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I always get nervous when he chooses the “girl” colours. I would subtly try and redirect him towards a more “boyish” choice. I have never struggled with toys, but have been worried about what others would think with his clothing.
So I did the work, had many conversations, researched, and have seen the joy he now has in being completely and unapologetically himself in his choices. I’ll protect this freedom with everything I have.
I know I’m not alone. So let's talk - not talk about the choices our kids make - but why we feel the way that we do about their choices. Identifying why we are uncomfortable is the key to giving our children the freedom to be unapologetically them.
So how did we go from all children being dressed in white dresses until 6yrs old, to then pink for boys and blue for girls, to the now accepted blue for boys and pink for girls?
1800s - All children wore white dresses until the age of 6, known as a gender neutral choice. Easy access for nappy changes, unrestricted playing and simple to bleach clean. The boys first hair cut was not until age of 6 or 7, so all these kids were running around with long hair in white dresses.
1900s - Boys dressed in pink (a softer choice then the manly, strong red) and girls in blue, a dainty and more delicate colour.
1940s - Saw parents dressing kids like their parents. Baby boomers were the first children raised in gender specific clothing, dresses and pants. This saw blue being marketed for boys in clothes like dad, and girls in pink, more impractical clothing like their mothers.
1960s - The Women’s Liberation Movement saw unisex styles favoured, attempting to free girls by giving them options and freedoms to be active in practical clothing.
1980s - Prenatal testing arrived and finding out the gender of your baby arrived. Here comes the girl/ boy merchandise and the ‘find out the gender and hit the shops’ mentality 🙋♀️
So here we are, with boys that like “girls clothing”, and girls who like “boys clothing” as dictated by stores back in the 40s - and us parents trying really hard to behave in ways that go against our conditioning to allow our kids to be whoever they want. This can be hard. So let's talk about it!
Listen to my episode on The Conscious Project with Scott Stuart, author of 'My Shadow is Pink"