Pretty in …. colours other than Pink

Scan1

Clearly a girl…

From the 20 week scan we knew we were expecting a girl. The second 20 week scan. The nurse had packed her away her ultrasound equipment after the first when when I said “so what is it then?”. Cue a tut and some unpacking of said equipment. Apparently I was supposed to ask before they did the scan! My view is that with so much uncertainty about becoming first time parents, why not at least embrace the one bit of certainty that 21st century technology does at least allow you, and find out what’s what.

In the very early days I think I probably thought I’d quite like a boy…someone to pass on my…self proclaimed admittedly…cricketing skills to. To share my appreciation of beer with. To hand down the Walker surname for another generation. The latter was actually my dad’s request. But to be honest, I was still too much in shock at the thought of having to be responsible for another human life to worry about which species it was going to be; as long as it was healthy and could be guaranteed to support Spurs. I also lost count of the number of times I got told off for referring to an “it” . Both before and after the birth! Now I have my gorgeous daughter however, I can’t begin to imagine having anything other than a girl. And the upside is, I can still teach her cricket, still educate her in beer, and her mother can nurture Grace’s independence to retain her surname, even if she does get married. After all, she has….

Photo 04-03-2014 07 34 40 pm

Whilst pink may not be allowed, some does sneak in…

Anyway….back to finding out we were having a daughter. I immediately gave the wider family the news…together with explicit instruction that I was banning the colour pink, and so to adjust their knitting plans accordingly. Then it was all systems go…the nursery was decked out in a light mint green, the pram was ordered in Royal Blue, clothes were brought in any style, any colour…except pink.

What does colour matter you may say? It shouldn’t at all..but how many chemistry or electronics sets are packaged in pink?  Or construction kits?  Or cars? Or books of numbers or about science? If all you’ve known is that things for you come wrapped up in pink, then as you get older you could easily be excused for thinking that things in less appetising colours are maybe not for you.

 

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That’s my girl…

I realise that there will probably come a time in Grace’s early life when pink will seem to be the only thing she wants to be kitted out in, head to toe, morning to night.  But that can be her choice. For now, I want Grace to grow up not associating pink with being a girl. Indeed I don’t want her to associate anything with being a girl …. or a boy. It shouldn’t be the toy manufacturers who determine what our children get to enjoy by packaging their wares in a gender stereotyped manner.  I realise that this may be a Canute like view, and that many will say it’s a lost cause, but I want Grace to be able to do what she wants to do, and not to feel she shouldn’t because it’s a boy thing.  Or it’s not girlie enough.

 

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He’s called Grace and he’s 8 months old next week….

The extent that society overtly links colours to the sexes can be no surprise to anyone, but without exception everyone who has spoken to me when I’m out with Gracie in the pram has said something along the lines of “he’s very cute” or asked “how old is he?” That’s not to criticise them, it’s just an observation that we make immediate assumptions based on things as simple as the colour of a fabric and I don’t want Grace to fall into the same trap of making judgments about things that she may or may not like, simply on the colour of the box they are presented in.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Pretty in …. colours other than Pink

  1. bettyallonby

    Hi!

    I found you through the Weekend Blog Hop. I have to say, I have always gravitated towards obviously “girly” colours for Gwenn. Not girly clothes as such, because dresses and frills and embellishments are not for babies and toddlers if you ask me – pretty but pointless on somebody who is hell bent on being as dirty and destructive as possible!! But yes, mostly pinks and purples and creams and whites. Despite this, she is called “Buddy”, “Son”, a “lovely lad” etc etc, on a daily basis! So I suspect it doesn’t matter what a baby is dressed in, there are always people who will mistake them for the opposite sex. I was once told “Oh, I just thought she was a boy because of her haircut”. Well, yes, she has short hair, she is 10 months old!

    And that striped romper is the CUTEST!

