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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{pink}

Pink. When did it become a dirty word?

I read a few blogs of fellow crafters, or occasionally see articles posted on facebook condeming the color pink, and princesses, and how these things are bringing down society and turning our girls into drones who will dream of growing up, finding a handsome prince and living happily ever after...

First of all, really? REALLY? The choice of a color is going to change our children's lives? And secondly, I find absolutely nothing wrong with playing pretend that a prince will come and you will live happily ever after. Why would I wish less for my daughter? Why would a loving God wish less for us?

Alright so let's start with the color. The argument is that we are limiting our girls, telling them that they can ONLY like pink, or play with pink, or do things that somehow involve pink. But what does it tell them if we steer them away from the color like it's dirty? If my daughter wants to wear a pink frilly boa around the house, or paint her room pink with pink carpeting (this is what my bedroom was like growing up) who am I to tell her she shouldn't, or can't like that color so much? Isn't that setting limits? In a world where princesses and all of her friends love pink wouldn't telling her it's somehow wrong start to send a message that maybe this whole being a girl thing is "wrong"?

Why so much push to tell girls to act like boys, or at least not act so much like girls? I read an article a few weeks ago about a family that was keeping their child's sex a secret, choosing a neutral sounding name, dressing in completely neutral clothing and refusing to call the child by he or she instead opting for (it's?) name only. Why has it suddenly become a bad thing to act male or female? Men and woman were created differently. Take a look at just the physical structure of men and woman. Generally speaking, men are bigger, more muscle mass, woman are smaller, woman can be pregnant, and give birth to new life. These things are not accidents of who we are, they are fundamental differences put in place to create two separate beings who work together and complement each other.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying men can't be caring, women can't be strong, or boys can't wear pink. (my boys have worn pink and purple, and Nathan sometimes says pink is one of his favorite colors because it is a light red, his actual favorite color) I just don't understand why such a big fuss over girls choosing to act like girls.

The whole point seems to be giving girls more freedom, steering them away from the pink and encouraging them to like other things, nothing wrong with being well rounded, but by getting rid of the pink (if they want it) I think we are basically telling them "don't be like a girl, don't like things other girls like, you can be better than that (girl)" In a sense telling them that they are flawed in the way they were created. That there is something wrong with embracing their femininity. 

Now onto the princesses. I've read articles about "Princess proofing" not wanting their child to be called a princess, or act like a princess, or wear princess things, or aspire to be a princess. Why? Because they feel it's sticking their child on a one lane track, because being a "princess" means relying on someone else to save them, or take care of them. But isn't that what we all long for? Yes, be independent, learn to do things on your own, but who doesn't want someone with them on their side ready to help them when they do fall? I don't know about you, but I married my prince, not that I was in a situation that warranted "saving" in a movie sense, but he has saved me many times. Rescued me from a stressful day with 3 kids by coming home and doing the dishes. Rescued me from walking around 8 months pregnant by pulling the car around. It's in his protective nature as my husband to look out for me and keep me safe. When walking together through parking lots holding hands he instinctively pulls me to the side of him when a car is coming. Not because he thinks I am stupid enough to just stand there and be hit by a car, but it is in his nature as my prince to save me without even realizing he is doing it.

Why do so many girls play "princess"? Why does Disney make so much money off of all of their princess gear? Because girls long to be fought for, desired, protected. It starts before they are even old enough to understand the whole princess thing. It starts with their fathers. What little girl doesn't love the protection of a dad? Sure, mom is always there for hugs and cuddles, playing and reading, and as an infant providing most basic needs, but there is something special about a father who fights for his daughter, there to fend off anything that might harm her. It's more than just a marketing ploy, it's instinct. And probably why this stuff sells so well.

One of my favorite books "Captivated" by John and Stasi Eldredge talks about this, and the desires of our hearts as women. It is not an embarrassment, or a shame to long for someone to take care of you. So I wish we would stop trying to teach our daughters that they need to be alone to be of any value. Or that they are weaker to have a partner that they rely on.

Overall my point is not that girls have to act in this way, there is nothing wrong with a little girl who hates pink and princesses, my point is more that there is nothing wrong with a little girl who does, or parents who allow her to. I won't be shoving Barbie dolls at my daughter the second she learns to sit up and play with things, but I won't ban them from the house or discourage her from liking them. I'm looking forward to tea parties and baby dolls. My sons have dolls and they like them alright, but they would much rather spend their days building rocket ships by dumping out all of their toys and throwing them in a giant heap in the corner of the room. Or fighting off bad guys with their swords. And that is just fine with me.

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