The lines of gender identity are slowly changing, but most cannot help assuming that a baby dressed in blue is a boy and a child in pink is a girl. But, why is this and does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? The one reason for creating this separation is to make identification a little easier. If babies are dressed in the appropriate colours then you don’t need to worry about insulting a mother by calling her little baby girl a boy, but is that the only reason why blue is for boys and pink is for girls or is there something more to this long established rule?
So why are blue and pink for boys and girls? Surprisingly this isn’t an age old tradition and came about in the last century. Children and babies were always dressed in white before World War II, which saved the parents a considerable amount of money as the clothes could be passed on from sibling to sibling and generation to generation. It was not until the 1940’s when things started to change and this change was initially brought about by marketing companies suggesting that certain colours suited certain children, such as pink for brown haired and brown eyed babies. As surprising as it might seem today, pink was considered to be a much stronger colour and was therefore suggested for boys as the more masculine and stronger sex.
Things gradually changed after World War II and manufacturers began making clothes specifically designed for girls and others for boys, with pink for the former and blue for the latter. This persuaded people that girls and boys needed different clothing to confirm their identity and, despite feminist appeals, this is something that has stuck for the last 60 years. Somewhere along the road yellow became regarded as a neutral colour, suitable for both sexes and ideal for new mothers who didn’t know the gender of their baby yet.
So where does that leave us today? Ideals are shifting and in general people are much more open minded than they once were and yet, dress your little boy in pink and people will still assume he is a girl; but then again is that necessarily a bad thing? Today’s viewpoint is still, blue for boys and pink for girls, but what about the rest of the colours? Pretty much all other colours can be considered unisex, making shopping a whole lot easier for new parents. We are getting back to the old ways, of clothes that look and function in the same way for girls and boys, such as these Amanda overalls, or the Elia cashmere and wool mix jumper. This is the ideal situation for parents with more than one child, and family and friends who want to buy a present but don’t know the sex of the baby yet.
What is your personal experience? Have you found yourself in one of those awkward situations?
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