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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My son likes pink!

People are afraid of colour. Wandering around in a bright purple pant suit is going to get you nothing but the label of crazy. Don a nice neutral ensemble by contrast, and people will respect you for your common sense and good taste. Colours have such social significance, and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to gender stereotypes.

My son likes pink. There I said it. When we go to the grocery store, he'll choose the cart with the pink car attached to it every time, even when the cart with the green car is available. He'll often choose the pink version of a thing over other colour options.

Maybe I'm imagining this, but as the guys in the grocery store pass by and do a double take of my boy in a pink car, I feel them judging me: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a mama's boy is born. I assure you, it has nothing to do with me. I have a pathological fear of the colour pink. I also did what the majority of moms do and surrounded my son with blue clothes, bedding and toys. I didn't specifically set out to surround him with the colour blue, but the things that interested him came only in primary boy colours. You won't find many pink police cars or fire trucks.

I exaggerate my dislike of pink a little - I do like pink tulips - but pink = princess, pink = Barbie and pink = girlie. There could not be three words that are less descriptive of me... I hope. I'm not alone there. Friends with girls have told me of their pink phobias and their efforts to avoid all thing princess-y.

Despite the fact that I don't like pink, I have no problem with Jack's enjoyment of it. I figure Jack should be himself as long as he can. Plenty of time to be influenced by peer pressure. I expect him to one day hear a friend or idol say "pink is for girls" in that derogatory tone of a bully, and for Jack to never again, at least publicly, admit to liking the colour pink. Worse, he'll probably learn to identify with other so-called masculine colours whether he prefers them or not.

It happened to me, in the reverse sense. In an effort not to be controlled by society's wishes for me as a girl, I embraced primary colours and abhorred pastels. Maybe my avoidance of the colour pink is what has resulted in Jack's attraction to it.

What's your favourite colour? What would it be, do you think, if society hadn't played a role in forming your opinions of colour? What do our colour choices say about each of us (see Colour Significance)?

Finally, just for fun, take this quiz: What colour crayon are you?


  1. Liam has a similar obsession with pink. I too am not making a big deal of it as it's just a colour. His friend has a similar obsession. Good to hear there are other little boys going through the same phase or not. Pretty sure that it will be reassuring to their fathers!

  2. Hi Becky. That IS good to know. I'm thinking of buying Jack some pink ballet shoes... just to freak his dad out. ;)

  3. Cookie's DadMarch 29, 2011 10:21 am

    The pink ballet shoes are not happening. The Flames socks are bad enough.

  4. Alright, alright. Pink tap shoes then.

  5. Evan wanted pink crocs and so I kept putting off buying him a new pair until we were at a garding store and I realized they didn"t carry pink so I told Evan he could now buy his new crocs in any colour he wanted. He didn't notice my trick and went home with black ones with a Canada flag on them. He was 3 then. I think if he wanted pink shoes again I'd let him go for it.