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Do pink clothes and "girly" stuff send the wrong message to daughters?


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#1 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

My favourite colour is pink, I love all things that sparkle, I love jewellery, accessories, make up and colour and florals and all sorts of "girly" crap. I love dresses and shoes and anything bright and shiny. Skin care products, hair care products I love them all.

Apparently I am expecting a DD and alas have gone out and purchased a few pink items and hair accessories and other kinds of crap, because I like them. A few people have commented asking why I would do this to a daughter? It's not with malicious intent, I think just an extension of things I love and because I'm the one buying them I am choosing what I like (if that makes sense).

I'm not into sexual isn't children at all. I do like dresses though. Obviously when she is old enough to choose her own clothes I will buy what she chooses (obviously within reason).

It's weird because with my son I never gave it much thought, he has pink clothes and nappies and toys and copious amounts of sparkling crap and no one has ever commented and I never thought about it much before. He has dolls and a toy kitchen but has navigated to loving his toy trucks.

I guess my question is does it send the wrong message to dress a baby girl in headbands and dresses and tights and sparkle? I don't want her growing up thinking she HAS to like these things. Is it the start of stereotyping her into a pigeon hole?

I hope my question makes sense!



#2 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

I believe there is something innate about most girls liking girly stuff and being attracted to it regardless. I had a party of 5 year olds - about 10 of them and my DD got makeup from her aunt. You should have seen the girls giggling faces; the rest of the party was a bit of a makeup party. They ALL loved the glitz and the glamour. No-one was standing around guiding that, they were all just drawn to it. That has to say something.

I like glitz and pink and all things girly. My girls do to. They want to wear makeup and be girly. I haven't taught them that; it is just something they are.

#3 soontobegran

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

I also think it is inate in most girls to prefer the softer or 'prettier' colours and actually see nothing wrong with it at all.
As the mum of 4 girls and 1 boy who was born into a 'pink home' he soon let us know that was not what he liked and it had nothing to do with us trying to force colours/toys/games on him that were supposed to be gender specific.
Enjoy it sunnycat, she will let you know when the time comes whether she wants to keep up the pinks...mine didn't and that was fine.

When women and men and girls and boys have equal amounts of oestogen and testosterone then perhaps we'll see different behaviours but since it isn't going to happen then I say go with the flow.

#4 CallMeProtart

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

I hate girly stuff and dressed DD very unisex. Now she lives to wear makeup and only wants princess stuff  ddoh.gif

I think there's probably more danger in subconsciously focusing on looks in a child. I do worry because I'm always telling DD how beautiful she is - because I can't help it, she is! I tell DS the same, but there comes a point when girls clothes become more 'dressy' than  boys clothes and it becomes more instinctive to tell them they are beautiful when they are dressed up (for a party etc) - and at that point I think girls start getting a lot more looks-focused complements than boys.
I don't want them to think looks are that important. But I can't keep my mouth shut when they are so georgeous!
I tell them they are smart and so on too - but tbh they are georgeous more than they are smart at the moment so they hear that more Tounge1.gif

#5 starfire

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:03 AM

Make the most of it! biggrin.gif Your DD may end up hating the colour pink as she gets older lol!
I know I went through a stage where I HATED anything girly, including dolls! But now I love pink and think girly things are cute (go figure) rolleyes.gif

I don't see an issue with it and have purchased a lot of things in pink for our baby (who is said to be a girl as well) and I haven't even thought twice about it.

#6 Ianthe

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

Possibly.

But I do think that if you like pink sparkly stuff then enjoy it! I found the girly stuff so nice-even the basic Tshirts would have a little ruffle on the sleeves. Loved it after three boys.

#7 *LucyE*

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

QUOTE
I guess my question is does it send the wrong message to dress a baby girl in headbands and dresses and tights and sparkle? I don't want her growing up thinking she HAS to like these things. Is it the start of stereotyping her into a pigeon hole?

I don't think it is a problem but then I did dress my DD is copious amounts of pink and frills.

My quasi feminist SIL insisted that her daughter was not going to wear pink and refused gifts of pink clothing etc.  Her DD then grew to an age where she could express her own wishes and would only wear pink LOL.  I feel that SIL turned it into an issue because of her stance.

My DD's current favourite colour is royal blue so I don't think the pink onesies did her too much harm.  The important thing is to listen to them and maintain an open dialogue.  My DD loves skirts, sparkles and frills but she doesn't dress in them to please others.

#8 CallMeProtart

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

QUOTE (economist99 @ 29/01/2013, 10:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The groovers dressed their baby daughters in black but ended up regretting it.


Did not regret it thanks! DD always rocked the dark colours better than the pastels - her black onesie with black sequin hairband at 4mo is a favourite memory! She was such a funky chicken laughing2.gif

But once she got to choose her own clothes she prefers brighter things and I don't get a say sad.gif  I have the MOST BEAUTIFUL dark grey velvet opera-style coat - will she wear it? No. But her crappy pink stuff - oh yeah.

