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June 2011
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Pink, Blue or Other?

From | Article by Sung Bin Park | Email the author | June 23, 2011

Before I gave birth to my daughter, I swore I would never dress her in pink or frilly flowers or overly girly ensembles– partly because I resented the omnipresent pink tones that clouded every baby girl related product out there, but also because I remember as a child being obsessed with the color for everything from pony tail holders to matching lacy socks.

I also wanted to save her from a somewhat narrow existence of Barbie dolls and rainbow glitter, and open her up to roaring dinosaurs, crawly bugs and muddy trucks. Was that so wrong?

Is there a way to escape a gender-locked world of baby products and toys? Do girls have to wear pink and boys have to wear blue? Or is it that bad to continue on with these traditional roles in this constantly changing world? I turned out alright, I think.

As much as I made it known to family and friends about not wanting pink this or pink that, I still received gifts from the shower full of pink outfits, blankets, toys and gear.

I had specified gender neutral colors for everything (green, yellow, brown, anything that didn’t scream “little lady”), because it was also practical. Plus, if we had a boy next time around, I could simply reuse everything we already had.

But it struck me recently: Why couldn’t I just use the pink stuff for boys as well?

Maybe I harbored the same stereotypes that I wanted to break, not realizing that boys can also be opened up to dolls and pretty playthings too.

So what if he wanted to grow his hair long and wear pink shirts and socks. I would never dress him up in a dress, but I wouldn’t limit his options to only traditional boy colors and things.

Would that set my children up for ridicule down the line? I don’t know, it seems a lot of parents are seeing beyond these ideas. But some of the children may not always understand.

I just hope I raise my daughter to be confident enough to resist the pressure. But if she chooses for her herself, well that’s a different story. If she decides for herself that she wants the matching pink ponytail holders for her pink lacy socks, I am totally fine with that too.

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