Friday, January 2, 2009

Let's Think About Pink





I hope you guys have recovered from your New Year celebrations, 'cause it's time to get serious. (Sort of.)

What do you think about pink? Personal preferences (and skin tone) aside, how do you feel about stepping into a bookstore to find all the "girl" books wrapped in carnation pink covers? Does it bother you that most companies think that the easiest way to sell a product to girls is to cover it in a coat of Pepto-Bismol-colored paint?

According to this thought-provoking article, British parents (and at least one English author) are fed up with what's being called the "Pink Plague," and many are worried that an entire generation of girls are being turned into "princesses."

Are they? Who says you can't kick a little butt while rocking a pink tutu? And what's wrong with being a princess, anyway? (As long as you're a princess who knows kung-fu and can whip up a homemade bugging device.)

I'm not a huge fan of the color pink, but I think it's falling victim to a lot of old-fashioned ideas about what it means to be girly. It used to mean being sweet and well-behaved and kind to animals. But today, no one would find it the slightest bit odd if you loved pink and . . . kickboxing, explosives, bear wrestling, or macroeconomics.

The definition of "girly" has changed.

But this still leaves a few interesting questions. Do girls naturally go for pretty pink products? Or have corporations and advertisements "taught" us to think pink?

(And why can't book publishers come up with another color that appeals to girls? I'm not offended by all the pink books out there--just BORED.)

56 comments:

Queen Of Useless Information said...

Hey I love pink! But only in moderation. A pink house? To much. A pair of pink and black stockings? Totally awesome. But thats probably because pink and black is the perfect color combo...

Anonymous said...

Pink tutus are fun. =D

But really? I don't think it makes much of a difference. I don't think the pink-ness appeals to a number of girls as much as manufacturers think it does. I could be mistaken...

Patsee said...

A link on that article's page took me to /this/ article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1584692/Flutes-and-harps-too-girly-for-boys-to-learn.html

I think the URL sums it up decently.

This kind of amuses me. I have a male cousin who played the flute, a female cousin who plays the trumpet, and three female friends who play the trumpet, trombone, and drums, respectively.

Or do I hang out with unusual people?

Meredith said...

I'm not sure if the pink thing is a stereotype generated by the media. Maybe. But it definitely isn't a color most girls like.
My little sister is a huge tomboy. This Christmas, my grandma got her a basketball, which was pink. She'd rather have had a green or blue basketball. My grandma, however, is of the persuasion that pink is for girls. Every year, she gives me something pink, even though I'm not exactly a girly-girl.
Personally, I don't mind pink . . . within reason. Like, that picture. Ugh. Too much pink.

eternal espionage said...

uuuugh! I hate pink. On the topic of books, I've just noticed that usually those books end up being all about shallow, girly gossip and such. No deep thought invoking literature to be found.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty bored of pink. I see it EVERYWHERE. Its my little sisters fav color and all her little friend's too. I think that blue, green, or silver would be better don't you think.

dangerous said...

Hot pink is ok in moderation, but can get out of control (see picture above post). Pink will get boring, but it's nothing a good coat of paint can't fix.

Miranda said...

Pink gives me horrible headaches.

Have you ever read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks? It's very pro-feminism, and is a really great book. :)

International Mastermind said...

I realy don't mind pink all that much...but all the pink plastic crap that's marketed to little girls.

Although I do think that every young girl goes through a stage of loving pink and purple. Not wierd.
I mean, little boys go through a stage of loving cars and guns.....the sad thing is some never grow out of it.....;)

Orchid said...

Truthfully,I can't stand the colors pink or red. I prefer blue and black over any other color.

Anonymous said...

what's funny is that boys used to be swaddled in pink and the girls in blue, boys also used to wear dresses until they were three (complete with itty-bity corsets of course!) and ballet used to be for boys only, to masculine for the girls (haha). I think that people are getting too worked up over this, I wish that there was less pink and more green, but i think too much of any color is annoying! I don't know... I like the picture though! (lol)

Anonymous said...

I agree with eternal espionage!! the books are getting to be as sugary/petty as the color they're wrapped in! All of this shallow gossip-ridden writing disgusts me... we need more kiki!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE *puppy eyes* Book 3!!!!!

Rachel Maria said...

Pink is okay, but it is WAY too much part of the girl stereotype (along with having to like dressing up, wearing makeup, being cutesy-polite, playing with Barbies, etc.) :P

Ren (All By MySHELF) said...

I hate pink, unless of course it's a really funny, sarcastic tee shirt from David And Goliath. (love their shirts)

International Mastermind: You are very wrong about every little girl liking pink at some point. I have never EVER liked pink. I was very upset one year when my soccer team had pink uniforms. :P

Anonymous said...

Pink is fine, but please don't tell me that Kiki Strike 3 will have a pink cover!
My little brother's favorite colors are pink, purple, and 'cyan', but he is a little on the strange side . . .

mage said...

if i see pink on, say golf clubs, for girls i instantly dislike them and would never buy them. i'm more blue

Anonymous said...

