Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why I Gave Up My Opposition To Pink

When I first joined the world of Dad blogging I couldn't help but notice that lots and lots of Dads who blogged hated the way they had to dress their daughters.  There were plenty of articles in the mainstream press on the same issue.  Mommy blogs jumped in as well.

Were we limiting our daughters, or worse yet, damaging them, by dressing them in pink?

I was certain that society limits girls, telling them both subtly and not-so subtly that they can't do certain things.  And sure, an adult is free to do whatever an adult wants, but once those signals are broadcast its hard to overcome, especially when those signals are received early and often.

Now, my daughter wasn't going to run into quite the same situation, because she has to brothers the exact same age so they pretty much all play with the same stuff.  The boys play with Minnie and she plays with trains.  Though, somehow, she shows more interest in Minnie and baby dolls and they have more interest in trains.  Maybe I'm broadcasting subtle signals, maybe I'm not.

Anyway, during the first few years of her life I took up the good cause and resented having to dress my daughter in pink.  When I dressed her, which was lots of days, I tried to steer clear of the pink outfits in her dresser.  Admittedly, this left me with little to choose from, since nothing is says love like aunts and grandparents buying a girl her one-thousandth pink article of clothing, even though she already has 1,003 articles of clothing.

But recently I've had a conversion of sorts.  I'm giving up my opposition to pink.

Some of this stems from the fact that as I see my infant daughter grow into a little girl I'm less convinced I have much to do with her choices.  As I mentioned above, she nurtures the heck out of her babies.  Sure, I give her all kinds of attention for it, but I'd like to think I give her attention for the things she does and that I give the boys the same.  Yet she chooses to nurture.

And part of it is that waging a war on pink accomplishes nothing.  Nothing.

Making pink "bad" won't make girls feel any less "girly" or incapable of something.  In fact, its just the opposite.  By making feminizing pink and making it inferior, we tear down the girls and women who wear it.

What we as men and Dads really need to do is wear more pink ourselves, something I wasn't always willing to do when I was younger but am more than happy to do today.  We also need to stop worrying about whether our daughters are wearing pink and analyzing its impact.  Spending 1000s of words and hours worrying that our girls are wearing pink only makes pink, and the girls and guys who wear it, something of a pariah.

So, for most of September I'm going to photograph the outfits my daughter wears and post them here at triplethedad.  You'll see lots of pink, I'm sure, and that is OK.  That doesn't mean she can't be a doctor or a scientist or that a physician wearing pink is any less respectable.  You'll also notice, I hope, that its entirely possible to dress a girl in stuff other than pink clothing, even if it requires you to ignore a little pink piping on pants or a cute pink bow on a shirt.

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