Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pink: the conspiracy theory

I wasn't going to post today, but Ellie's just gone for a nap, Ricarro is at the DIY superstore... and I had to share this article with you; The tyranny of pink.

You don't have to be a mother of girl(s) to find this interesting.

The idea is that by nurturing the association of pink with the experience of being a girl, our daughters are being conditioned into being the ultimate consumers, responding to targeted marketing techniques like pavlov's dogs.

It does cost more to dress a girl in non-pink clothes. We've just splashed £45 on a pair of Camper shoes for Ellie, because we don't like the trashy, glittery pink shoes from Clark's. Our principles - and impeccable good taste - could be a costly business. 

At this stage, I'm pretending that I'm not going to worry too much about what Ellie says she wants to wear. I tell myself, 'I'm the adult. I'm the one making the decisions.' (He he. I'm that kind of fool.)

Despite all my feminista intentions, Ellie still favours the pink toys. Bearing in mind that she's not going to pre-school and doesn't watch TV on a regular basis, I'm surprised to see such a strong preference already.

I'm not going to give up though. I'm going into battle on this one.


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Forget it. I dressed my child in all her brother's hand-me-downs for 2 years. Then I happened to hit a thrift store with lots of girl clothes and picked up several outfits (pink, purple, flowers, polkadots) for 50 cents each and placed them in her bureau drawer. Honey, I could actually feel her relief when she opened that drawer and saw those colors. As if all along she knew something had been wrong, but she couldn't put her finger on it.

And, if it is any comfort, they do grow out of it. As a teen, she favors deep browns and turquoise. You know, we have way less influence over our children than we would like to believe.

jakelliesmom said...

As I shopped for a birthday gift for a one year old girl, I found entire toy collections where the seemingly neutral items (an airplane, a telephone, a school bus, a doctor set) were done in pink. I could not bear the thought of purchasing something so deliberately marketed to a girl, as if it were even remotely appropriate for these toys to be anything other than gender neutral.

And yet, my girl likes baby dolls, purses and dressing up like a princess after having mostly trucks and trains with which to play from her big brother. Oh well.

Working mum said...

My daughter has always had a blue bedroom, partly because the spare room was already blue when I got pregnant - we just added Beatrix Potter stickers, and partly to do with my husband's football affiliation. When we moved she still wanted a blue bedroom (we turned it blue from pink!) and now has Thomas the Tank Engine stickers (and bedding and lights and rug and clock and ....)

She loves her trains, building stuff and gardening stuff, but gradually the pink has crept in! She wanted a fairy outfit for Christmas, she chose the Disney Princess painting book in Borders last week and she keeps asking for pink paper for craft work. She is eyeing up Barbie stuff in Tesco and chooses pink T-shirts.

I've decided it's nature, not nurture so I'll just have to give in gracefully!

Working mum said...

PS It's just registered - £45 for shoes!!! You do know she'll grow out of them in six weeks. Won't Clarke's sell you boys shoes for her?

SaraLynn said...

I am in trouble then. My daughter is a ballet-dancing, selfappointed princess, who loves pink.
And pouts if I vary the colors inher wardrobe (which I do because sometimes she looks like she has been doused in Pepto-Bismol)

But I also know that these things change with time. I wore dresses, only dresses every day, until middle school. Then you couldn't get me out of jeans to save my life!

Casdok said...

Yes its interesting!

Sass E-mum said...

Buy boy's shoes for Ellie? No - I looked, but didn't like them either. Talk about fussy.

Her shoes are currently a size and a half too big. I should get more than 6 weeks out of them. We were given so many baby shoes, these are only the second pair we've bought ourselves.

I think that makes it okay.

TEOM? said...

Keep fighting the good fight - for all of us.

Working mum said...

Had to come back and tell you: I took daughter for new shoes today. I shunned the totally inappopriate Clark's white and pink girly shoes and bought daughter the boy's green and brown trekkies! Assistant didn't bat an eyelid when I asked to try the boys shoes, maybe there are more people doing it?

Unfortunately, also bought her the girly pink trainers with flashing lights for playing football with daddy.

I take it all back, I spent £60!

echoeve said...

my youngest daughter is 6. I will never buy her any article of clothing without her being there picking it out. I have wasted to much money on really cute outfits to only have her not wear them. It is not worth the fight.

I have a 14 year old who loves girlie, pink, grown up, outfits.
I have a 12 year old who loves blue, skateboarding, boyish clothes.

I just want my girls to be comfortable in their own skin. I want them to be independant. I want them to be their own person.

With that said if they love pink so be it.

I hope they don't want to be goth but you never can tell...