousin is made to wear only pink and cream. Everything looks like she has just fallen out of candy floss machine. Thank goodness we don't see them often.

70sDinnerPartyClassic Mon 12-Dec-16 22:15:50

My girls have both had phases of rejecting pink, one more vigorously than the other (she rejected all "girls" things including clothes) it was and is a reaction to a simple observation that the pink / blue division has a load of stuff connected to it past colour (passive vs active, my little pony vs superhero, no space in the playground vs space etc) and it was that they were reacting against. The pink is just a symbol.

I'm not surprised you had girls rejecting pink. I am surprised you had boys choosing it though. What sort of age group?

Agree with others that "pink is crap" is just as damaging a message as "these pink things are for girls".

SecretTryer Mon 12-Dec-16 22:15:50

They were all between about 6 and 10. Boys too. I was amazed at boys picking the pink ones, but thinking back,the boys who picked pink were closer to 6 than 10.
The girls who didn't pick pink were evenly distributed.

Boogers Mon 12-Dec-16 22:18:18

DD wore DS's hand-me-downs and played with all of his old toys, from Thomas and Bob to the original Tellytubbies. She still loves pink and glitter and sparkles. I'm not a girly girl, as in I wear minimal make up, I cut my nails with a metal clipper, I don't wear heels or dresses etc - there is no way DD has got her love of glitter and sparkles and pink from me is what I mean. Sometimes it just happens. Just like when DS was 3 and he made a peow peow out of a stick at nursery. Not got a clue where that came from.

Children will be children. Just let them play.

LivininaBox Mon 12-Dec-16 22:19:05

"No bank uses pink in its logo"

Wrong! Smile, the coop bank's online arm, had a pink logo and all pink branding. It wasn't baby pink though, more magenta.

LottieDoubtie Mon 12-Dec-16 22:22:38

Is cutting your nails with a metal clipper not girly now? Jesus I'm fucked I don't even know the rules! grin

Anatidae Mon 12-Dec-16 22:23:25

Pink until recently was a 'male' colour, used for boys as it was a light version of red. Blue was seen as feminine and was used for girls (long history of this in religious paintings too, Mary is almost always wearing blue.)

It's only recently this has been reversed.

For what it's worth I know several little boys who love pink, several little girls who hate it and vice versa.

I live in a Scandinavian country and there is much less pink princess culture here. Kids clothes are more gender neutral and it's frowned on to segregate toys by gender - I definitely see a difference between here and the uk in terms of the things kids like to wear and play with, so I think there is a good deal of socialisation.
I was at a party last weekend where the five year old birthday girl and her four yo brother were both in pink frocks and no one gave it a second thought.

My own little one (male) likes pink, baby dolls and trains. I think kids just like what they like.

0phelia Mon 12-Dec-16 22:26:23

I ♡ Scandinavia.

0phelia Mon 12-Dec-16 22:35:13

Liviniabox
So another example of
Pink = Smile

Associated meaning "Cheer up darling"

Coop bank obviously chose Smile = Pink for a reason (pink being feminine)....

Boogers Mon 12-Dec-16 22:45:18

Lottie I said that in the context of not having, and never had, a manicure. You're picking up on that? hmm

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 12-Dec-16 22:55:29

*No bank ever uses pink in it's logo.
Nothing of "real" importance uses pink, you don't see it in the house of commons etc*

Not a bank but DWF uses pink. Huge international law firm. I know of another major firm had a fuschia pink logo for years until a rebrand darkened it to red.

Home | DWF.LAW
www.dwf.law/

Anatidae Mon 12-Dec-16 23:01:23

I don't think there's anything wrong with pink per se... the problem is when it's all that's on offer, or it comes loaded with other messages.

That's what you definitely see miles less of here - there are plenty of pink princess dress up frocks, but they're in the dressing up section, along with the doctor outfits/animal onesies, not in a solid aisle of pink aimed at girls only. I notice toys here tend to be categorised by function, so our local store has dress up/role play/construction/craft/building/books/soft toys etc and within that is a mix of stuff. It really breaks down the crap that's associated with gendering toys. Here you do see plenty of little boys pushing toy prams, and the last present I bought for little girls was ninjago Lego and a ninja turtle mask.

Boogers Mon 12-Dec-16 23:07:23

DD's school was on the local news tonight, talking about sexism in football. Girls' merchandise is marketed as pink and glittery; bottles, whistles, sweat bands, kit bags, you name it, it's pink. I didn't realise the pink-ism until it was pointed out to me.

almondpudding Tue 13-Dec-16 00:15:35

T mobile and HMV are both pink.

DameDeDoubtance Tue 13-Dec-16 06:35:09

Anatidaae - one exception to the rule does not dismiss a very valid point.

Starts with a pink baby grow and ends up with a smaller pay check.

DameDeDoubtance Tue 13-Dec-16 06:38:09

Pink is a tool which is used to socialise young females,e kind, be pretty, sparkle. The girls I work with will accept any colour though they prefer pink and purple. The boys act as if a pink number line burns them and they actively reject pink. Why is that I wonder?

Anatidae Tue 13-Dec-16 06:42:57

Yes I absolutely get that dame - not contradicting that at all

I'm saying that in countries where there isn't so much pink sparkle (like where I live) the repercussions do indeed echo up - here there IS more gender equality. And it feeds back in a loop - the more equal we are the less princessy shit is wanted/tolerated and the cycle reinforces. Women/girls are not socialised into submission as much here - there is a long tradition of Scandinavian women being far more equal going back a long way

Here isn't perfect by any means, but it is certainly more equal than the uk. And the uk is more equal than many other places I have lived.

DameDeDoubtance Tue 13-Dec-16 07:45:45

OOoooo sorry Anatidae flowers

My pink sparkly brain was not engaged! grin

Ifitquackslikeaduck Tue 13-Dec-16 09:24:27

My eldest has never liked pink - always blue or green. It used to be hard to find clothes and things in those colours that didn't have footballs or other sports on them. Girl's stuff is always bloody pink which means they gravitate towards it because that's what they are used to because that's what the shops have.

I don't think it's in any way driven by the children themselves - it's the parents and shops.

ELC used to be a mass of primary colours when my children were little - now it's pink one side blue the other - depressing.

Ifitquackslikeaduck Tue 13-Dec-16 09:26:02

I should add that the sports thing is just that she's not interested in that - not that girls in general wouldn't like it of course.

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