I agree with Arsenic...pink and black together is awesome! Moderation of all colors is ideal...but why should we care about the media's ideal of girls? Where's it written that we have to be boxed in by pop culture? It's called being brainwashed. No other word for it.

kapuerajamman said...

Until the early 1930's pink was also a boy's colour

LittleChar said...

wow, pink.
my sister (eight years old) I have to wrestle into a dress for taking pictures, she's not what you would call girly, but not a tomboy either. Kicking butt in a tutu...YES! ahaha theres an element of surprise!

PS just got my other younger sister interested in the books. Meanwhile begging my mother to let me go to new york on the 8th :)

thisissogr said...

I HATE PINK! im a normel girl, yet i hate pink. wats so ring wit that? if its with other colors its ok, but just pink? bla

nonomus under dame orchird, ur r totally rite!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Queen Of Useless Information said...

Scientists have also recently discovered that female chinchillas, exposed to pink light during pregnancy, produce more boys while female chinchillas exposed to blue light produce more girls. Weird, no?

KieL said...

u dont have to be a girly girl to like pink! acutally, one of my fav books, "The Declaration" has a pink cover, and it is definately NOT a girly girl/gossipy novel. pink is a really eye catching colour, and against a book case with shelf after shelf of darker coloured novels, i'd probably pick it up and check it out. but not nessicarily buy it.

seriously, why not make neon green books! if advertisers were really that smart, they'd realize that pink isnt the only colour that girls like.

Some Lost Melody said...

Not for me... I don't like things that are pretty pink with flowers and butterflies. Lol. Maybe or smaller girls. Now even a lot of boys are like: Pink is awesome! I do like pink however sometimes in a combo with green, blue, yellow, or black. Anything too pink is too much.

Anonymous said...

honestly, i think everyone who has commented on this has secretly liked pink at some point of their lives. i

seriously, you cant 'hate' a colour THAT much can you? we're being a teensy bit extreme here.

advertisers are being a bit extreme thinking that Pepto Bismal Pink book covers will appeal to ALL girls, but you do know that some people DO LIKE pink! there was this lady i heard about in the news and everything in her house was purple. she only read books with a purple cover.

So yes, i guess pink books would appeal to SOME people (BOYS TOO)!

missterious said...

I like pink. It might be my favorite color, but then again my favorite color changes about every 5 minutes.
I was actually just wondering the same thing: do girls naturally like pink, or do they just think they're supposed to? hmm...

Traveling Gnome said...

I read in a magazine about a study that was conducted, and it showed that woman showed a preference for the red-ish colors on a red-green color axis, while men showed a preference for greens. On the yellow-blue color axis, both genders preferred blues. The scientists were going to repeat the study on infants to see if girls truly like pink better than green, and it's not society brainwashing us all.

Patsee: In my Jazz band, 1/2 of the trumpet players are female. :] And my gal friend also plays snare drum. Maybe we all hang out with unusual people!

Anonymous said...

I think that girls are conditioned to love pink(Although perhaps not all girls). When we are young we learn gender roles which include some things that are terribly unfair. For example:Barbie who is picture perfect, always happy, and a loving wife and mother. Pink is just another thing like that. It's included in what we are raised with. It's not like all girls are going to become curvy beautiful housewives just because Barbie is. Just like not every girl is going to love pink. It's still a girl thing according to 'them' but who put them in charge anyways?

Irregular Kiki said...

Pink is nice. And I think it's so stupid to think that pink-lovers are innocent "pwincesses". I like pink, but I'm not some sweet girly girl. Although I am a biiiig animal lover. I can be dangerously violent......... (ROAR!)
Ananka, it's nice that you have a pink Kiki Strike t-shirt in The Shadow City Store. Let's show people that pink-lovers can be dangerous!

Irregular Kiki said...

I don't know if I like strawberry flavoured donuts because of the fact that they're pretty and pink... or because they're yum.. LOL I'm like a kid!

Anonymous said...

I personally never fell for the pink scheme ---- the color dilemma that made you consider the opposite gender alien in preschool. (Army Camoflauge vs. pink? PUL-EASE! You'd think adults would not set such a barrier!

Nellie said...

Extreme feminism get on my nerves, but I do think that girls can still kick butt if they want to. However, I don't think that means that they HAVE to. My mother double majored in math and physics when she went to college, and now is a homeschooling stay-at-home-mom of seven kids.
I think, basically, that you can be a combination of girly-girl and tomboy. I will be more likely to pick up a dark book than a pink book. (I think.)
I'd say I'm a combination of girly-girl and tomboy. I like girly stuff like nail polish, and boy-ish stuff like sports. (Sadly, I'm bad at both.:P)
Sorry for the novel

Nellie said...

Sorry, I wasn't clear: There are different ways to kick butt. I'd say my mother does, and I'd say that it's also kicking butt to become a
professional mathematician or whatever.
Also, something weird: I think girls can wear blue WAY more easily than guys can wear pink.
And I think you can like pink without being girly and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

i don't like how pink is considered a 'girl color' by companies and blue is considered a 'boy color' by companies.

i'm a girl, and my favorite color is blue!

