Saturday, December 08, 2012

Inescapable Pink

I never really had a problem with the colour pink. I still don't. It's not like my wardrobe is overflowing with it but I do have a couple of pink t-shirts and a fuchsia salwar kameez which I am rather fond of.

But after becoming a mother to a daughter, I have to say that I am a bit overwhelmed with the amount of pink everywhere. If there is any product that is meant for a little girl, there is a 80% chance that it is pink - clothes, shoes, hair accessories, toys, school bags, stationery and everything else in between.

And even for products where colour and gender should have no bearing, manufacturers and marketers are starting to provide separate options for boys and girls. Like laptops and telescopes. Interestingly, in both these examples, not only are the girls' options pink, they are also designed to be less functional. Because as long it is pink, air-headed little girls with fluff for brains won't care about how well it works, right??! Irritating! Someone needs to take these toy manufacturers through this chart:


Over time, I have been trying to spurn pink when it comes to Tarana. Enough of it finds its way into her wardrobe and toy collection without any effort on my part, so I figure I might well take on the task of ensuring that the other colours in the spectrum get fair representation. As a result, you are more likely to see her dressed in yellow, purple or red than in pink. Her schoolbag is a blue Thomas The Tank Engine one instead of Dora, her bottles Milton steel and her tiffin box regular Lock & Lock stuff. Refusing to touch the candy pink Barbie toothbrush with a bargepole, I went for the blue one with a car on it.

Both because of my disinterest in buying her girly stuff and the fact that she has an older brother as a role model, she is quite the tomboy. She hates wearing dresses and hairclips, shows no interest in dolls and prefers the (debatable) charms of the Teletubbies to Dora. But she has not remained entirely untouched by the pink mania, mostly picked up from other girls in school, I guess. It was the first colour she could identify and I can definitely see her growing affinity for it.

This was especially obvious when we went to buy her a big girl bicycle last weekend. Her red and yellow tricycle was bought when she was too small to have a point of view but this time, she was pretty clear about what she wanted and it was the pink one. I tried to steer her towards the red and black 'boys' bike and did manage to convince her by telling her it was better. But then I asked the salesperson and he told me both the bikes has identical features, and I decided not to be dishonest. After all, it is my anti-pink agenda, not hers. So I opened up the choice again and of course, she chose the pink one and that's what we bought.

Sigh.

Pink - 1, Rohini - 0.

30 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:36 am

    I have been in the UK for a while and am overwhelmed by the pink when i enter the girls section in any store - sad to see this has caught up in India too - looks like there is no hope!

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    1. The good things is that ethnic wear has still managed to buck the pink trend. Lehengas, etc are still available in classic reds, yellows, etc.

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  2. Aah! Pinkness overload happening to me too. My toddler's everything is pink and she picks up most of the stuff in pink. She is born girly and i cant seem to help that :)
    Sad that Cbeebies off air ,na? Now I have nothing to show on Tv to the kid.

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    1. Don't even get me started on Cbeebies. It is so sad that a channel with age-appropriate content and zero advertising did not find enough takers :(

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  3. oh..am also annoyed by the blue colour everywhere and consciously try to pick something that is not blue for the little fella...

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    1. LOL! Other side of the coin. But I have seen both sides and while there is a preponderance of blue in boys clothes, it is nowhere near the pink blanket bombing you see in the girls' aisle.

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  4. Yeah what's it with the pink? I just get so thrilled when I go to buy clothing and find something in colours other than pink!
    Loooved that flowchart ;) !!!

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    1. Same here! I immediately grab anything that is in any colour other than pink.

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  5. Oh the flow chart :D :D My sister in law is stuck on pink for her daughter. SO much so that I dont even dare to gift the baby anything else. I love to see girls in blue, yellow, green...come on. Why PINK all the time?

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    1. Can't take credit for the flow chart. Something that has been floating around on Twitter and Pinterest. Don't know the source so could not credit appropriately.

