Through this, I found this, and then this, and I guess I feel the need to comment (what else is new?) and since this blog is short of posts lately (especially posts with actual content) what better place to do it?
Now, I like pretty much every colour there is. Not in any combination and not in any setting, but there are few colours for which I can find no redeeming qualities. As such, pink, while not my favourite colour at all, is perfectly acceptable, and even quite likeable – in small quantities, occasionally and in the right setting. I own at least one pink t-shirt (and I wear it, occasionally). I like pink tulips, roses, peonies (no, not ponies), flower ribbon trim, lipstick (which I hardly ever wear, so it doesn’t really count) and so on. I had noted the increasing “pinkification” of products marketed at females – whether young or old – and it irritated me, but then marketing tends to more often than not, so what else is new?
However, pink is a very vivid colour, and like all vivid colours I find it most pleasing in small doses. And because of its pervasiveness lately, I have gone further towards avoiding it than I might have had it been Just Another (Vivid) Colour.
For example: When looking for scrapbooking resources a few years ago I found two forums in Norwegian dealing with the subject. I ended up on scrapping.no, though content-wise scrapbookexpress.no looked to be just as useful and friendly, simply because the latter was pink-pink-pink and the former a nice cool grey and white with a few red details. I got a headache from trying to read “the other forum” and so, even though I am registered, I have never actually participated, and can hardly be called a lurker since I have visited three or perhaps four times in five or six years.
Then I got pregnant, and we had a baby to shop for. The husband preferred not to find out the sex of the child at the ultrasound scan, and though I had previously thought it would be fun to know, I somehow didn’t feel the need to once we got there. Because I got gestational diabetes we had loads of scans later, but by that time I had decided I really didn’t want to know, from a pure point of contrariness. Becaus what I found when starting to shop for baby clothes was how hopelessly gendered they all were. Not only were pink and pale blue the order of the day, even when I found a nice little onesie in green, for example, it would have little bows and flounces (for girls) og printed car tyre tracks (for boys). Buying clothes for a child when you didn’t know whether it would be a boy or a girl was in point of fact quite challenging.
Thanks to the retro wave and 70ies colour scheme being in fashion, the lass has had a bearable amount of pink clothes and we have been able to find clothes that are either nicely “genderless” or girly, but not inhibitingly so. Trousers can be both “feminine” and solid enough to handle rough play at the same time. I have also made a conscious decision to let her play in the sand pit and climb and run in whatever she is wearing* – her pink bucket hat (a present) has been used as a bucket several times and frequently looks accordingly, but it can be washed. Eventually the grey sandiness might become permanent, but, really, what does it matter?
Here’s to hoping some of my reasons for not buying her all pink clothes and all that goes along with that mindframe sinks in. Once peer pressure starts to bear I suspect we will have a wannabe princess on our hands anyway, but we needn’t encourage it ourselves.
More reading (saying it better than I can manage at the moment):
- Barbara Einreich on Pink as the choice of colour for breast cancer awareness
- Peggy Orenstain in The New York Times: What’s wrong with Cinderella?
- Washington Post graphic on what high heels does to you and accompanying article
* Not in the faux folk costume I made for the 17th of May. I did keep her away from the sandpit when she was wearing that. Next year I think I’ll leave her to it if she wants to. It can be washed…