Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pink is for girls.

In the early 1900s, pink was considered a color for boys.  Wikipedia quotes an article from a 1918 trade publication as saying; “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.
This is the first paragraph of a really great post on a really great blog I've discovered, Undercover in the Suburbs.

I added the bold lettering myself, just to further highlight the absurdity of the way our society constructs and makes shit up, specifically around gender identity and roles. Pink was seen as a stronger, "more decided" color than blue, and was therefore assigned to boys, since, of course, they were assumed to be stronger than girls. (Of course we call bullshit there.) But, the thing that really gets my goat is that, somewhere along the line, however things got flipped around--making pink the "girly" color--with the switch, the perception of pink being "stronger" vanished, likely because it was now associated with being a girl, and therefore, by definition, signified inferiority and daintiness.

True story: when I was younger, I actively rejected my affinity for pink because of its association in our society with "girliness" which I, as a teenager, equated with being overlooked and invalidated.  I often felt invalidated and overlooked due to my gender as it was, and didn't want to make it even harder to be taken seriously by having PINK STUFF--oh, the horror.  Sad, right? Yeah.  A part of me still feels that way, and now, at 30, I carefully choose how much pink to allow myself. Le sigh.

I'll stop here, and direct you to go read the original post, both because it is well written, and because my brain is still fuzzy from flu-ness.

Go forth and be feminists, my friends.

1 comment:

  1. I felt the same way about the color pink and what it represented growing up. I was a total tom boy, which didn't help matters, but I also liked the color. I just felt that my image of being a tom boy would be ruined if, god forbid, I actually liked pink. I have slowly changed over the years, but even now when one of my family members sees me wearing pink, they get a confused look on their face, and ask why I'm wearing pink since I don't like the color. I love them, but sometimes I want to slap them. I was obviously a lesbian growing up, and now I am not allowing societies color representation to screw with what I like. haha... sometimes life is so simple, and sometimes its a pain in the ass.

    I have enjoyed your posts. I know dating sucks, and its wonderful being in a new relationship. Its hard with women because most of us want to settle down for the happily ever after asap, but remember to enjoy all the little things that dating represents.