Yes you, the one obsessed with telling all the girls that they are the cutest, the fairest and most beautiful of all. The one obsessed with selling me your pink onesies and pink tutu frocks and pink feeding bottles. Let me just cut it short and say that I am disgusted with you.
I also grew up as a girl in this very world and I don’t remember wearing as much pink or being pushed to buy as much pink as there is in this world today. I don’t remember my Mom painting my room pink either. I don’t remember even liking pink as a color all through my childhood and needless to mention, with all the femininity associated with the color, I am quite disgusted by it even as an adult.
Why the angst? I have only begun to start looking for the bare essentials required to raise my daughter once she is here in December, and I am disappointed already. The whole pink/blue brigade is driving me insane.
I am tired of people asking me what color I will paint the nursery. Our walls are painted in light cream color and we intend to keep them that way. I grew up in different rental houses in the small town of Saharanpur and today I don’t even remember the color of the several walls I was exposed to as an infant. And I don’t think the color of the walls ended up contributing to who I am today. So why should it be any different for my daughter?
I don’t want her to have any wrong impressions about this world. By painting her nursery pink, I will tell her the first lie – that this world is all so beautiful, soft and well cushioned. Because the reality is – that nothing is ever so pink and rosy. That does not mean I will paint it grey, for that is the true representation of the world as it really is. All I am saying is – I don’t want to paint it different than the rooms I live in today!
Walk into any store, except GAP and you will see blatantly obvious color discrimination between girls and boys clothes. Who said girls look cute in pink? I look best in black. And that’s my color. I love blue too. Ninety percent of my office wardrobe is blue/black and white. And that also largely applies to my non-office wardrobe. My mother never stuffed pink in my face and I will not do that either. Let the kid pick her colors and if she picks pink for whatever reason, so be it. But why paint a pink world for her to begin with. She should always be exposed to the entire gamut of colors in the spectrum. She deserves to wear as much black, blue, yellow, peach, brown and purple. She deserves to have the option and you need to make it available for her.
From burp cloths to baby carriers, from swaddles to baby blankets, even combs and nail clippers and toothbrush come in a pink and a blue variety. Why? From the very beginning you ask me to pick my aisle, pick my section in a store and then when I grow up you ask why more women don’t become scientists? Softer colors for girls and bold colors for boys – why? These boys will one day grow up to be the men my daughter will work in the industry with; and they will question my daughter’s boldness in conference rooms and call her bossy. You plant that seed way too early and you water it with all these discriminatory choices. Stop feeding that phantom inside of you that imagines a baby girl as a doll that you deck up and play with. She is one day going to be a wife, a mother and an equal earning member of the family. She deserves more respect than just being admired as an object of beautification. Stop selling pretty pink Barbie dresses and accessories – no one in real life dresses that way. Not the women who I respect anyways.
Why are boys onesies full of notions of “Dad’s Wingman”, “Mom’s Knight in Shining Armor”, and girls onesies rich with notions of – “Pretty darn cute”, “Mom’s lil fairy”. There are steamer boats painted on boys blankets and hello kitty on girls? I am not cute and I am no fairy and I don’t know many women who fit that category either. So why endorse those notions on babies?
I want to design my own onesies for girls. They will read – “The Voracious Reader”, “Dad’s Strength” and “Mom’s Right Hand”, “Mom’s Sous Chef” and “Dad’s Lego Partner” and so on so forth.
I have to seriously dig for neutral colors. I have to look hard for bedding sets that are not all pretty pink. And even when I find them the variety is so less and dissatisfying. Plane yellow. Why is yellow universally considered neutral for kids and not black or orange? Do you know that science suggests that kids who are around a lot of yellow are crankier than others who aren’t?
I don’t think I am asking for too much. My parents raised two daughters in a small town in India and if they could raise us in a neutral way such that in no way do I find myself different from the men around me. Then why am I finding difficult to do the same in United States of America? I am not asking you to get rid of the pink brigade. I am asking for an equal if not more options to pick from if I chose to go neutral.
For now I will go back to my research for the most neutral stores to shop from! If you have some recommendations, I will really appreciate them.