Over the last few years there has been a trend amongst new parents to boycott almost anything gendered. The sales of gender neutral clothing has sky rocketed, with many online stores offering unisex clothing which, as well as being some of the funkiest clothes I’ve ever seen, often come with a hefty price tag. But surely that cost is nothing compared to the costs of protecting your child from gender stereotyping.
I’ve noticed that parents of little girls seem to be the most outspoken on this subject. Complaining that ALL toys should be gender neutral and pink is pretty much the most hated of colours in existence, poor pink. You can’t blame them, with the toy aisles being full to the brim with pink sparkly dollies and princesses aimed at girls and green army toys, cars and dinosaurs targeted toward boys. What is there for the dino loving girls and dolly hugging boys?
But I’m afraid here is where I’m going to have to burst your bubble.
Speaking from experience. No matter how hard you try, when you have little girls, your house will eventually become a tribute to pink (and not the pop star). Even if you are one of the ‘gender neutral’ parents who carefully chooses their unborn daughter’s clothes to encompass all the unisex colours of the rainbow and avoids anything remotely girly. One day, even your house will succumb to the glittery side.
You may have balked at that first pink, frilly dress that was bought as a gift, or the pink and lilac woollen bonnet, full of bows and what can only be described as a mini feather boa, which was painstakingly knitted by Great Auntie Blodwen. You may have vowed never, ever, to put them on your child or even let the colour pink, or lilac, or anything sparkly into your child’s wardrobe again.
But the truth is, that no matter how hard you try….you will!
One day, that pink dress may be the last clean item of clothing after three days of constant vomiting from infant reflux. That bonnet, yes that one, might be the only warm hat you can find on a freezing cold day when you NEED to leave the house. And you will use them.
And guess what?
They won’t be the only pink things your daughter will be bought. Every birthday, and Christmas, and just because, someone will buy her pink clothes, pink toys, pink books, pink shoes.
And one day, probably when she is about three, you will wake up and realise your house is full of pink, girly stuff and your little girl will love it all. She will sit and comb the pink pony’s hair, nurse the dolly in the pink dress and push her around in the shiny pink pushchair. What is worse, is she will want more! Her letters to Santa will be asking for the latest all singing, all dancing (and pooping) dolly that all her friends at school have. She will want the latest Disney princess on her birthday cake and her bedroom to be all glittery and sparkles.
She might also love dinosaurs, tractors and splashing in puddles too, but in her heart, if it’s pink and girly she will want it, even if it’s just because all her friends have it. But don’t despair, her collection of pink paraphernalia and those beloved fluffy pencil toppers won’t become a barrier to her having a ‘proper’ job, whether that be engineer, archaeologist, nurse or whatever else her heart desires, because by the time your beloved little girl reaches her teens, the pink will have been replaced by black. Black clothes, black hair, black makeup and the girly toys will soon get the shove and replaced by boys. Now won’t that be fun?
If I were you, I’d embrace the pink while you still can!