Is Pink Necessary? (A ‘special edition’ in response to NYT article)

Before we had our daughter, the following kid’s clothing store opened up in our town:

Cringeworthy, eh? Why would you want to tell girls that they are ‘honeys,’ while boys get to be ‘heroes’?

As yesterday’s New York Times Book Review of Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter points out: to sell, of course!

Disney is one of the main culprits, with their relentless princess products merchandising to girls, and their Princesses & Heroes On Ice shows.

(It’s not Princesses and Princes; it’s Princesses and Heroes. Think about the message this sends to girls and, if you’re inspired, email Disney corporate: TWDC.Corp.Communications@disney.com)

Because of our disgust with the whole ‘princess-industrial complex,’ my wife and I made a conscious effort not to register for anything ‘princessy’ for our daughter’s baby shower.

What happened?

A lot of princess pink happened.

We don’t believe in throwing away clothes because of their color, but I am documenting this ‘ocassional princess’ phase and will show it to Naomi when she’s a little older. My message is simple: there’s nothing wrong with princesses; it’s just that they’re not a great match for girls. Unlike princesses and ‘honeys,’ girls don’t need to wait to be rescued by princes and heroes. They can do great things on their own. They can be heroes.

So, yes, princesses are a necessary part of our world. In fact, I think they’re a great match for the most dependent beings of all — babies.

As always, would love to hear your comments!

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7 Comments

Filed under Babies, Children, Family, Parenting

7 responses to “Is Pink Necessary? (A ‘special edition’ in response to NYT article)

  1. Thanks for checking out my blog post about the ‘Is Pink Necessary?’ article form the NY Times. And yes, girls grow out of the pink princess stage and into horses, rock stars, boys etc etc….but then some of us turn back to the fun Pink Stage – and as oyu get older- Pink becomes fun again!
    Thanks,
    Suzi Love

    • Thanks for writing, Suzi. No, I’m actually saying that the ‘pink princess stage’ is not natural, but cultural. We have a long history of celebrating girls and women being rescued by boys and men. I know you write romance novels, and I think that’s a perfect example of this. I sometimes do it in my own writing. More generally, I think parents should do what they can to battle the marketing machine aimed at our girls. That’s what the book Cinderella Ate My Daughter is all about. Also check out the Disney Princess Recovery blog.

  2. wendy

    Although I love daisies, when My lovely adult daughter’s and family recently threw me a party, the decorator couldn’t do them, so pink roses were selected…why pink?
    they actually researched and discovered it meant so many beautiful and special things they wished to evoke, and I was pleased as pink lemonade punch! ” Many female and male heros were there, including my 5 year old grand-daughter in a pink tu-tu and grand son who blushes pink in a crowd…apparently I blushed pink, with surprise. I felt pink inside with the LOVE! Still do actually, when I think of it all!
    There’s so much beauty in nature naturally pink…
    Let’s just embrace all the colours of the spectrum, om and “Give Peace a Chance”, as John Lennon said…focus on more important things…
    Bette Midler and all the other great artists who write beautiful songs about hero’s, and help one another be and feel sparkling “rosey.”

  3. wendy

    I know this is not just about pink or heroes…
    I read the article more thoroughly, and as suspected, this is similar to “Killing us Softly” docs by a remarkable woman, who has done diligance (still); makes millions to help stop the exploitation and violence against women and children, through many medias and in the world, apparently male gender based at one time far more than now.
    She stresses the point this is not to gender bash. Was started a very long time ago and involves far more than just men or Disney. Not even in war but in peace.
    Esp. in the 80’s, when many “wendy’s” were actually changing their names because of the “Peter Pan and Wendy syndrome ” books. While they did, and their lives stayed the same, for the most part and I nearly changed my own, I rather decided to change my attitude to fortitude and gratitude; particular convictions were made and this we discovered: by becoming part of the solution, and some things were restricted in our home, with good education and a fair explanation… for the most part, my adult daughter’s came through this very well.
    We can all make choices, set examples and live in the making of no violence between men or women at all, as this is behind it all too. This has instilled unhealthy burdens on “both sexes”; created distorted self-body-images, eating disorders for both men and women. Men thinking and being pressured he has to be a perfect prince…insecurities of not being able to measure up…
    this insecurity being for both men and women.
    United we stand, divided we fall…this is at the base of it all, so we do need to be aware of the whole picture…
    I really get it to the best of my ability. I make my choices. I support what I believe will help our world be a better place for everyone through the spectrum of ages…I help to raise the awareness to the best of my ability and then I must “Live and let live”, or I’ll be wasting precious time, when I could be making brighter memories.
    Self reliance and independance are great but so is interdependance and life is special when shared. This can be instilled through good loving family values.
    And ps. children can be told, “In our home, we don’t.”
    From a “nearly Sapphira”, proud to have stayed true and dedicated to revealing more authenticity and perhaps inturn blessed to be aligned with someone to share this with.

  4. wendy

    Addendum:
    That someone being my husband.
    on a lighter, less emotionally charged note, how do you make an emoticon on a blog, like you did?
    Happy “pink” day tomorrow. Please post pleasant pink-twins pic.
    Thanks

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