I sometimes dress our baby in pink. And she’s a girl. According to some far left liberals, I’m promoting gender stereotypes and I’m probably a bad dad for dressing a girl in pink.
Some minister via the Independent even went as far to say “dressing your daughter in pink and buying her ‘girly’ toys damages the future of our economy.”
Before I carry on with this post, I will admit that I am being slightly facetious with this. I have my tongue in my cheek and there’s a part of me that’s just playing devil’s advocate. So chill out. I just like looking at things with a little bit of perspective. It’s actually good for you.
Not Dressing a Girl in Pink Actually Promotes Gender Stereotypes
Some people might argue that you shouldn’t really dress a girl in pink as it reinforces gender stereotypes. They argue that pink is in fact a girls colour. By dressing them in pink you’re pushing them down the path of being pigeonholed into ‘female’ roles.
I tend to think a little bit differently. By not dressing a girl in pink you’re actually acknowledging the fact that it’s a girls colour. You’re literally reverse-reinforcing gender stereotypes by avoiding it. Whereas if you didn’t care what colour the baby was wearing, you’d be accepting of that fact that colours are just colours, and it doesn’t matter what one you wear.
I will admit that retailers need to do a little more, especially when it comes to newborns. It’s either pink, blue or some ‘gender neutral’ grey. And not a lot else. Can’t we have loads of colours? It isn’t that hard.
I Don’t Care What Colour She Dresses In
Honestly. I don’t care what colour the clothes are that Isabelle wears. If we want to put her in a pink, sparkly, frilly dress with ‘I’m a Princess’ plastered across the front then we’ll do just that. Does it promote some weird gender stereotype that she should be pretty and act like a princess? No. It merely means that the clothes are pink and it has some arbitrary writing across the front. And that’s it.
I get that you shouldn’t dress a girl in pink ALL the time. But you shouldn’t dress them in any colour all the time. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. If they wear pink, then they wear pink. Who really cares? I don’t even care and for some reason I’m writing this post. Is there really anything wrong with this?
That’s a pink, frilly dress. I don’t immediately look at this and see a girly pink dress. I see a happy baby who just so happens to be wearing pink. Is there really anything wrong with that? The answer you’re looking for there is no. At least to me.
I understand it if someone’s concern is over doing it. And always dressing girls in pink. Which of course we don’t. Isabelle could just as easily be wearing something extremely silly like this:
And people might argue that I should be encouraging Isabelle to wear this sort of thing, and avoid the pink dress. But to me there’s nothing wrong with having a mix. I’m not avoiding a colour just because it plays into some gender stereotype. What’s really wrong with pink? If you want to say that girls should be able to wear what they want then that includes wearing something that’s pink.
If it ends up being her favourite colour and she wants a pink room then that’s fine. She can have a pink room.
Being Aware of Gender Stereotypes as Isabelle Gets Older
Look, I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to force Isabelle to be a pretty princess and do ‘girly’ things all the time. I actually really hopes she gets into jiu-jitsu or some other martial art as I really love watching the UFC. If she wants to play football, play in the mud or be a mechanic, then that’s fine too. But do you see what I did there? I essentially acknowledged those things are things that boys do. And people do it all the time.
There’s even the This Is Me campaign via the Welsh Government website. They literally say “From a man working as a midwife to a woman working as a mechanic, or a young boy wearing makeup to a young girl playing in the mud with her truck” as part of their campaign.
Doesn’t mentioning these things as people breaking gender stereotypes just reinforce the fact that they’re doing something largely attributed to the opposite sex?
Of course, I might be talking shit on this one. I totally get that. It might be a good thing that they’re doing this campaign. Maybe I understand more than enough about gender roles, stereotypes and sexism for it to be of no concern to me. But for others it might give them the confidence to go out and do what they want since they’re seeing other doing it. I’m merely playing devil’s advocate on this one and suggesting that it actually reinforces what is considered a ‘boy’ thing and a ‘girl’ thing.
Gender Stereotypes Can Be Harmful
Gender stereotypes can be incredibly harmful to either gender. All I want for Isabelle when she grows up is to understand that she can do whatever she wants. Within reason of course. I don’t want to force her into doing something because it goes against traditional female gender stereotypes and makes me look like a cool liberal father. There are some dickheads out there who actually get off on the fact that their child goes against gender norms.
Should I avoid ballet class purely because it’s seen as a ‘girls’ thing to do? Of course not. And I’m not going to stop her playing with a doll or a play kitchen set because it’s seen as ‘girly’ either. That would be moronic. And also technically sexist.
I guess my whole point in all of this is for people to chill out a little. Dressing a girl in pink isn’t going to ruin the economy, stop her from pursing what she wants or help fuel a bullshit, false gender pay gap. There are far bigger things out there that can do that.