Is pink for girls "damaging"?

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218
Is pink for girls "damaging"?

Do you believe that having a girl wear pink (or perhaps decorating a boy's room in blues) is potentially 'damaging' to their psyche?

Making girls wear pink is WRONG: Education expert says colour-coding children by gender is damaging

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

Very silly. It does not matter at all what color a child wears.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

Nope. I think I'm going to buy my grand-daughters and DSD another pink dress I love buying pink since I had all boys and didn't get to buy them pretty pink dresses so I'm making up for it now.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

It's Wednesday. On Wednesdays we wear pink.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

There's a truth buried in there. I don't dress babies or decorate babies' rooms based on gender. Nathaniel's room is yellow, Juliet's is green.

I don't believe in forcing girls to be frilly or forcing boys to avoid dolls and play with trucks. But once kids show that these are things they like, then denying them that is just as silly.

Nathaniel always liked a good variety: trucks, kitchen playsets, all kinds of things.

Juliet is a girly-girl! I am totally NOT one, but she loves princesses and pink and nail polish and whatnot and denying her those things because I don't like gender stereotypes is silly.

I would like to see a future where people don't make assumptions about what kids will like based on gender. I would like more options for girls' clothing when they are babies & toddlers, instead of just pink & purple. I'd like to see sports encouraged to young girls as much as they are to boys. And I'd like my son, who doesn't like sports, to not get pushed into it.

I hope that day will come.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

Ha Ha just noticed that in the picture I have up of my granddaughters they are both wearing pink Smile

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I never had any issues finding colors other then pink for my girls to wear, my favorite outfit DD2 had was like a sherbert orange that looked so good with her skin color. My other girls looked great in pink, they wore a lot of it until they had an opinion, then it was no pink. None of my girls are very girly.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

The problem is that if you put your daughter in blue, old people think they are boys. Even if it is a blue dress with flowers.

Early on we tried to avoid pink. Between gifts from others and clothes my daughters have picked out, we now have a lot of pink. If you are forcing them, that is a problem but if it is their choice then so be it.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Who cares if old people mistaken the gender of your child? For whatever reason!

The whole gender thing is a real issue to me and a difficult one to navigate. Its not as simple as "putting pink on girls is going to hurt them"

Assuming that your girl likes pink and only buying pink or indireclty or directly encouraging her to like pink does hurt them IMO.

Not because pink is evil and has magic powers, but because that attitude of assuming your girl likes anything in particular or dislikes anything in particular because she is a girl is damaging.

And the sad fact of it is, what society likes to stereotype as 'girly' things very often are just ridiculous, or at the very best, limiting. Kittens, puppies, tutus, beauty salons.

This whole thing does hit a nerve for me because I don't have particularly girly girls, except for Nathalie who is my stereotypical girly girl. Its great that her likes and dislikes fall in line so well with what is marketed towards her...it doesn't mess with her brain as much as it does my other girls (I'll still contend it messes with her brain though).

I'll give you an example. Lillian has never liked pink, always preferred the boy type toys, stickers whatever it is that you can get...you name it. We go to McDonald's she used to have to ask for the boy toy, while recognizing she's not a boy herself. (Mind you McDonald's is getting better about how they phrase this these days I've noticed). We go to banks where they would give the kids stickers and they gave the girls these kittens in tutus and gave my son this ones of killer whales jumping out of the sea. Lillian asked if she could have the boy stickers. And then the lady apologized because she thought she had mistaken Lillian for a girl when she was actually a boy LOL. I had to tell her 'No she just likes the other stickers better'.

Anyway, where am I going with this? Well Lillian had a pair of hand me down jeans that used to be Emma's. They had pre-fab writing on them with stars and spiral doodles and the words "Girls Rock" on them. Lillian told me one day in the car that she wished they didn't say "Girls Rock" on them....she wished they said "Boys rule" on them.

Don't tell me all this gender stereotyping stuff isn't damaging.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

From Laurie

I'd like to see sports encouraged to young girls as much as they are to boys.

This is something else interesting that i experienced this year in the world of sports. Most of my kids play sports, this year Lillian played basketball for the first time, Aodhan has been playing for several years. I was AMAZED at the difference in the environment between the girls games and the boys games. The boys games, at any level have always been intense...parents are loud, rowdy, they get stressed out when they see bad calls being made...they are constantly on the edge of their seats.

