This weeks post is an image from a current project titled ‘Pink Princesses’. I have been photographing girls dressed in pink for the past few months. When I was growing up there were loads of colours to choose from. Girls did dress in pink, but it was a conscious choice and it wasn’t the only choice. If you have a daughter now it is impossible to escape the overwhelming surge of pink clothes, pink plastic toys and pink gifts that your child will amass every birthday and Christmas. The pink epidemic effects all families with girls and travels across the class divide.
This is the result of marketing and consumerism and that it is simply easier and more profitable for companies to produce a product line in only two colours (pink and blue). However this is only part of the answer as boys don’t seem to get obsessed with blue in the same way as a lot of young girls only want to have the ‘pink one’.
In our culture pink is so closely linked with femininity that when girls development reaches the stage of realising that they are female (around the age of 3-4, and interestingly they are not yet at the stage of realising that they are going to stay female!) they try to reinforce their identity by associating themselves with all things girly. Young girls then show a preference for what they perceive to be girly, and in our culture that is pink, along with princesses (largely Disney’s fault this one), butterflies and fairies. All of these relying on apperance for the most part of their appeal. I could go on all day, but back to the photo.
This is Polly playing in her garden. She is a friend of my daughters and I when I went round to her house her mum had layed out all her pink stuff on the bed, which amounted to a mass of clothes and toys that covered a single bed. This had all just accumulated without Polly or her parents actually choosing to buy pink. They were largely gifts and hand me downs. I think this is the same for all of us, that the pink creeps in even when we wouldn’t consciously choose it for our young girls.
Thanks to Polly and Sarah.