“Pink is only for girls, momma,” my 2yo said confidently while talking about her day. My face flushed with frustration. WHO WOULD TEACH A TODDLER THAT COLOR HAS GENDER?! I quickly took a breath and assured her that she was mistaken and that all colors are for all people if they want them to be.
I actively try to let my daughter make decisions herself about clothes and toys while shopping and while I consider myself to be pretty progressive, I’m also guilty of leaning toward ‘pretty pink’ when I’m shopping for her and that made me wonder how we got here and how can we stop the narrative and just let kids be kids.
1918: “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl
1940s: Post-war ideals want Rosie the Riveter to take off her blue and prepare for the return of her man by putting on something flowy, floral, and preferably pink.
“Shrink it and Pink it!”
1980s: Boomers having babies haven’t forgotten their mommies in pink aprons and old habits die hard. PLUS CAPITALISM!
2019: Me, screaming: “STOP TELLING OUR KIDS WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO LIKE AND LET THEM FIGURE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN. MY 2YO SHOULD NOT UNDERSTAND CURRENT GENDER NORMS.”
Tomorrow we’re buying some firetrucks and playing in the mud, just for good measure.