A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
The pinks and the primaries
When you go into a store such as Target or Walmart or Sears, it's immediately obvious which aisle is the "girls' toys" aisle and which one is the "boys' toys aisle". The "girls' toys" aisle is pink and purple. With a smidgen of white or cream mixed in. The "boys' toys" aisle is RED and BLUE and GREEN. When we were waiting for OmegaDotter, OmegaMom swore up and down and left and sideways that she did not want pink stuff. When a baby shower was conjured up by buddies at work, and OmegaMom was asked what she wanted for her daughter, she sternly said, "NO pink, please!" Amazingly enough, many people listened, and OmegaDotter was the recipient of many cute orange, green, red, and blue outfits. Amongst the pinks and lavenders. It's not that OmegaMom actively dislikes pink as a concept. It's a fine color, in moderation. The problem was that OmegaMom's vague feelings of feminism and desire not to categorize the dotter from the start were prompted by visits to Target, where it was very obvious our society wants to shoehorn little girls into boxes where they are supposed to like frills, soft colors, and Barbie dolls. I am here to tell you fighting against society's pressures is a losing battle. OmegaDotter is four. What is her favorite color? Pink. Followed by? Purple. You can't buy clothes for little girls that aren't in the approved color palette. It drives OmegaMom nuts. (But not nuts enough to drive her to learn to use a sewing machine.) One of my daydreams is to start a children's clothing company that offers a few basic patterns in various palettes. To soothe those who feel that little girls should wear pinks and purples, there would be the "pastel palette". To offer hope to moms like me, there would be the "bright palette". There would be onsies, tops and plain non-frilly dresses, overalls, sweats--all available in each of the colors. To make things a bit more interesting, this company would offer a standard assortment of appliques (ducks, frogs, horsies, balloons, hearts, snowflakes, Christmas trees, menorahs, etc.), also available in palettes, which would be selected by the buyer at the time they ordered the clothes. Alas, I never did anything about it. The closest thing I found was a place called Basic Brilliance, which sells a very limited selection of clothing in sturdy cotton, but, unfortunately, the "brilliance" is not related to the colors available. OmegaDotter is not wedded to the pinks and purples; at one point, dealing with the morning drama of selecting clothes, OmegaMom blew a fuse, went off to Walmart (the Evil Empire), and purchased five pairs of blue jeans and five red long-sleeved tops, and announced to the dotter that this was what she would be wearing to school. So the dotter wears red and bluejeans, and likes it okay (it definitely makes schoolday mornings much smoother!)...but when given her druthers, she picks out the pinks and purples yet again.
posted by Kate @ 2/12/2006 09:13:00 AM  
  • At 2/12/2006 12:35:00 PM, Anonymous anocat said…

    I felt exactly the same (but opposite) when my boys were small because the approved clothes palette for boys is so DULL ! Navy, military olives, browns, dark greens and khakis, camoflage patterns... All this whilst the little girls aisles were full of beautiful colours! What's more, there are at least twice as many racks of girls' clothes as boys' clothes. Why can't we have gorgeous but gender-neutral clothing for our kids?


  • At 2/12/2006 07:28:00 PM, Blogger ¬©Jac said…

    Do what I do! Buy clothing blanks and tie dye them! It's not really that complicated, though the supplies do cost a little $. Here is a great site with everything you need to get started!

  • At 2/12/2006 07:45:00 PM, Blogger Julie Pippert said…

    Completely cracking up about the morning "uniform" in response to the clothing selection drama. LOL LOL You should see what my DD wears many days...most days. I let her wear whatever and it is often most creative...This is my response to the drama. LOL

  • At 2/12/2006 07:48:00 PM, Blogger Momma Star said…

    Have you tried Hanna Anderson? i would be in the poor house if I allowed myself to start down that road, but they at least have bright colors.

  • At 2/12/2006 08:48:00 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    Anocat--It's interesting, but I think that maybe hereabouts people have more boys than girls? It's the only reason I can think of that there seem to be many more boys' clothes than girls' at the local Tarzhay. But, yeah, they do tend towards the khaki/navy/olive/deep red, which is, in its own way, just as obnoxious as the pink, pink, pink, purple, and frills.

    Jac--I may try it out!

    Julie--I didn't care *what* she wore, just that she'd *decide* on something! After many moons of her waffle, waffle, waffling, I did the "uniform", and it has worked nicely since.

    Momma Star--Sigh. Hannah has some very nice stuff. Maybe I'll have to check on eBay. No matter how long it lasts, the thought of spending so much on one item of apparel for a kiddo who grows when you turn around--eek!

  • At 2/12/2006 11:09:00 PM, Blogger Jaycee said…

    I've been trying to incorporate more pinks and lilacs in my 5 yo's wardrobe lately! She is almost always wearing blue for some reason (not that I mind- I think she looks great in blue!).

    But I agree with what you are saying here about the frilly girl clothing.

  • At 2/13/2006 03:01:00 AM, Anonymous Jo said…

    When I painted the nursery I went for white and pink in a big way and loved it at the time. Now, stuck in Wait Limbo, I've had time to reflect and I'm desperate for some primaries and non-pinks in there. Also, out buying clothes for my new nephews I realised I like baby boy clothes a whole lot better. I got the cutest ever parka (in olive) for the 5 month old and I'm SO stealing it for Little E when she gets here, mid-summer or no mid-summer.

  • At 2/13/2006 08:17:00 AM, Blogger Frances said…

    My son is nearly twelve and has to wear a uniform to school, thank goodness! He has his choice between Red, White, or Blue tops (golf shirts) to pair with dark blue jeans, blue pants, or khaki cargos.

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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