Pretty in Pink

Perusing the Internet I came upon an article Saving Our Daughters From An Army Of Princesses with a book excerpt by journalist and mom, Peggy Orenstein. This led me to tweet about it which in turn elicited a rather brilliant pitch by Melissa Wardy (@PigtailPals) who owns www.pigtailpals.com and states on the website that “she doesn’t want to confine her little girl to the pink and purple world being marketed to her.” As many of you know, I do not have a little girl so why do I care about all this? For now I don’t care, really. It is one of those things in life that you say “I’ll deal with it when and if I must.” I figure I already have enough worry about with a son and all the possible mischief and mayhem that he will wreak and encounter. I could not help reading the article, though, and thinking what would I do?

You see, I hate pink. I hate it intensely. As an accent maybe, but the full on pink triggers a knee buckling migraine in my head. When my wife was pregnant and we did not know yet if we were having a boy or girl friends and family had their fingers crossed it was a girl so they could antagonize me with pink everything. I swore it would all end up in a bonfire. At the same time I realized that if I had a girl I would present her with a contradictory mixed bag of Neanderthal fathering and über-Liberal parenting. I would want a brilliant, confident and independent thinker with top grades and the youngest person to do something that was never done before and that would save lives and children and ultimately the world from doom. At the same I would have one rule that was to be enforced at all costs: no boys, ever.

My question is: Does letting a daughter play with Barbie stunt her growth as a person? I doubt it. I see so many women around me who grew up playing with dolls who are just as confident and empowered as their brothers who played with cars (not that I am implying that only playing with dolls or cars will make you confident). But what do I know? I am neither a girl nor the father of one.

I wonder, hypothetically, though, how I would cope with all the “girlyness”. I am all for playing knights and princesses and sitting down with teddy bear for tea, but am I going to have to stave off the insanity of the next Barbie fad or worse a riot inducing Cabbage Patch Kid launch? Then again it wouldn’t be the first time I stood in line for something and this time it would be for my kid. I’ll probably end up buying Barbie after hours of pleading and puppy dog eyes. I assume there is a camo-chic Barbie, right?

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9 thoughts on “Pretty in Pink

  1. Triplezmom says:

    We have Barbie at our house because the Barbie movies? Kind of have good messages. And we have princesses. And other things that are pink. I blame it on the fact that we also have 2 boys, so we're more indulgent about girly stuff than we would have been otherwise. Also? She had no interest in any of it until she started preschool. Before that she and her younger brother played with cars, blocks, dinosaurs, puzzles and stuffed animals. Then she got socialized.

  2. The JackB says:

    My daughter plays with dolls all the time. I have never once worried about whether it would hurt her. In part that is because her older brother is always working on ways to toughen her up.

    Ok, maybe not intentionally, but the effect is there. 😉

  3. ChopperPapa says:

    You'd be surprised on what you can do when a daughter enters the picture…I've played with dolls, been a fashion judge, tea parties, you name it. I lose any machismo when Sunshine is around..

  4. chadsdad12 says:

    This reminds me of a debate I've been having with my sister regarding another color. Blue. My son has seen Blue Man Group several times (sidenote: It's one of his favorite things in the world, we both always have a good time, AND they just added some new stuff to the show). Last week, we took her daughter with us. I get a phone call the next day telling me that I'm irresponsible because her daughter now wants to be a Blue Man. To my knowledge there aren't any Blue Women, but I told her after the show, I'm sure it's possible. To be clear, my sister's not mad about the drumming, or the toilet paper, or the trying to catch things in her mouth, she's mad that I told her daughter in essence, "You can be a man."

    • newyorkdadblog says:

      I am guessing your sister is a big fan of pink 🙂 Not really sure why she is so upset considering how often kids move on to new "obsessions". Although it can be annoying for us parents, I think it's great that kids are so curious and passionate about new discoveries.

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