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“I was told tonight that I am “one of those mothers” who has lined her daughter up to being stereotyped to be a “girl”.

I am now sitting here wondering…..Am I really that bad? and is it really that wrong to dress my little girl in pinks and purples – instead of blues and greens?? Is this really causing my daughter damage??”

The comment above is not mine. I saw it this morning on one of my favourite facebook pages. But as soon as I started to think about it, I realised I could easily have written that comment.

A Little Pink One

After having two sons and then finding out that the next baby was ‘a little pink one’ (as my then 3-year-old son put it), it was incredibly tempting to rush out and start buying pink.  The funny thing was that even though I didn’t do it, everyone else did it for me.

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I’d worked on the assumption that the boys’ jeans and red/navy and white t-shirts would be totally fine for a little girl.  She wouldn’t have a clue and even if she did, why would it matter?  I never wear pink so why would she? But nobody would have a bar of that thinking – suddenly bags of pink started to arrive and even before she was born, my husband was complaining about the PINK BOMB that had gone off in the house!

And so it continued … she was born into a world of pink presents, gift boxes, clothes, wraps and teddies.  Christmas rolled around and the pink bomb truly exploded with baby dolls, prams, you name it – if it was pink, it was there.  And then her little sister came along and the parade of pink became endless.

Were we really stereotyping our girls into being ‘girly girls’ or was society and what was available as gift choices doing that for us?

A few years on and I take pause to review.  Are they ridiculously girly?  Are they obsessively feminine?  Sometimes.

They have perfume, they have a Disney Princess Vanity, they have a Disney Princess Throne and they have enough tiaras, high heels and princess dresses to open their very own DisneyWorld … but then I looked today and at the top of the stairs they had all built a lego city using their brother’s lego.  And amidst the shaggy rug in the toy room they had constructed an elaborate train track complete with Thomas, Toby, James (and Lady).

They’ll put on concerts and they’ll sit and draw but they still stomp around in the mud with their Dad and they still have to take the rubbish out to the bins.  Yes, they’re girly girls and they’ll always choose pink over most other choices.  But that hasn’t made them precious (well not too much), it hasn’t made them shy and it hasn’t made them unable to assert themselves.

Always Changing

I imagine it will be an ever-evolving dynamic – where they will be shaped by both themselves and their environment.  And I guess my role in that will be to guide, to applaud and to celebrate the beautiful women they will one day become.

And what shall I wear to this very, very special occasion?  Well, it might just need to be my very own version of the Pink Bomb!

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • I was a tomboy when I was younger. As mum tried to dress me up in all things frilly I would trip and tear up my knees demanding I wear something more appropriate. I finally got my own way..

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  • Are Mums likely to always put their girls in pink slacks or track pants? I have seen very few giris in long pink pants. Most wear other colours which are more serviceable.

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  • Dont think we us as parents force this whole pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Its just one of those things that come naturally to mind when choosing for our kids. As a safe choice.
    Its what everyever style (colour) is out today us as parents have to buy. My now 6 year old is use to wearing girly colours and dressing up girly . And guess what her favourite colour is green.
    So i would have to somewhat agree and disagree with this article.

    Reply

  • get over it, a baby doesn’t know what they want to wear yet, stop this garbage until they are two and have a teenager’s attitude and refuse to wear anything but their wiggles dress ups!

    Reply

  • Just do what is right for you.

    Reply

  • I never got into the pink and frilly stuff for my daughter, I got given enough by family and friends. She grew up and is still not even into the girly stuff

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  • Friends of ours have daughter that looked fantastic in a particular colour when she was tiny. When she was old enough she wanted everything dark blue, then pink, then light blue, then red in Oct. I asked her a few weeks ago and she listed a variety of colours. They can’t buy new clothes when they change colours 3 times in 2 months. I wonder what it will be when she grows out of her current size clothes probably within a month as she is growing fast at the moment as is her much younger sister. I’m not too fussy what colour they wear at home as long as they are serviceable as they like going outside and playing.

    Reply

  • That was an interesting article! Thanks for sharing!

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  • We are lucky to have two girls and two boys as well. I dress our youngest in good dresses to go to town or when her grandmother is coming over. But most of the time, she is wearing her brothers hand me downs. I think living in a rural area helps that our kids are not stereotyped. Dolls, dirt, cooking, cars, prams and pushbikes are all used. I think while it is nice to have something pink for a girl and blue for a boy, it isn’t always practical for everyone needing hand-me-downs.

    Reply

  • Each to their own. My daughter has a mix of colours.

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  • Sometimes i think people take the stereotype far too much the opposite way.
    So what if she wears pink, so what if she wears overalls and blue tees.
    She can be the pink girl while she is little because for sure she will be told as she is older that it’s not cool to like pink or girly things.
    Give her the chance now because she wont have it later.

    Reply

  • My daughter is 3.5 years old, absolutely loves pink and frills and princess dresses and tiaras. Will refuse to wear jeans or shorts, so she is dressed every day in a beautiful dress, most of which are pink or contain pink. Then she loves to go and sit in the mud and play with dump trucks and diggers!!! She dressed up as Tinkerbell one day and then played for hours with her dinosaurs!

    Reply

  • I’m not fussed either way. I like to buy things that suit the child I’m buying for. My son wore blue as it really brought out his gorgeous blue eyes. Having said that, I loved dressing him in all colours – orange, red, green, you name it. I love looking back on his home videos and commenting on the great fashions he wore! And when he was older, he loved to wear a pink t-shirt that was on trend, and purple (from shoes to tops, to pants). Clothing doesn’t make the person. I think the personality is reflected in the clothing.

    Reply

  • I have never been a fan of pink for girls and blue for boys. When my first girl was born I dressed her in neutral colours like purple, yellow and white. I received a few pink outfits but no one went overboard.
    My girls have all gone through a stage when they only wanted to wear dresses, even in winter, but my older ones now wear shorts and singlets/t-shirts, and rarely dresses. They go for comfort over fashion.

    Reply

  • I have found many a parent not wanting their girl to be “girly” but haven’t even thought of all the masculine messages they’ve sent their son. My question is why can’t it work both ways?

    Reply

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