Raising Trouble: The Pink and Blue Project
Check this website out right now. (Thanks to feminist blogger Jen Moore, who posted this on Facebook.) Artist JeongMee Yoon was inspired to create “The Pink and Blue Project” when her five-year-old daughter only wanted to wear pink, and to play with pink objects. The photos are overwhelming to look at, because of the volume of objects and intensity of color, and the way the individual children are eclipsed.
The relationship between color and gender is established early (even though it is completely culturally manufactured – as JeongMee Yoon notes, in 1914, an American newspaper advised mothers to “use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.” Around World War II, she says, the colors switched.). When my child was a baby, I noticed that people – total strangers -- would get angry if he were dressed in colors that didn’t appropriately signal his gender. Really angry! The way you might feel if you saw someone hitting a kid in the produce aisle. It no longer takes a village to enforce this idiocy upon me: earlier this year, Ivan – age four - announced that “pink and purple are girl colors.” By then, it had been years since I'd dressed him in any color more daring than yellow or red.
Pink seems more compelling to girls than blue is to boys, though. In fact, the way contemporary girl children are drenched in pink – and their passion for it -- seems remarkable. Anyone have any idea what it’s all about?
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