…a post from the voice
I have never liked stereotypes. I find them fascinating, yes; the labels we give each other and that we can in fact, given the right encouragement, become self-fulfilling prophecies. But stereotypes themselves, I do not like.
As a child I was encouraged to find my own identity, my own sense of style, albeit dubious on occasion, and follow my own path. I’ve always been grateful for this, it means I’ve never been scared to make my own decisions.
I want to teach my own bean this individuality too. Labelling starts from such a young age and I became acutely aware of this when we started to buy clothes for our bean before she was born.
We knew she was a girl, but we also knew we didn’t want her to be in pink all the time, so we bought her clothes in lots of different colours, some of them blue.
With this in mind, it still surprises me, that in todays worlds where men can wear pink shirts to work, girls can join scouts and David Walliams can write a book about a boy in a dress, we then automatically assume a baby in a blue jacket is a boy?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really take offence if someone leans over the pram and looks at bean saying ‘Isn’t he lovely’, when she is clearly a girl. It’s an ingrained assumption that is incredibly difficult to shift. So, I gently reply, ‘Isn’t she…’, I just wonder why we are find it so hard to shift this particular stereotype? I had someone the other day completely foxed by the combination of blue jacket and pink pram blanket.
For now bean will, of course, wear what I dress her in, she doesn’t have much choice about that poor child, however, that choice will be as varied as possible. Eventually, when she’s older, I want her to wear exactly what she wants in whatever colour she wants. I don’t want her to feel put in a box. I want her to respect difference and celebrate it.
I’d love to know what you think and how you help your beans express their individuality.
But before we get too serious, I will leave you with a slightly different version of pink and blue. It’s up to you whether this is tasteful or not 😉