Pink or Blue: A Matter Of Taste?

…a post from the voice

porb

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 😉

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12 thoughts on “Pink or Blue: A Matter Of Taste?

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Such an interesting topic isn’t it? Our ideas of what is ‘feminine’ and what is ‘masculine’ are so very deeply rooted. I remember when my own bean was an infant, we dressed in all sorts of things, including pink, blue and all kinds of other colours. When she got old enough to choose her own clothes, she s tarted with what was easy to put on (track pants and jeans with stretch elastic, mostly). So a few times people did look twice before identifying her as a girl. But she also occasionally enjoyed skirts and (when the weather was warm) summer dresses. Oh, and by the way, if I may go off on a tangent, summer dresses are the outfits for learning to use the loo. It takes no time to get them out of the way when your little bean needs to go now.
     
    But back to clothes and pink and blue and such… I applaud you for making the choice to let your little bean decide for herself (when she’s ready) what her style will be. She may go ‘girly;’ she may go for something completely different. But it will be her style, and that will give her a lot of confidence. Well, it did my bean, anyway.

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    • writerdsnelson says:

      Thanks Margot, and I agree, this is a subject I could talk about for hours. I studied sociology at a’ level and as part of my degree and i find it fascinating. I’m looking forward to seeing what bean’s style will be in the future!

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  2. martyn says:

    It’s a really interesting topic. I dress mine in what they want but the older they’ve got they’ve wanted to dress in typical boy clothes. Interestingly I did a post last month on gender identities as although my youngest dresses stereotypically in boys clothes he plays quite happily with ‘girls’ toys. I don’t mind in the faintest whatever makes him happy.

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    • writerdsnelson says:

      Thanks for stopping by Martyn. I could write reams on this subject. It’s good that your boys are allowed to find their own path. I’ll hop over to your blog and check out your post 🙂

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  3. CthulhuDave says:

    We had the same conversations when Hazel was tiny and dressed in blue. However nowadays she wears whatever is appropriate for the occasion, sometimes this is even camouflage (when we go fishing) however as they get older the longer hair means that most recognise her gender. On occasion my own long hair has caused confusion when viewed from behind, much to my amusement and the sterotypers horror. 😉

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