The other day I was talking to my good friend Tracey about our boys and the politics of pink. As moms we are aware of how much our boys love colours that have been defined as either boys or girl colours, and how it is still much easier to dress a girl in “boy” clothes that she likes than it is to dress boys in “girl” clothes. I hate that I still feel like I can’t get my boys clothes that have a gender bias, even if it is one that is imposed on them by society.
I wrote the above paragraph a few months ago and it still holds true, my sons love bright colours and things that sparkle. Unfortunately now that Aidan is in kindergarten he worries about what the other kids think. He still loves the bright colours, but he isn’t as willing to voice that preference. Quinlan loves pink and purple and sparkles and he points this out to anyone who will listen. In fact today when I was getting ready to go to Northern Voice, Quinlan decided what shoes I was going to wear to the conference. So if you saw me today with a pair of purple sequenced chucks that was my boy at work. Anything for the little boy who says “Pretty shoes Mommy, you look beautiful!”
I am determined that Quinlan and Aidan wear what they like no matter what. I want them to be confident and make any fashion statement they like. If they want colour in their hair? No problem. They want pink ties and cool hats? No problem. They want to wear a cape as an accessory to school? No problem.
I admit that when Aidan was small I worried about what other people would think and I steered him away from the “girl’s” purple sequins sneakers. I regret that now and I let them have a choice in what they wear and when we buy new clothes they get a say. This is why Aidan has a few dress shirts that he likes to wear with a tie and a vest and his hat. Aidan loves to be dressed up and he looks fabulous. The confidence Aidan has is fantastic. Quinlan also loves to be dressed up and he has a few shirts he loves, as well as his “dancing hat.”
I am glad that the pink shirt day forced me to think about how I was bowing to pressure from society to socialize my boys to steer toward safe colour choices. I am now longer bowing to that pressure and I let my boys choose what they want.
Last Friday Tracey and I met for a play date with our boys. Aidan choose to wear his long-sleeved pink shirt under his Star Wars t-shirt. Quinlan chose to wear his pink butterfly shirt. I thought it was cool and let it go at that. When we got to the play place Little T was wearing a pink polo shirt. All of our boys decided that they wanted to wear the pink shirts and they had a blast playing. I thought that it was fantastic that both Tracey and I made an effort after our talk about the politics of pink to find way that our colour loving kids could get to wear the colours they liked. From here on out we are taking back colour for our boys.