Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: Surprise pregnancy! Having a girl. We are thrilled. I’m a little nervous because I’m not a girly girl, but I figure there are YouTube tutorials now that can fill the gaps if I end up with someone who really digs face spackle. I AM confident I can model someone who is happy in her skin, which is what a girl really needs to see, in my opinion.
But I cannot handle pink. I can’t. I hate it. It is the worst color. It’s unflattering, it attracts dirt, it looks cheap. If my own, actual child looks me in the face and says mama, it’s my favorite color, then I will suck it up and buy the pink sweater without judgment.
However. How can I stop the pink tidal wave that is already hitting my doorstep? The attitude has been, “Oh, there’s nothing you can do about it so get used to it.” What the what?
No Pink. No, I Mean It.
‘“So get used to it.’” I’ll see that, and raise you this: You have much better things to worry about.
People who give you pink things are people saying, “I care” and “I’m happy for you” and “I am here for you and Baby, in this small way representing bigger ways if you need it.” I say this as no fan of pink myself … well, I might paint a living room hot pink because it’s kinda weird and why not, but I’m with you on the Tyranny of Pink when it comes to the available retail for girls. It’s just pukey in its insistence on pigeonholing people from the moment fabric touches skin.
But, you can handle it. Come on. And you can handle using gift receipts when you get them, to exchange various pinkosities for something you feel better about using. And you can handle donating a thing or two to people who will be so grateful for them. And you can handle actually using some of them, because if your baby is like most babies there will be days where she poops in, pees in and/or yaks on eight outfits in one day, and seriously who cares what it looks like for the 15 minutes it’s clean, because at least it’s clean. Y’know?
Re: Pink: I really have no idea how a color generates such weird responses. Do people feel this way about orange, too? Anyway, as someone who likes pink because it is flattering on me, calling all who like it cheap, ugly and tacky doesn’t seem nice, or a good way to make a point.
Fair enough — pink’s beauty is beholder-dependent. But pretending there isn’t a gender message in pink versus, say, orange is also not a good way to make a point. Stroll down a toy aisle sometime.
Re: Pink: Find a permanent place for a Goodwill/donation bag in a closet and use it liberally.
There you go.
Email Carolyn at email@example.com.