Am I to blame for daughter's pink addiction?
Momlogic's Andrea: My daughter is literally addicted to pink. No not "Let's Get This Party Started" Pink, the color pink. Any shade. Hot pink, pale pink, cotton candy pink, shocking pink. The only thing more shocking than her jonesing for pink is how many pink products are marketed to little girls. The toy aisle of Toys 'R Us looks like it's been drenched in Pepto-Bismol.
I feel like I'm to blame. I gave her that first "hit" when, in a nesting frenzy, I purchased a package of pink onesies. I, the woman who vowed I would not instill any gender roles, have purchased more pink items in the last three years of her life then I have in my lifetime.
So strong is my little girl's love of the redish pastels she's constantly trying to score some more pink shwag, "I want a pink ... cup, spoon, cat, whatever." Last night she told us she wants her skin to be pink.
It hasn't always been this way for little girls. In 1914, the "Sunday Sentinel" advised mothers, "If you like the color note on the little one's garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention."
But according to a British Newcastle University study, a preference for certain colors is hardwired in all of us. "It might date back to hunter-gatherer days, when women were the primary gatherers," says Professor Anya Hurlbert, who led the study. Apparently our first obsession with pink hues sprang from our ability to identify ripe, red fruits.
Educator Brett Berk is skeptical of the "fruit and berry" theory, "In other cultures, says Berk, "pink and blue don't mean anything."
As for my daughter's addiction, Berk says she will eventually tire of her pink fetish. "They have to work through these traditional forms of gender to try to work through to what's on the other side."
Does your kid need to go to pink rehab? When does the fixation end?
|Brett Berk, M.S. Ed. has worked with young children and their families for over 20 years--as a classroom teacher, preschool director, and research consultant--and is the author of "The Gay Uncle's Guide to Parenting."|