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I knit, I sew, I run, I look after children and hamsters, I take truly terrible pictures, I cook, I complain.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Does pink stink?

I like pink. I used to wear it a lot (none of my pink clothes fit any more :( ), I knit with it a lot and I put Lucy in it a lot of the time. She also has green clothes, blue clothes, jeans, trousers, "boys"' teeshirts and is currently wearing a green and white teeshirt and jeans. She doesn't have many pink toys, except for her baby pushchair and some blocks that my parents got her for Christmas that we don't use as she has two big bags of blocks, and the pink ones should really stay at their house.

I can see where these people are coming from - when I go to the Early Learning Centre, it's quite sickening how much stuff is pushed at little girls that emphasises good behaviour and low expectations (especially slogan teeshirts aimed at older children - My Daddy thinks I'm a princess, Future WAG, Playboy branded things for children for God's sake) but at the same time, we don't have to buy it for them. Lucy is not an independent consumer, and she may want things, but I don't have to buy them for her. I can buy her things I like, things I think she might like later on, but they don't have to be pink cash registers and bikinis and princess dresses.

More positive role models for girls would be a good thing, I understand this; after all I do teach young girls, and it's sobering to find out how many idolise Barbies, but it's also heartening to see them playing football, watching Ben 10, loving Thomas the Tank Engine and other "boys" things. Children have limited horizons - 10 is old to a 5 year old, 15 is ancient to a 10 year old and you may as well be dead as be 25 when you're 17 - and it's our job as adults to help them learn to make good decisions. We should be teaching them to ignore marketing ploys and to see through the surface to the substance.

So, on the whole, pink doesn't stink, but the stuff that is painted bright pink to appeal to little girls does, and we should watch out for it. But overanalysing and obsessing over our culture is rapidly turning into a disease and stops us noticing the big stuff. The marketing of things at children is far, far too widespread and dangerous, and obsessing whether pink things should be for girls misses the point.

So there.

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