Why do baby girls always wear pink?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 25th February 2012

Victoria Beckham, who dresses her seven-month daughter Harper in subtle hues of cream, navy, black and slate grey, isn’t the only mum to eschew pink for girls.

When my daughter was born, I never dressed her in girly pink colours. For her christening party she wore a chic tartan all-in-one, while for her aunt’s wedding she sported a blue silk beret from a milliners called Herald & Heart Hatters. Her most stylish outfit of all was an ochre jacket with bright orange buttons and matching tights.

I’ve never understood why parents love pink for a girl. Babies and toddlers look so much better in strong, vibrant colours than in washed out shades of pink and mauve. Admittedly a woman in the supermarket once tapped me on the shoulder and said “excuse me, your little boy’s hat has fallen over his face.” I thanked her politely and adjusted my daughter’s headgear, wondering why she’d assumed my baby girl was a boy simply because she was wearing navy blue dungarees.

And even though Harper is clearly the best-dressed baby in the world, why does her mum keeps talking about wanting to do “girly” things together? In an interview before Harper was born Victoria said she could imagine “painting her nails, putting on make-up and choosing clothes” as she grows up.

With two very independent-minded children, the one thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t dictate their style, interests or clothes. So it’s perfectly possible that Harper Beckham, especially as she’s got three big brothers, may turn out to be the sort of girl who loves climbing trees, riding bikes and kicking a football round the park.  Then again, maybe she won’t.

Image: Photo © 2010 J. Ronald LeeCC Attribution 3.0

11 comments so far

  • When DD turned up four and a half years after her brothers i honestly didn’t know what to expect but she soon sorted me out and her brothers for that matter too:-) She played with the Brio trains but them took them tea. Her dolls were defensive weapons against her brothers…but now at twelve she is my companion in shopping and clothes but that is definitely her choice and not one I chose for her…

    ps after she was born I woke and looked at the bouquet beside then bed and wondered why it was filled with pink flowers….

  • I never dressed my daughter in pink either. She’s now 16 and fairly interested in clothes, but has never worn make-up. She’s going to a party tonight – and will be wearing her first pair of high heels. Compared to my skyscraper heels, definitely on the bungalow side!

  • If I had had girls I would have dressed them in stripy tights and bright little A-line corduroy pinafore dresses – although I’m not adverse to the colour pink, I’m not sure I would dress in it or would have inflicted it on my ‘daughter’!
    Good luck with the BiB award…I have nominated you!

  • Once they start to crawl, any baby needs bright, strongly coloured, dirt-disguising clothes! Pretty pale pastel shades – pink or blue – must date back to the days when toddlers stayed clean and safe in their playpen.
    Having only had daughters, I take the pleasures of ‘girlie’ things for granted but several friends with only boys really seem to miss it…and they always seem to be the ones who buy extra feminine things for birthday presents – jewellery, make-up etc

  • That is such a good point, Maryom. Pale pastels are v impractical for babies – another argument for strong, vibrant colours. And you’re right. Now I think about it, parents of boys love buying clothes and jewellery for friends with daughters!

  • There is an article I read somewhere that Pink used to be for boys …….and then equality came along…and they swapped it around. ….Wish for the life of me I could remember the article.

  • That’s fascinating, Andrea. If you do find the article, please will you let me know? I’d love to hear more about it – and when pink for boys changed to pink for girls!

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