Undiscovered Universe said...

I really hate pink, and I NEVER went through that pink/purple faze. I also never went through a Pricess faze like every other girl at my school. I wonder if they are related?
I think that it has something to do with how it's marketed, girls like pink because we are "supposed too".
I agree with the pink books are girly and shallow. Usually.
Meridith: Same here! BOTH my grandmas think I should LOVE pink and should where it all the time.
Miranda: I just read that book! I thought no one had! It's really good. Anouther good fenimist book is Bloody Jack. It is awesome!
Nellie: I like that way of saying it, Sorry for the novel!!!!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to stand much pink since my 1st grade girly girl stage. I agree with Arsenic. Pink and black stockings rock. But everything pink??? No. No way.

I prefer blue, actually.

Hazel said...

I think it's silly too get super worked up about a color, and not all people who like pink are wimps. I'm actually considering getting a pink karate bag. I like pink, but I don't care whether others do or not.
Bright colors jump out at you, and publishers want their books to catch your eye.

Irregular Kiki said...

Hazel, I agree. Pink books always catch my eye!

Cupcakedoll said...

At least the pink helps you find the girly stuff fast. =) But I only like that Barbie-color in moderation. Lots of moderation. What's wrong with a nice dusty rose color, or jewel-tone magenta?

I've always been into "princesses" but in my mind every princess worth the title knows how to fight evil and kick butt. (like Sailor Moon, she's the ultimate princess!)

Kitty said...

Me too Miranda! Pink makes my head hurt! ^^' [so does alot of stuff] But pink is good for wearing when kicking butt! :3
Hey Arsenic... Is the chinchilla story true!? OoO

Emlofish said...

The fact that the media has made pink out to be a girly airhead barbie kinda colour should be used as an advantage. Fooling people into thinking you're a harmless little girl while infact you're kick butting secret agent would be harder if it wasn't for the media brainwashing everyone ;)

Also, everyone is thinking about this way too much, me included lol

E.J.R. said...

Uh I just can't stand the color pink-and the fact that it is commonaly connected to girls is compleatly my reason. It like most people just say like oh is it for a girl... just get it in pink! well why not purple or my fav. green? Its ok its just to already thought over and now glued to us girls, and todays meaning is totaly wrong of were we now stand in society.
~E.J.R.

SAMEANONYMOUS said...

I like colours like greens and blues on just about everything....but when it comes to books I look at the ones with intresting pictures or titles.

minty jalepeno said...

of course we forget that when we are around five years old, companies dont make awesome colored say...bed sheets, curtains, toys, dressup clothes. pink does have an advantage in the element of surprise tho. dressed like a barbie i bet you could get to kick all sorts of butt

jenna said...

I think people make girls thing's pink because pink is sort of the "girl" trademark. To most people Pink means girl and blue means boy.

Poison Pen said...

In one of my absolute favorite fantasy series(es?), one of the female characters can change her clothes by magic (I said it was fantasy!), and she always changes into a hot pink combo when she's fighting. She says it distracts her opponent. Interesting concept...

42 said...

International Mastermind: What's wrong with guns and cars?

Anonymous said...

I am offended to! The corporate dudes keep stereotyping girls! I mean, Barbie makes me so angry! It makes everyone think every girl is so girly! I am SOOOOO tired of it!

Anonymous said...

Ya know what? Boys think girls are weak and all, but guess what? I can do more push ups than ALL the other boys in my class! Plus, I caught a boy tasing a girl who liked pink in my class....
I set him straight!

Anonymous said...

I really am fed up with "The pink Plague! I think it is turning girls into spoiled brats! Nothing against pink, its just the media is saying : "If you dont like pink, you can't be a girl."

Anonymous said...

Somebody should doa servey to all the girls in their class and ask them if they are tired of ONLy pink things for girls.

Anonymous said...

Im sick and tired of being stereotyped.

Anonymous said...

When I was little, I hated pink. But now I realize its probably because I was expected to like it. I don't love it any more than I did in preschool, but it doesn't bother me as much. Dunno why.

liltomboblue said...

For a long time, I would go on about how much I hated pink (it was probably annoying actually). I think that I was so passionte about it because I got tired of people stereotyping me, and being the tall, blond hair, blue eyed girl that I am I got tired of being asked if I was into cheerleading, dance, high school musical (hello?!? I was already in the double digits when that came out!!!) so I automatically put up a barrier against it. Now, I don't mind it so much, but I like darker shades of it. (I love yellow, blue, and orange though. AMAZING!) I still don't like being stereotyped, but now people can tell pretty fast I am not a "pretty petty princess" as my friends joke. :)

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH, I just realized that that picture is of some little girl's bedroom,and she's lying on her bed! You can barely make out the bed's outline!

Nico said...

AAAUUUGGG too*gasp* much*gasp* pink*cough/sputter* i used too love when i was 6 but now.... i despise it! due to sterio types and outgrowing it pink and black socks though.....eh it's OK.

Nico said...

actually by her bed. *gag*