Pretty In Pink.

by asrh on September 16, 2014 - 11:04pm

                When I was a kid I never really had a favourite colour, and I still don't. However I do remember this one time I was in first grade, the teacher had the class do a poll on which colour was better than others. Each child could only vote once.
At that time if I had to choose a colour, I’d say that I preferred blue more than others.
So when the teacher called out the colour “Blue,”I was tempted to raise my hand, but for some reason, I really didn’t feel comfortable doings so. After she went on to “Pink," and of course all the girls in my class raised their hands including myself. I was so relived that I had done so, because if I had stuck with my original decision I would’ve been the only girl to raise her hand for the colour blue… Crazy right?
I didn’t realize it then, but I was conforming to society’s expectations of what a proper seven year old girl should like and look like. At that age I never really liked wearing dresses, having pig tails and the colour pink, but I somehow already knew what was expected of me and I never wanted to be viewed outside of society’s norms.
Growing up I became aware of all the other expectations that I had to be moulded to in order not to fall into the outcast category.
There were many times where I was overly conscious of whether or not I was being lady like. It was only until my early years in high school that I developed a new mind set, realizing that I no longer had to conform to the gender roles society had for me.
I believe this issue needs to be addressed more frequently because of how much power and influence it has on the people in our society.
The stereotypes that we’ve created for both sexes lead to us raising our children into oppressive gender roles, which later on also adds to discrimination against sexes.


I could not agree more with you. The idea of applying an ethical problem of our society to a personal experience makes the issue even more real, since it is part of our everyday life. It seems that society seeks to impose norms to everybody, even if we know that each individual is different. As shown in your text, these gender issues/norms are implanted in our heads from an early age. Children are aware of what is "perceived" as normal and what is not, and this lead them to self-identity problems. The article "Parental influence on children's socialization to gender roles" by Susan D. Witt, explains in more detail the issue on gender roles on children in the society. It may expand what you are claiming, since it states that people learn early what it means to be a "boy or a girl" because of the environment in which they grow. It supports that parents are the primary persons that will teach and apply the knowledge of gender roles to children.

• I decided to comment on this post because I can relate in a few ways. The first way would be for the fact that I actually hate pink and had a similar experience in elementary school. The second reason is in correspondence to what you said about conforming to society's expectations because I completely agree. This can relate to my race and racism class because many times minorities try and "alter themselves" to fit in. Although not necessarily a topic discussed in our course pack, we did tough upon it in class discussions. I have witness minorities change their names to make it "easier" to pronounce and have even heard my 12 year old African-Canadian cousin say that she wants to straighten her hair to look like the white girls in her class. We learned in class that kids discover “racial” differences at a very young age. I had asked her why she said that ad she said "because that's what they think is beautiful". Imagine as a 12 year old to feel that way, this proves society has a huge impact on how people feel and behave. If kids notice differences, then parents need to begin explaining these differences to the kids so it does not begin to get out of hand, or worse than it already is. We discussed in class that talking about sensitive issues is the first step to solving a problem, and I believe your post is a very good example of that.

I completely agree with this. I have grown up in a family where blue was specifically meant to be for boys, and pink for girls. When I was younger and there would be family gatherings, every child in the house had a coloured glass. My favourite colour has alway been blue, and will always be. My aunt would ask us what colour we would want, and when I’d say blue, she would immediately tell me that blue is for boys and would give the glass to my only boy cousin at the time, and I was stuck with a pink glass, which I dislike pink.
Today, my boyfriend wears a purple shirt every Thursday at work alongside his colleagues. My younger brother, 10 years old, loves to wear pink and purple and says, “It makes me look like a man”
What we also have to realize is that, not only girls get discriminated by this. Maybe not as much today, but it still occurs. Guys that wear “feminine” colours will be called out on with words like “gay”, “bi-sexual”, “faggot”, and more. It’s best to generalize everyone and not just target one gender when both are targets.

For more information take a look at this link: