Is it just me or have things become even more pink and blue when it comes to shopping for kids?
I never really thought about it as a child, and maybe it wasn’t so prominent back then. But as a mother, I can’t help but notice and be annoyed by the fact that when you’re shopping for your daughter, whether it’s bedding, luggage, party favors or water bottles, the choices seem to be limited to princesses, fairies, Barbies, Monster High and Hello Kitty. And the color theme usually involves pink or purple.
And it’s no better for boys. The options are usually action hero’s, Cars, Transformers and Angry Birds in a dark color theme.
And maybe I’m blowing things out of proportion but I started feeling like this recently when I began a search for a birthday present for my daughter and little loot bag items and party favors for my son and daughter’s joint birthday party.
Every store that I looked at perpetuated the stark boy/girl themes. I had to search long and hard to find neutral, non-movie related items. I was eventually successful but at the cost of time and a much higher price point.
I think the underlying problem, the real reason this bothers me so much, is in this day and age where women are supposed to be equal and forward thinking why do we give little girls the options of fairies and princesses who rely on princes to save them and give them their happily ever after.
I’m pretty sure, our little girl’s can be superhero’s, save the princes and make their own happy endings.
What do you think?
14 thoughts on “Princess Pressure”
my niece was captain america for her birthday. I think you got to support whatever they want. tough to escape the commercial influences.
I think you’ve got it exactly right Ali, it’s the commercialism that I really dislike! In the end, if Kyah decides she loves everything pink and princesses, than yes I will support her. I can just hope it will be coming from her and not from the fact that everyone thinks they have to give her pink, princess stuff because she’s a girl.
I totally agree Salma! My little girl LOVES cars, buses and trucks, not just pink things!
That’s great Candace! It’s best if there can be a balance.
I agree with you Salma. I don’t want to be the princess who gets rescued. I want to rescue myself and have my husband as my partner, not someone lower or higher than me. I like princesses just as much as I like superheros. I think it’s easier for girls to flip flop, but it’s much harder for boys to do the same.
Thanks for your comments Keri. I definitely think it’s important for girls to know that they can rescue and not just be rescued. And you’re right, often it’s harder for boys.
I remember once seeing a children tv show and the character was talking about the pink gene girls have. This is why they always need to dress in pink and buy pink toys. The moment I heard this I was like ‘yeahr right, that explains it all’. At the end of the show it turned out, this was a hoax. hahaha
I agree with you. Even when I feel the same and wonder why baby boys cant wear pink dresses. they will look cute 🙂
I raised my son years ago, and I think it has gotten worse. It was bad enough when he was young and wanted a play set. Good luck finding one that wasn’t pink and “girly”. I blanch when I see pink Legos. What’s wrong with giving a girl Legos in primary colors? We’ll see what happens when I am a grandmother.
It’s true, life is “pink and blue” but luckily, we have a boy and a girl. They like each other’s things, which means I play referee quite often. Since Iliyan was born first, we have way more cars, trains and trucks than dolls. But he also has a cooking set which we loves to make carrot soup for us. Jasmin as the second born had only her borther’s toys to play with for a long time. She has some girly things, a picnic basket, tea set and make up mirror. Iliyan plays with these as well. Jasmin loves Thomas the Train and makes me sing the theme song as a lullaby to her at night.
The kids share a room and it has an under the sea theme with Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid mixed together.
I noticed the kids have no idea about what things are boys and what are girls. The only observation they have made is that they have different genitalia! Otherwise all toys are fair game.
Over 20 years ago when I was training to be a teacher, I read that children’s toys are differentiated by gender from the age of 2. I don’t think it’s changed much since then. We had a two-pronged way to deal with it – we bought the girls trucks, trains, etc as well as dolls. It helped that the elder one was keen on Thomas the Tank engine from before she was 2.
And then when the girls watched Snow White or other Disney princess movies, I’d couldn’t help the odd sarcastic comment popping out! I’d point out that these were how not normal women behaved – particularly Snow White who even after the wicked queen has poisoned her once, still doesn’t realise it’s not a good idea to eat apples offered by any old woman who passes by. I also pointed out that the dwarfs weren’t exactly very wise to wait till after they thought she was dead before they kept guard. When we found a stronger heroine, then I encouraged them to watch that movie. If I remember correctly, Belle from Beauty and the Beast doesn’t sit about waiting to be rescued but is a strong character. As is Matilda.
Something worked anyway, but I now have 2 teenage feminists!
Thanks for your comment Yvonne.I guess some things just don’t change. I’m sometimes reading those stories to my kids as well and I’m thinking other things about it as well! Thanks for the suggestions about the stronger female characters, I’ll keep that in mind. And it sounds like you did a lot right!
Glad you wrote this piece – my Zara has always been a tomboy – her 2nd birthday had a Thomas theme, her 3rd was Jake and the Neverland Pirates – but now she adores her princess dresses and girly things and initially I resisted and now I have to pick my battles. I do strange things though like pause Frozen and say stuff like “Look how Anna is rescuing Kristoff, she is really brave and strong huh?” lol.
LOL my boys have been singing songs from Frozen for weeks but usually we are pretty deeply entrenched in all things Cars and Hotwheels and Thomas