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 29/01/2013, 10:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also think it is inate in most girls to prefer the softer or 'prettier' colours and actually see nothing wrong with it at all.
As the mum of 4 girls and 1 boy who was born into a 'pink home' he soon let us know that was not what he liked and it had nothing to do with us trying to force colours/toys/games on him that were supposed to be gender specific.

It may still have been socialised though. I think it's more innate for ALL kids to like bright colours. I remember taking DS to the shoe shop and trying to get him 'boys' shoes in their horrible dark greens and blacks - and all he wanted was the girls stuff - silver - pink - gold - beautiful! And who could blame him? The boys stuff was really ugly and dull in comparison...
But I think it gets bred out of boys pretty early. I haven't forced anything on my kids but they still come home from daycare with the whole "pink is for girls" b*llsh*t. And even subconsciously, he must notice at some point that all his clothes ARE a very different hue from DD's, and I guess he'll internalise that.

#9 BetteBoop

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

If pink was an innate preference why did it used to be a male colour only a generation ago? If make up is a feminine biological imperative, why have men worn it throughout the ages, and why is it a male grooming practice in many cultures?

Socialisation along gender roles is so intense, it's impossible to prise apart what is nature and what is nurture. As is evidenced in this thread already, people presume because all little girls like something, it's proof of biology.

But from the moment a baby is born, the contents of their nappy determines how they are dressed and ultimately how they are treated.

As a parent, we dress our kids in what we prefer ourselves so if these things are you preference, it's natural you would choose them for a child.

But little girls are told from day one that their uniform is pink and sparkly. Regardless of what you choose, by age 3, when she's old enough to know she's a girl and identify with other girls, this is what she will want to wear.

#10 PurpleWitch

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

Nope. But I hate those big ugly head bands on bald babies!!

#11 MrsLexiK

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

I am very girlie, but I don't want to push that onto my child, just like my DH is very blokey and I do not want to push that onto my child either.

#12 Wigglemama

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

I think people really over think things these days. Basically if you want to dress your daughter in pink, do so. The naysayers can do what they want as well. Don't allow them to make you think you are doing anything wrong. You are not damaging your unborn child. One day she will decide for herself what colour she wants to wear. I have two daughters who haven't work pink for around 4 years. My youngest at 4 yo, tells me her favourite colour is pink. I'm sure she will hate it in five years time.

Edited by Wigglemama, 29 January 2013 - 10:17 AM.


#13 soontobegran

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

QUOTE (Beetlebop @ 29/01/2013, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But little girls are told from day one that their uniform is pink and sparkly. Regardless of what you choose, by age 3, when she's old enough to know she's a girl and identify with other girls, this is what she will want to wear.



Nope , my baby girls were in white, red, yellow, black, blue and green as I didn't like pink so much but yes, by the time they were 3 they were asking for pinks, fairies and glitz......since they were not in childcare or under the affect of any social pressures I figured they did so because it was inate.

To admit that there is a biological difference between women and men that may influence our likes and dislikes does not automatically suggest that being female is the lesser of the two sexes.

#14 *LucyE*

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

QUOTE
But little girls are told from day one that their uniform is pink and sparkly. Regardless of what you choose, by age 3, when she's old enough to know she's a girl and identify with other girls, this is what she will want to wear.

Not always.  I agree socialization plays a large part and the greatest influence of our children while they are young, are us, their parents.

I dressed DD is impractical, but gorgeously pink, frilly things while she was young.  By age 3, she decided her favourite colour was silver and gold.  Now at age 6, her favourite colour is blue.  She still wears pink but she is in no way a demure, 'well behaved', good girl.  She's a strong and confident young person.  I like to think a big part of that comes from DH and I, not the colours of clothing she has been supplied with.

If the message a child receives is, 'you only look good in pink', then I can understand it may be damaging.  But most thoughtful parents wouldn't do that.

#15 EBeditor

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

Dress them in whatever you like. By the age of 2 or so they will start to make their own choices!
Both my kids (boy and girl) love sparkly crap, as do I.

My only issue with girls and clothing is when people dress their girls in clothes that restrict their play, e.g impractical shoes, 'good' dresses they don't want to get dirty.

I am wearing a pink blouse today and consider myself quite the feminist.

#16 Froger

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

Oh bollocks to those PPs. Of course it is not innate for girls to love pink glittery stuff, high heels and have long hair. Nor is it innate for boys to prefer blue and short hair and sensible shoes.

Check out The Duke of Burgundy (around 1700 I would think) wearing pink stockings, lots of glam and glittery gold and high heels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nicolas_...C3%A8re_003.jpg

This is how men used to dress ALL THE TIME.

I REST MY CASE.

ETA: The Duke of Burgundy is on the far right if you didn't already guess. But the other guys aint looking shabby either. One of them has pink frilly things on his high heels.

Edited by SarahM72, 29 January 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#17 BetteBoop

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 29/01/2013, 10:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nope , my baby girls were in white, red, yellow, black, blue and green as I didn't like pink so much but yes, by the time they were 3 they were asking for pinks, fairies and glitz......since they were not in childcare or under the affect of any social pressures I figured they did so because it was inate.

To admit that there is a biological difference between women and men that may influence our likes and dislikes does not automatically suggest that being female is the lesser of the two sexes.


