“Think Pink “

No. We are not talking about the fashion brand and we are not going to talk about cancer awareness. Today we are talking about why pink is for girls and blue for boys?

Why pink for girl?! 

Psychology writer Christian Jarrett describes in his new book Great Myths of the Brain, how an Italian psychologist Marco Del Giudice, who tried to find the origins of this idea, could find just four short magazine quotes, describing pink as the colour for boys. In two of these he believes that perhaps the blue and pink were accidentally swapped around. That seems unlikely to me, but when he searched a database of five million books printed in American or British English from 1800-2000 more convincing was the lack of any mentions of “pink for a boy”, even though from 1890 onwards there were increasing mentions of “pink for a girl”.

Taking into consideration the upper statement we can conclude that pink it wasn’t a color for girls. And as I found later, decades ago the mothers were encouraged to dress the baby in white (white being a color of purity) and more, to dress the little girl infant in blue. The color blue was considered more delicate and the blue color was associated with Virgin Mary (color in which she is depicted).

The true ascendance of the concept that pink is a girly color was after WWII when first lady Mamie Eisenhower began the campaign in which she encouraged women to return to their daily house duties instead of continuing their work in factories. Also Mamie used to love pink so much that she ordered that her kitchen and various household objects to be painted pink. Reason of why the White house was also called the “Pink Palace”.

Like it was not enough that first lady was obsessed with pink, actress Jayne Mansfield ( the so called “Marilyn Monroe, King Sized”) exaggerated the concept. She wore pink, drove a pink car, paint all her hose in pink and had a huge pink hearth shaped bathtub. The reason for this was in her conception that man need to see women vulnerable and helpless.

For that time this kind of oppression did not offend women in general, giving the fact that most of them had a hard time working in weapon factories. Also during this period an astonishing number of pink household products were produced and consumed in the post-war years. The color pink, during that time, was supposed to encourage a positive way of life, banishing the back (color of mourning) and blue (associated with jeans and blue collar workers). Later on, the public figures took advantage of this usage of pink to depict woman as fragile, with needs and to depict the “normal” woman which love flower and chocolate.

When media entered the picture the image of pink was given various meanings. It could meant that you were feminine, more sweet than you seem or totally psychotic (Dolores Umbridge character in Harry Potter).

Pink for Boys?

There were tones of fashion trends in which men wore pink clothing items and no one bothered to say that was girlish or say that it is inappropriate.

Lets not forget that one of the most preferred man characters, Gatsby was wearing in some scene a pink suit. But in that scene, Tom’s not calling Gatsby feminine—he’s calling him new money. He doesn’t think that Gatsby is girly, he just thinks he has bad taste.

Studies had shown before that the majority of people tend to actually prefer blue and the percentage between men and women were equal.

Scientists had concluded that color preference is mostly related to culture. And the attribution of pink to girl and blue to boys is just a product of various campaigns and cultural movement of society.

Also studies had shown that campaigns which are addressed to women which use a lots of shades of pink are the least effective. They were reminded of their gender so overtly, the adverts felt so personally threatening that it set off denial mechanisms.

Is pink such a bad thing?

Hannah Webster, communications manager for the Independent Association of Prep Schools, said that girls are told their role is to be “pretty and frilly” while boys must be “virile” and take charge. But the idea of having blue for a boy and pink for a girl is ‘pernicious’ because it leads them towards certain roles regardless of their real identities.

Children don’t have the notion of gender at young ages so by giving them colors to differentiate the genders they will begin to understand that they are not supposed to like certain things just by the fact that the color tells them they are not supposed to. Fact which could stop them in doing the things that they truly like because it is not socially accepted. This is could harm their future in ways that we cannot thing of.

What to do?

This is not a proffesional advice. It is a friendly and peaeful thought. It would be more easy to let your child to pick whatever he seems to like and if your boy would like to wear a certain color let him be. It is not into your power to decide what he/she likes. You are just his protector and adviser.

by Maria Korodi.







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