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Pink and Blue!

When I was expecting my second child, who I was confident was a boy by the way; I went crazy buying clothes in blue, yellow and white! Not because I thought boys needed to wear these colours but because I wanted to see my new born in a colour other than pink and purple! My first born, a beautiful young lady of 10 now, was gifted everything in shades of pink and purple, the obvious gift to expect, I suppose if you have given birth to a girl. And so with the second one I decided to explore other colours….and one of them happened to be well, Blue!

Why is Pink for girls and Blue for boys? My second born incidentally a charming young 5 year old girl, loves the colour blue!! She reaches out for the blue crayon, wants to carry a blue colour bag, likes to eat out of a blue crockery and occasionally saves the blue M&M’s for last! Blue suits her. I think it compliments her beautifully. And as a matter of fact the man of the house looks quite dapper in a pink shirt; which he dawns though only once in a blue moon… no pun intended!

It wasn’t always like this though. It’s believed that in the early 1900’s the generally accepted rule was pink was for a boy and blue was for a girl. The reasoning behind it was that pink was a strong colour, therefore more suitable for a boy; while blue was considered more delicate and dainty and prettier for a girl. Aah, now I like the sound of that. So how did things switch? We have clever advertising and marketing to thank for it and maybe the French Fashion back then that influenced the trends. French saw pink as dainty and hence associated it with women and blue for men as they considered it a strong colour.

Fast forward to the 21st Century. Are we really over the pink and blue gender divide? Not even close I would say. My older daughter does Ballet, sings and sails. Certain people have turned around and said to me but that needs endurance does she manage it? It annoys me to even here things like this. I recently took my younger one to a boys birthday party. It was any child’s paradise the party! An aquantance came up to me and said ” Your daughter likes blue, really? This because she chose to sit on a blue chair to watch the magic show! Is it that awful? How does it matter whether my child likes pink or blue? Should colour define gender and vice versa? There is still a clear demarcation in shops and supermarkets; where even the Colgate toothpaste has Barbie on the cover of their strawberry toothpaste and Spiderman in mint blue. No prizes for guessing which one my 5 year old picks every time!

So the next time you hear some on say ‘You are a girl, you can’t do that!” or “You are a boy, boys don’t cry!” stop them right there! Let’s break gender stereotypes and bring up our children in a way where we teach them that boys and girls are equal in every way and don’t necessarily have to live upto stereotypes!

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