I don't think childcare is the only form of socialisation. Socialisation is the process of gradually communicating values and attitudes to children. It happens on a daily basis and is through dealings with people as well as messages taken from the media about gender roles.

Pink is still a baby boy colour in some countries. My family is from Europe and it's still not common practice for girls and boys to be separated along the same colour lines as in Australia.

If pink was an innate choice, it should be consistent throughout the world.

There are biological differences between the sexes. But having a vagina doesn't pre-determine your colour preference. If they did, all mature women would still love pink. Most women in my age bracket seem to prefer black or grey.

#18 kpingitquiet

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

I think pink/purple/sparkles, to the exclusion of all else, can send the wrong msg, yes. Pink, though not so originally, has come to be associated with gentility, frivolity, and princessy airheadedness. Not the best combo there.

We have never really bought anything pink for our daughter (2yo) but that's because she has pink-buying grandparents. So, the end result is that she has a full rainbow of colors to choose from every day, a balance of pants and dresses, ballerinas and dinosaurs, robots and butterflies, and she loves them all on different days.

#19 Ianthe

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

QUOTE (CallMeProtart @ 29/01/2013, 11:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have the MOST BEAUTIFUL dark grey velvet opera-style coat - will she wear it? No.


Oh man that would be heartbreaking!

#20 CallMeProtart

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 29/01/2013, 11:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nope , my baby girls were in white, red, yellow, black, blue and green as I didn't like pink so much but yes, by the time they were 3 they were asking for pinks, fairies and glitz......since they were not in childcare or under the affect of any social pressures I figured they did so because it was inate.

To admit that there is a biological difference between women and men that may influence our likes and dislikes does not automatically suggest that being female is the lesser of the two sexes.


Did they not watch any TV STBG? Or see any other children?
Of course there are biological differences, but I highly doubt colour preference is one of them. We don't see through our genitals, or with our hormones.
Sparkles are pretty, it's not surprising kids like them. Boy OR girl.

#21 SeaPrincess

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

Our neighbour refused all things pink and girly for her baby.  Her 3-yo DD now refuses anything else and is often seen heading off wearing a tutu.  I'm not a fan of insipid baby colours, so DD has worn bold colours all her life - fuchsia (which MIL hated on a baby), red, greens and blues.  She also now chooses what she wants.

Do what you like.  She'll be telling you what she likes soon enough!

#22 BadCat

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

QUOTE (Katakacpk @ 29/01/2013, 10:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I believe there is something innate about most girls liking girly stuff and being attracted to it regardless. I had a party of 5 year olds - about 10 of them and my DD got makeup from her aunt. You should have seen the girls giggling faces; the rest of the party was a bit of a makeup party. They ALL loved the glitz and the glamour. No-one was standing around guiding that, they were all just drawn to it. That has to say something.

I like glitz and pink and all things girly. My girls do to. They want to wear makeup and be girly. I haven't taught them that; it is just something they are.


The group of 5 year olds wouldn't have flocked to the makeup because their mothers all wear it by any chance?  Or because they see women everywhere with painted faces?  

And you don't think you've taught your girls to be girly yet you admit to loving all things girly yourself.  You don't have to sit them down and instruct them to teach them.

I abhor the entire notion that girls should be decorated but boys look fine without any tweaking.  I think anyone who decorates their girls in ways they don't decorate their boys is perpetuating the ingrained notion that girls need help to look acceptable.  And I think that's wrong.

It's not the colour of the clothes that is the problem.  It's the frills, flounces, sparkles and princessy crap. A pink t-shirt is fine, a pink t-shirt with I Love Shopping emblazoned on it in diamantes is not and merely adds to the impression that women are brainless and only know how to be pretty and buy stuff.

#23 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

If I have a girl, I intend to avoid excessive pink, sparkles and princess stuff because whenever I see a girl dressed like this in public, the first thing the majority of adults say to her is, "my my, don't you look pretty today". This is meant to be harmless but I don't like girls getting the message that looking pretty equals adult approval.

#24 BetteBoop

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (BadCat @ 29/01/2013, 10:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I abhor the entire notion that girls should be decorated but boys look fine without any tweaking.  I think anyone who decorates their girls in ways they don't decorate their boys is perpetuating the ingrained notion that girls need help to look acceptable.  And I think that's wrong.


I think it was Gloria Steinham who said "make up is an apology for our natural faces".

Metrosexuals are rapidly learning that their natural faces require copious apologies. And unsurprisingly as men are realising that they need to focus on their appearances too, eating disorders and body image disorders are soaring in teen boys.

This is why people 'overthink' these messages.

#25 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

Hmmm. My son is accessorised and sparkly in his own way. I dress him in bright colours and stuff.

I hate slogans and princess crap though.

Maybe it is shallow because I try to dress DS "fashionably" in what I think looks good on him. Maybe I shouldn't be dressing and gender children "fashionably" at all?

Eta by fashionably I mean clothes I like that I think are nice, not trendy or anything like that.

Edited by Sunnycat, 29 January 2013 - 11:00 AM.





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