    Reply
    1. Neil Walker Post author

      Thanks for passing by and following. We might not like pink, but we still do girly occasionally and Sundays out and about are often a time to get manhandled into a dress 😉 However, her male cousin is only 8 weeks older, so we tend to get a lot of blues, dogs and cars on our clothes anyway.

      Think the striped romper was found in a BabyGAP sale and it is indeed lovely…apart from Gap like little buttons on the neck rather than poppers! These frustrate the living daylights out of me and my less than nimble fingers…

      Reply
    2. Leanne Edwards (@tinkypen)

      Love this! I have two boys and have the opposite struggle and thats not wanting them to have everything in BLUE – in fact I love my boys in brights, and my eldest can rock a pink shirt with the best of them!

      Reply
  2. Maria Noell

    Hi from the weekend Blog hop…

    I have to say, I did notice that when I found out I was expecting a girl, colour choices were very limited. I would have appreciated some reds and dark purples but it was very hard to come by. I did have my fair share of pink but for the same reasons as yourself, some variety would have been nice. Anyway… Your daughter is beautiful and I really enjoyed this post!
    http://marianoell217.blogspot.co.uk/
    x Maria x

    Reply
    1. Neil Walker Post author

      Thanks for hopping by with your kind comments! The hardest place to avoid pink is in the realm of New Baby Girl cards. Out of 40+ cards I think only 3 or 4 were anything other than mainly pink. Rather sets the scene on what it obviously means to be a girl…

      Reply
  3. Laura M George (@lmgeorge92)

    I totally agree with this. Not as a parent but as an educator and an aunty. I’m concerned by this divide of toy manufacturers/shops of what boys can play with/what girls can play with. Yesterday whilst shopping for my goddaughters second birthday present Asda had a sign for “girls toys”: dolls, pink things etc. That’s just not ok by me.. what if my 3 year old nephew wants to play with a doll? Or my godaughter wants to play with a football? it’s so frustrating!
    and it’s best not to get me started on Barbies….
    I was slightly worried in the first paragraph that that was the way your blog was going to go!! But I’m so glad you’ve said that Grace can still appreciate cricket and beer DESPITE being a girl!!!
    Thank you for an excellent post and I hope it’s not a lost cause!

    Reply
    1. Neil Walker Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. When I found Lego had started doing pink, girly boxes of stuff I admit I did the cause has probably been lost. But that won’t stop me continuing to take a lone stand against it all!

      Reply
  4. Tim

    Hi Neil. Firstly, congrats on taking the step of spending more time with your daughter. We’ve been fairly neutral about colours with our three kids.

    Isaac was drawn to pink for a good year and a half before he suddenly decided it was uncool just after his 4th birthday (sadly, a response to peer pressure, I suspect). We neither encouraged nor discouraged his love of pink, but I was sad when it went away as it was a big part of his personality.

    Toby has always been much more boyish. Kara (who is just two) seems to have naturally favoured pink since she was old enough to express a preference. It just kind of … happened. She had a lot of pink clothes too, but also a lot of neutral colours. I guess that’s conditioning from being around other girls and seeing things on TV. Sponges, these kids – they don’t miss anything! #weekendbloghop

    Reply
    1. Neil Walker Post author

      Hi Tim, thanks for dropping by and commenting! I admit, I hadn’t even thought about the reverse issue of pink and boys. I certainly had pastel pink socks and ties in my youth….but in my defence…if defence is needed, it was the eighties!

      Reply
      1. Tim

        Ha. The 80s are largely indefensible, fashion-wise. Still my favourite decade, though. Thanks for popping by

  5. SingleMotherAhoy

    I love this post and agree entirely! I often buy t shirts for my daughter from the boys’ section in shops because I hate all the prissy pink princess nonsense. I don’t want her to grow up thinking girls can only do certain things!
    Thanks for linking up with #weekendbloghop!

    Reply
    1. Neil Walker Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! Grace has a male cousin who is two months older, so she often finds herself in a variety of mix and match, male and female attire!

      Reply

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