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  6. I love that flowchart :D I think we've had a similar conversation on Twitter about this, but I so know what you're saying. I happen to have 2 nieces and 4 nephews, and whenever I've tried to buy stuff for them, I notice this. The stuff for boys is all colours but pink, and the girls' stuff is just always pink. Very disconcerting. Even happened to me while buying things for a newborn! Picked up a pack of onesies, one had a cars print and I think the other had teddies. The salesperson promptly told me that those were for baby boys, and started showing me pink ones - white and pink, all pink, yellow and pink. If I was a baby girl in this day and age, I'd grow up to hate pink.

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    1. On the other hand, it seems to have just the opposite effect. Instead of hating the pink overload, most girls just seem to want more of the same!

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  7. First of all am so glad that you are blogging again.
    So so loved this post. I don't have a little girl of my own, but have seen the little nieces drowning in pink. Sigh......

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    1. You know who else is so glad I am blogging again? Me! :D

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  8. First of all, I am so glad that you are blogging again.
    So so loved this post. I don't have a little girl of my own, by have seen the little nieces drowning in pink. Sigh....

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  9. :D Am a pink baby!!!In my trosseau 60% of teh stuff was pink :D
    Vaise I do not like the logic 'pink is for girls & blue for buys', I mean how can something which is a matter of personal choice be generalised? Beyond me!

    And good u gave in to your daughter's choice :)

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    1. I still feel somewhat wistful every time I see her on the pink, flowery bike but what to do.

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  10. Tell em baout it.

    I vehemently went anti-pink with my firstborn. And I lived in the UK at that time - where nothing exists beyond blue and pink for anyone under age 10. Used to pick up oranges and greens and maroons and even reds on des trips just to add some variety.

    With second born I have been more chilled - she used preferred pink at one point. I simply remained silent - went with the flow so to speak. She got over it very quickly and now is at a point where she couldn't care less.

    By the way I recently found a book for 7-8 year olds which had a pink *font*!

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    1. Yikes at the pink font. As a policy, I don't buy books which have titles like 'Bedtime Stories for Girls'. Bit too early to get started on chicklit :p

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  11. I bought a pink, well maybe pinkish peach tee for my son and it says "What's not to love?". I louvee eet! I consciously try to mix it up for N and avoid the typical blues and greens that come for boys!

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  12. At Ayaan's old school in Mumbai, they had a colour week every year and kids had to sport that colour in their clothes. Needless to say, trying to find a non-girly pink tee for the boy used to drive me batty!

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  13. Button wanted to buy Pink Dora crocs and I asked him to go ahead and try it on for size. The shopkeeper not only repeatedly told me that it was pink, she had the audacity to tell Button "It is pink. For girls. Are you a girl?" To which I retorted that she was dressed in blue, for boys. And walked out of the shop in disgust. Needless to say, it was a lose-lose-lose for all... bad temper for me, loss of sale for salesgirl and worst, Button upset that he didn't get his precious Dora crocs. Sigh!

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    1. How cute is that?! :o) Idiot shop woman.

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  14. Oh ongoing battle. My small one wants a barbie doll with a comb and hairdryer. Older one says, "that's a nice toy to buy, but my friends will laugh at me for having a brother who has a doll". Gotten over colors in the house, they have no color specifications, sport pinks, purples, everything.... but shopkeepers and book stores make it so difficult to survive....

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    1. So cute. Are you planning to get him one?

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  15. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/that-boy-in-yellow-nail-polish/1041760/4
    check this out.....

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  16. I was totally anti-barbie like toys with stick legs and hands and no stomach. The more I said no, the more the daughter wanted it. Finally I gave in and got her one and now keep hearing her say to her doll "why don't you eat anything ?". More than anything she enjoys tying plaits and combing the doll's straight long hair. I think I am more prejudiced than her on stuff like this - its not like she will want to become a barbie by playing with one :).

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    1. Yeah, that is my approach. I hate Barbies but if she really wants one, she can have it. And if someone gifts her one, she can have it too (I have heard of moms who weed out the Barbies before the gifts are opened). But I don't see myself buying her one of my own accord.

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  17. my fav gift for girls is usually something very boyish. like mechanix . a) i cant think gift ideas for girl babies anymore. got conditioned with 8 years of knowing total of 5 boy kids in the family. b) i dont believe that girls cannot do what boys can.

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    1. Itchy! So good to see you in these parts. LOL at being conditioned by the boy babies. And you have my vote on b) :o)

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