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Why Is A Boy Wearing Pink Not Masculine Enough And A Girl Wearing Black Not Feminine Enough?

Posted: September 16, 2020

The colour stereotype of pink for girls and blue for boys has remained for decades. Is it time for us to do away with it?

Pink for girls and blue for boys

As I was deciding what to wear for my birthday in May I saw this pink dress which I had bought for Holi and hadn’t worn because of the whole pandemic. I was still searching if I could find something else I could wear instead of that pink dress when a thought came into my mind, Why am I not wearing pink?

Since as early as at birth, it is decided that if it’s a girl everything is pink and if it’s a boy everything is blue. Even for gender reveal parties, this concept is used. As the child grows up, from birthday parties to clothes to rooms, everything is either pink or blue based on their sex.

I guess me not liking pink was a rebellion of my own against this very notion. When I was small, naturally I had lot of pink things because everyone gifts you pink things because you are a girl. Someone around me once declared that favourite colour of all boys needs to be blue and for girls, pink.

I guess I have a tendency to not give into things that have been forcefully implemented. I feel that whatever I follow should be on my terms and  acceptance and not because someone assumes that it is what I like and forces it upon me.

I think I began to despise pink because of these beliefs. I actually changed my whole wardrobe to blue because I thought “why not”. Why should I like pink just because every girl should?

Has media told us what colours to wear?

This marketing of pink for girls and blue for boys is actually quite recent. Funnily a 1918 infant trade department Smithsonian article states that pink was for boys as it was derived from red which signifies power and blue which is more petite is for girls.  Even F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby when describes Gatsby to be wearing a pink suit.

Gradually as the World War ended somehow femininity shifted towards pink with female actresses starting to wear pink dresses. Many examples can be drawn from Jacqueline Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe’s dress in Gentlemen Prefers Blondes.

It is now almost a norm that everything pink customized for women and depicts femininity whereas blue and darker colours depict masculinity.

Changing mindsets

I was always against this notion so I never actually bought any pink clothes but had somehow bought one pink dress. I actually did wear that dress because I felt like I was taking my anger out on the colour pink which actually had no fault.

I was blaming the narrow mindedness of the societal outlook of gender bias on a mere colour. So I decided from that day on rather than changing the colours I would like to change the thoughts of people.

Who says a boys wearing pink isn’t masculine and a girl wearing black isn’t feminine enough? It is our narrow-mindedness that enables us to put labels on people just by viewing the colour of their clothes. We need to stop putting labels and judging people based on what they wear. People should have freedom to wear whatever they want. Did you know that the wedding dresses earlier were of any colour rather than just white? Well that is a discussion for some other day.

We really need to stop labeling people based on the colour of their clothes and instead accept them for who they are and live in harmony.

First published here.

Picture credit: Congerdesign

Radhika Srivastava is an 19 year old writer from Varanasi, India. She believes that writing

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