Written by Sheree Echlin
I’ve never been much of a girly girl and I’ve never been a big fan of the colour pink. So, you can imagine that having two girls of my own has, so far, been somewhat a “fun” experience! I’ve always thought of pink as being a stereotypical colour that has been aimed at girls whether they like it or not. When I was younger I decided purple was my colour (stubborn much?) and its stayed with me. From my wallet to my phone cover and a few pieces of clothing, there’s just a “touch” of purple in my life, haha!
I also find shorts and pants more comfortable than skirts or dresses. But that doesn’t make me any less of a girl, does it?! I suppose where I’m going with this is not a new issue, but it’s one that seems to rear its ugly head more often than it should. The good old gender stereotype where pink is usually designated for girls and blue is for boys.
And it doesn’t seem to end there, especially when it comes to toys. Take a walk through many shops out there and you can easily see what’s aimed at each gender. For girls, it’s things like dolls and pretty dress ups and beauty cases. And for the young gentlemen in our lives, it’s the likes of cars, trucks as well as rough and tumble gear.
A friend of mine recently shared a photo of a toy clothesline, which featured a smiling young girl on the box. It just screams the idea that hanging washing out is something that girls do. News flash: boys can do it too! And they can play with dolls and pretend to cook, do dishes and play with pretend (or real) make up if they really want to! Just like girls can get dirty and have fun with toys generally aimed at boys.
Why oh why does it have to be this way? Kids are kids and it shouldn’t be a case of girl things and boy things. Along with dolls, barbies and other girly things, I played with cars, trucks and Lego and it didn’t do me any harm. Well, that’s probably up for debate but you get where I’m coming from.
Are we messing with our kids heads and telling them the wrong thing? Shouldn’t it be up to them what they do and don’t play with? Or is it an even bigger worry that we’re sending the wrong message? It shouldn’t matter to anyone if a little boy wants to play with dolls or a little girl loves cars and trucks. They’re exploring their surroundings and learning new and different things, it doesn’t make them anything less than what they are. They are amazing children discovering the variety the world has to offer and driving their parents crazy along the way.
Both of my beautiful girls, look lovely in pink, but also in shades of blue, black, green and so on. They also love playing with Lego, ball games, dolls, dress ups and cars and trucks! They also love getting outside and playing in the dirt. And I encourage them to do what they want (within reason of course) as I believe it’s up to them to work out what’s fun for them and what isn’t. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s pink, blue or burgundy, has two legs or four wheels or even wings – just let them play and let them be little. It’s not like playing with a doll is suddenly going to turn a little boy into the opposite gender any more than playing with cars and trucks is going to change little girls.
Let’s face it, they’re going to grow up soon enough anyway. I want my girls to know they can do anything, be anything they want and the world is their oyster. I would hope they don’t let any gender stereotypes stop them from living their lives to the fullest. They can even love pink if they really want to – I promise I won’t hold it against them (haha!).
I swear being a mum is like a permanent ride on a roller coaster, head on over to shereeechlin.com for more tales of parenting fun, fails and frivolity. Until next time, remember to always smile at your kids, if anything it keeps them guessing!