Lillian's girls games? It was an entirely different experience. Some of the parents at these things were even the SAME parents...but the crowds were quiet, very passive and not aggressive at all. Not that people didn't enjoy watching their girls play but the attitudes just seem so different. The energy level was just not the same....at all.

I thought that was weird and I still struggle to understand it. Is it because they just think its a good thing to do for girls? But the boys are fighting for something more important? Is it because we don't like to appear aggressive and hyper competitive in front of our girls but think its fine for boys? I have no idea....but the difference between those games floors me still, months after the season has ended.

And I'm not saying this is true in every girls league, but I would place money on a bet that what i experienced is not abnormal.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

"KimPossible" wrote:

From Laurie

This is something else interesting that i experienced this year in the world of sports. Most of my kids play sports, this year Lillian played basketball for the first time, Aodhan has been playing for several years. I was AMAZED at the difference in the environment between the girls games and the boys games. The boys games, at any level have always been intense...parents are loud, rowdy, they get stressed out when they see bad calls being made...they are constantly on the edge of their seats.

Lillian's girls games? It was an entirely different experience. Some of the parents at these things were even the SAME parents...but the crowds were quiet, very passive and not aggressive at all. Not that people didn't enjoy watching their girls play but the attitudes just seem so different. The energy level was just not the same....at all.

I thought that was weird and I still struggle to understand it. Is it because they just think its a good thing to do for girls? But the boys are fighting for something more important? Is it because we don't like to appear aggressive and hyper competitive in front of our girls but think its fine for boys? I have no idea....but the difference between those games floors me still, months after the season has ended.

And I'm not saying this is true in every girls league, but I would place money on a bet that what i experienced is not abnormal.

This is an entirely different debate, but I would argue that the attitudes at the girls games were much better. (I am not a fan of high pressure sports games for young children)

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

This is an entirely different debate, but I would argue that the attitudes at the girls games were much better. (I am not a fan of high pressure sports games for young children)

Yes i can see how there would be benefits to that...however I don't think that necessarily means the actual reasons they are treated differently are all so great.

I dont' think the reason they are different is an underlying desire to teach girls better values that we don't want to teach boys. I think the underlying reason is that people seem more socially invested in the outcome of the boys games and their ability to succeed at sports.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

I was not saying that the reasons are right, just that the outcome was better in my opinion. FTR - A good friend of mine's daughter is in a softball league that I believe is very high pressure.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I was not saying that the reasons are right, just that the outcome was better in my opinion. FTR - A good friend of mine's daughter is in a softball league that I believe is very high pressure.

I don't think the outcome is necessarily better. I think there are pros and cons to both types of environments. For example, I think if we spent as much time teaching our girls to be competitive and aggressive as we do boys it would lead to very different opportunities in life for women.

And I do think as girls get older, the intensity increases, but i think it rarely compares to the enthusiasm male sports get.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I also agree (getting away from sports) that I never cared what strangers thought about the gender of my babies. Made no difference to me. As a baby, Juliet mostly wore Nathaniel's hand-me-downs. I did have a lot of trouble when she was a baby/toddler finding clothes that weren't pink and purple for her, it was really frustrating. Once she got old enough to express her own taste in clothing, it stopped being a problem, as she happens to like all that stuff.

But I agree about the stickers and the giveaways and stuff. It's like the Legos thing, they market them to girls by making them pink and calling them Lego Friends. My kids love ALL the Legos, the "girl" ones and the "boy" ones. Nathaniel likes the pink ones because they're brighter than so many of the others.

So yeah...I think there is a major disservice being done to our kids with gender stereotyping, especially when it limits children's views of themselves. Girls should care how they look and boys shouldn't. Boys should care about being strong and girls shouldn't. It's definitely harmful.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Okay, so adding to this:

I just got back from Target. I wanted to buy a hoodie for Juliet, and some pajamas for the kids.

The ONLY pajamas for girls had princesses on them. The boys' pjs were all sports & superheroes and Ninja Turtles. I found ONE set of pjs for him that had neither.

And trying to find a hoodie for Juliet? They had pink, they had white with a sparkly heart, and they were as thin as a t-shirt. Nothing that would actually keep her WARM, because the trend in women's and girls' clothing isn't about keeping us warm, it's about being cute. Men's sweaters don't ever come with one button or 3/4 sleeves.

So yeah...yuck.

(Of course Juliet will love the pink hoodie even though it's thin, and I bought her Doc McStuffins band-aids which will give her much joy.)