Green relaxes the eyes, yellow often symbolizes optimism and orange is the new black.
This one goes without saying: pink for girls, blue for boys?
A huge part of the human populous will probably tell you hard yes.
Well.. um, no.
Pink actually has relatively less working experience in the femininity department than blue. As a matter of fact, pink was associated with masculinity for a long time.
In 1918, an article from a trade publication called Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department, said that, since it was derived from red, “the generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink — being a more decided and stronger color — is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”. Other sources stated blue was flattering for blonds the same way pink was for brunettes. Following the same pattern, blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies. Damn.
Almost a decade after, a Time magazine survey from 1927, showed that department stores were completely scattered when it came to recommending gender-specific colors — There seems, then, to be no great unanimity of U.S. opinion on Pink v. Blue, the article finally concluded.
So when did the color divide happen?
To some extent, the shift happened in the 1940s. Yes, after WWII.
Rosie the Riveter’s factory blue uniform went to the semi-retirement. Pink aprons were welcomed by the new housewives. And it all was the result of Americans’ preferences — interpreted by manufacturers and retailers.
So, pink became the Times New Roman of “female” colors in the ’50s and ’60s. Baby boomers were raised in gender-specific clothing: femininity got wrapped in pink, and the products followed — from shampoos to home appliances. all the way up to the posh fashion.
That being said, you gotta remember the raspberry pink Chanel suit Chanel Jackie Kennedy wore on the day her husband, the president of the USA, JFK, was assassinated? Or Marilyn Monroe’s pink satin dress and long hand-gloves from the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)?
Nowadays, millennial pink or rose quartz is taking the spot on Instagram and Tumblr feeds.
When the women’s liberation movement arrived in the mid-1960s, with its anti-feminine, anti-fashion message, the unisex look became the rage. Young girls started dressing more masculine—or at least unfeminine—styles, devoid of gender hints. For that matter, in the 1970s, many major fashion brands’ catalogs were pinkness in toddler clothing for years.
This new trend of gender-neutral clothing remained popular until about 1985.
what happened, you ask?
Prenatal testing was a big reason for the change. The (un)famous Do you want to know the sex of the baby? was the thing.
The rest is history. Soon after learning the sex of their unborn child, future parents went shopping for “girl” (pink) or “boy” (blue) merchandise. Clothing individualization sells, you know. The more “personalized”, the merrier.
The pink craze spread from sleepers and crib sheets to big-ticket items such as strollers, car seats, and riding toys.
Also, an important factor for this pink vs. blue gender war has been the rise of consumerism among children in recent decades.
According to child development experts, children are just becoming conscious of their gender between ages 3 and 4, and they do not realize it’s permanent until age 6 or 7. At the same time, however, they are the subjects of sophisticated and pervasive advertising.
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