Why do girls wear pink?

by doodaddy on February 15, 2008

At a kids-only shoe store with tons of selection, I made the unhappy discovery that every single shoe on the toddler girls’ shelf had at least some pink on it. I wrote it up this week over at GNM Parents, where I also blog:

The salesperson looked concerned. “You don’t like pink?” she asked. She eyed Boobaby’s outfit, which, as usual, my two-year old daughter had picked out herself. She was in multicolored striped tights, mint green shorts, and an orange and red flowered dress over a white shirt (that last part being my only contribution to the wardrobe selection). No pink.

She must think I’m one of those horrible anti-fashion stay-at-home dads, I thought, so I rushed to reassure her that no, I didn’t mind a little pink here and there, but… every single shoe?

The experience really opened my eyes to the issues of gender programming in our culture — check out the full article over at GNM Parents.

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tagged as , in clothing,raising a girl ·

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica (Mom's Journal) February 15, 2008 at 7:49 pm

uugg I hate that everything is pink. When I shop for Sophia I make sure to get everything but pink since her great-grandmother and paternal grandmother make sure she’s dripping in it. It’s like a case of Pepto-Bismol exploded in the girls section. I told this to one of my cousins and she said I should just accept it since it *will* be Sophia’s favorite color, really? I never liked pink, not ever!

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doodaddy February 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm

I know, huh? I’m going to do as much psychological manipulation as possible to make sure Boo’s favorite color is puce.

Yay, puce!

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David, Amber and B February 15, 2008 at 9:14 pm

And for boys, it’s blue. When B was little, any time I put him in *anything* other than blue, strangers would always ask how old my little girl was. Luckily, I love blue (since my two favorite teams boast that color), but it seem somehow wrong to be so limited.

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doodaddy February 16, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Yeah, I’ve noticed that, too, although I don’t think it’s as universal. The boy shoe shelf was mostly brown, actually, but there were lots of variations. Still, if you’re a boy who likes unicorns, you’re out of luck!

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Ophelia Rising February 17, 2008 at 8:09 pm

I, too, have an aversion to all things pink. I’m not sure why. I don’t dislike the color itself, I suppose. Just that fact that, because my girl is a girl, she is SUPPOSED to like it. Or at least, is SUPPOSED to wear it…

I do really like purple. A lot.

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doodaddy February 17, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Exactly! I know, people say it’s just as bad for boys, but there are a lot more acceptable crossovers, I think, plus the base selection is better. There was a boy in a pink tutu at the park the other day, and no one took much notice.

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mom, again August 26, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I am so glad that I had my girls 2 decades ago, when the pink/lavender thing was just getting started, and could still be avoided. Just. And toys were still under the influence of 1970’s womens lib/equality movement. So, you could get things like toy kitchens that weren’t pink.

As for boys clothes, I don’t mind the mostly blue options. There are more additional colors than in the girls dept. Some green, some orange, brown and red. I’m OK with it, mostly. It’s the lack of volume that bothers me more. The sales floor space is usually 2 or 3 to 1 girl to boy items. With so few options (esp. in a small village) I feel like one day at the park, all the little boys will come in the same T-shirt.

My bigger problem, as he moves from baby to toddler to little boy clothes is that the decorations go from cute monsters, animals and vehicles to realistic and somewhat threatening monsters, animals and vehicles. Or advertising on them. I’m bothered by this as at only 15 months old, I don’t want him in scary clothes and I’m not generally in favor of product placement on clothes.

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doodaddy August 27, 2008 at 12:43 am

You know, I’ve noticed that, too — especially the advertising thing. Boo has a 3 y.o. cousin who wears all the usual shtick — shirts that say “cute chick” with pictures of actual baby chickens. How cute, right? but what about when that turns into “SEXY” plastered on the butt of your 12-year old’s low-rise sweatpants? No, no, no thanks.

Our rough rule for clothes so far: no ads, no words, and animals only if they’re small and patternlike.

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