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Pink Is For Girls And Blue Is For Boys. SAYS WHO?

  • JWB Post
  •  September 5, 2015


Pink is for girls and blue is for boys. We have been religiously following this gender-color commandment since times immemorial! And we have taken it so seriously, that we hesitate wearing the counterpart’s shade.

But, my brain right now is hogging upon the fact of the matter: HOW and WHY these colors started being associated with the respective genders. Aakhir kyun?

Well, the following facts unravel the mystery to some extent. Read on…

1. Up to the end of the Victorian era, babies of both sexes were dressed pretty much the same

White was easy to bleach and therefore was very common. The clothes were the same but accessories often varied.871158607

2. The June 1918 issue of the Infant’s Department magazine said that pink is for the boy and blue for the girl.

The reason mentioned there was that pink seemed to be a lighter shade of red, a more decided and stronger color, which seemed more suitable for the boy; while blue was seen as more delicate and dainty, prettier for the girl. 27477672

3. Baby books, new baby announcements, gift lists and newspaper articles from 1900s indicate that pink was just as likely to be associated with boy babies as with girl babies196859504

4. A Journey Around My Room, published in 1794, recommended that men have pink and white bedrooms to brighten their moods807473319

5. Before the 1900s, babies were usually dressed in white regardless of gender

While babies were dressed in white, paintings from the 1700s show men and women dressed in both pink and blue. It negates gender stereotyping.90298181

6. Blue for men is a post-World War II phenomenon

After WWI, blue was used extensively for men’s uniforms. which is why it got associated as more of a masculine color. From the 1940’s onward, pink was pushed as a woman’s color. “Think Pink” was the marketing slogan to convince women to embrace their femininity.412945186

7. Various theories fuelled the fire. Some blame Barbie

There are theories that the Nazis are responsible for the ‘switch’ and also that parents wanted their little boys to wear blue to resemble Daddy’s sailor uniform. Some theories say that pink for girls became popular because of Barbie.405413621

8. Colour stereotyping according to complexion and eyes

In most of Europe and America of the 19th and early 20th century, pastel colors were considered “youthful” and were used more often to flatter the complexion, not denote gender. Pink was considered more flattering for brown-eyed, brown-haired people and blue for blue-eyed people.345627701

9. Between 1900 and 1940, there was a movement towards more gender distinction in clothing

It first came in for toddlers and then for adults. There was also quite a bit of confusion among clothing manufacturers and retailers about which was which, as they tried to settle on one rule for the entire country. But due to confusion, it was often reversed in some parts of the United States.978003819

10. From around 1940 to mid-1980s, pink and blue had their familiar association. Popular culture also pushed it

Since around 1985, pink has been not only a strong symbol of femininity, but neutral and non-pink options have been gradually edged out. And thereafter, popular culture took it forward to where it is now.342834106

This article originally appeared here

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