Celebrating a hand-made life (22/31) You can have anything, as long as it’s pink or blue …

Girls need opportunities to build!  For me it’s always sad to see girls with only “girl toys” and boys with only “boy toys”.   I guess we’re fortunate to have both the boy/girl thing at the same time, as our two are relatively close in age.  It means they just mix up their toys and play with whatever they fancy, regardless of the “gender target” of the item concerned.

When I took this photo, I had no idea it would prompt me to ponder the “pinkification of girlhood”… But I repeatedly get frustrated when I’m shopping for clothes, or indeed anything, for the little Miss Happy.  Why do so many shops assume girls only wear pink or purple?  Of course it’s a bit of a chicken/egg thing … if the shops only sell the pink and fluffy stuff then little girls are more likely to be wearing pink and fluffy outfits, aren’t they?

I look at photos from my own childhood and there’s very little pink fluff in evidence.   My Mum loved to dress my sister and I in matching outfits, but they weren’t sissy, prissy nor were they predominantly pink.  I guess retailers nowadays have just got lazy and “anything as long as it’s pink” seems to be their buyers’ remit.

Of course it doesn’t end with pink glittery girls fluffy stuff, does it?  Just stroll into any High Street store and you’ll also struggle to find a boys t-shirt without images of vehicles, football or super heroes splashed across it.  Do boys have to wear Thomas?   Do girls all want to wear Lola?   I don’t think they do.   But one thing is for sure … the retailers love for us to dress our kiddies up as mini walking-talking-wearing Advertising Campaigns, don’t they?

So when many of my friends love to shop for their young children and have children’s wardrobes bursting at the seams, I find the whole thing frustrating and our two have a very modest range of outfits to choose from.     Meanwhile, I’m collecting fabrics to return to my sewing-roots and start creating more of their clothes myself, from scratch.  Just like my Mum sewed lots of our children’s clothes to save money.  I won’t save money by sewing our own in 2012, but we will have a real choice in what our kiddies wear, won’t we?

This entry was posted in celebrating a hand-made life, Face Free Photography, parenting, Sewing, steiner and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Celebrating a hand-made life (22/31) You can have anything, as long as it’s pink or blue …

  1. Oh my….don’t get me started! I was a very happy tomboy growing up and didn’t really spend much time pondering my clothing til I was in my teens. It’s a very different story nowadays and much as I’ve tried to shelter E from it all, the whole ‘pink culture’ is bigger than I am and she’s picked it up from somewhere – her favourite colour is pink. I do my best to gently steer her away from it and they know that never buy ‘cartoon clothing’ (with Thomas or Waybaloo) or ‘cartoon food’ which they accept fairly happily. Also, I’ve started listening to how people (shopkeepers/kind strangers) greet my children differently. With my son it’s always about something external to him (what a smashing bike, what book are you reading?) With my daughter it’s 99% related to her appearance (what lovely hair you’ve got, I do like your dress). Of course it’s well-meaning but I can’t help but worry about the impression this is having upon my daughter.

  2. Floss says:

    Our Son 1 absolutely refuses logos on his clothes. No sk8ers, no footballers, no trends! I guess he’d have been a ‘no pink’ girl, had the chromosomes turned out differently… Son 2 likes the occasional trendy item, but complains at the conformity and the spending of his friends – hurray!

    It is bizarre, this ‘pinkification’. Is it all about marketing? You sell more if children can’t share/pass on their clothes to siblings and friends of the opposite sex…

  3. Flaming Nora says:

    Don’t get me started on the pinkification of childhood. It drives me insane. As does the fact that in any children’s clothes shop 3/4 of the floor space is for girls with the boys shoved in a corner some where. And lets not even start on the new lego range for girls. Fume fume rant rant rave rave.

  4. Jane says:

    Historically, pink used to be considered the colour for boys! I hated it as a child and tried to avoid it for my daughter though there wasn’t so much then and mainly in pink plastic toys not clothes. I made a lot of clothes and she was happy in denim dungarees anyway. I really hate the fluffy frilly stuff and branded items, and as for the stuff apeing teenagers – don’t get me started!

  5. Josie Crafter says:

    Oh Jane, the mini-teenager styles are really so hideous, aren’t they? I think there’s something quite sick about them really – why would any normal person want a 3 year old to look like she’s 18? I’m sure, as you say, there was much of it in the past. Is it the effect of Celebrity culture and Footballers’ Wives aspirations ??

Leave a Reply