Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pink stinks. Or does it?


Here's a question: is it ever okay for boys to wear pink? I ask because I was confronted with a dilemma today. I needed to buy Louis some snow boots to wear next week because wellies are just too chilly; ditto his brown boots. I found some great Columbia ones in one of the posh Kensington ski shops. For a mere £20. They're black and really rather funky. But although they're the right size, there is no way they're going on his feet. And trust me I've tried. And tried.

So instead I went to Decathlon, that French magnet for all things sporty and cheap, which is handily but a short hop from our 'hood. But this being February and still the middle of winter, you can imagine what their selection of kiddie snow boots looked like. (Is there a shortcut key to inject a heavy note of sarcasm??) All they did have were rows and rows and rows of pink ones; the neutral coloured toddler ones apparently sold out in early December. What to do? (You can probably guess where this is going from the picture.) So, I got him to try them on, figuring if I had to fight either the boots or him then I'd just leave them on the shelf. But the first slipped on like a dream, and he demanded the second one too. They were also less than half the price of the Columbia ones. Just.

Reader, I bought them. Yes, pink snow boots. I did briefly figure I might be able to get a fabric pen and colour them a different shade. But realistically that's not going to happen. Thus far he's just been stomping round the house in them: he really loves his "snowman boots". Is that cruel? Bear in mind his lovely blonde locks are already too long - we had another failed attempt at a trim this morning - and that he's often mistaken for a girl, including, ahem, by the Decathlon check out girl. I wanted to check what the Pink Stinks campaign policy was on boys in pink but they haven't got back to me. I'll update this if they do. For now, though, can he pull it off? Or is it just too cruel? Then again, making him walk round with cold feet won't exactly win me mummy of the month.

17 comments:

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

My boys spent a lot of time in a very beautiful Petit Bateau powder pink winter romper suit. I didn't care on bit, it was second hand and very warm. Adam, at 4, cites pink as his favourite colour. I suspect this will change when he goes to school, but right now, I'm enjoying not attaching any stereotypes to any colours. Get him to wear them. He'll have grown out of them by the end of March anyway!

solveig said...

I always think it's funny how we rant and rave about how much pink our girls wear but we never seem to mind boys in blue. And how girls can wear any colour they like but we balk at putting boys in pink. And little boys do seem to like pink as well. Theo is forever putting on Freyja's pink sparkly party shoes!!

I reckon I would put Theo in clothes with pink in them, but admit I have avoided pink shoes!

But why not?! Especially if you had no choice and he needed them. As long as he's happy!

Babies who brunch said...

Great Brit! I'd have used a PB pink romper suit too. Louis really loves the boots. He wanted to wear them out today but I had to convince him to save them for the holiday.

And yes Solveig, I agree about the blue stereotyping. For us it's impossible to avoid as L suits blue so much. And he's definitely happy! Thanks!

Iota said...

I say, go for it. But when you're skiiing and he's in the creche, put a name label on his front and back, so that the people in charge know he's a boy without asking.

My oldest boy had a purple and blue romper when he was a toddler. A lilac/mauve shade of purple. By the time my second was the age to wear it, 3 years later, pale purple had become a girl's colour. It had definitely been a boy's romper - it had a car on it.

It's just odd how colours become gender-specific.

planb said...

Oh he should definitely wear them! Apparently up until the first world war (possibly second) but certainly the first half of the twentieth century pink was for boys (derived from red and the colour of WAR (to be said in voiceover man voice) apparently) and blue was all soft and gentle and for girls. So if anyone looks askance at you for putting him in pink, you can look very snootily at them and say "it's retro" (or vintage - take your pick!)

Muddling Along Mummy said...

I heard until the 1950s boys wore pink and girls blue ... you're just being retro

Babies who brunch said...

Iota: name tags good plan. Have packed some stickers to write his name on. Although to be honest I can't imagine him letting us leave him in the creche much, if at all....

Plan b and Muddling: Love it! I did not know that! What a great fact. Thank you!!

sara said...

I say only real men wear pink! Alex has an amazing light pink fleece turtle neck scarf that he has worn all winter :)

And as far as my personal research has shown there is no difference between the amount of times people call him a very pretty girl based on wearing said pink scarf!

I miss you guys!

Babies who brunch said...

Yay - I was hoping you'd comment Sara! I want to see a picture of Alex in the pink scarf! In fact, I want to see any pictures of Alex. We miss you too.

X ray-ted in Vancouver said...

I think the retro line is v cool. He clearly doesn't care so why should you? Don't get hung up on it - or he will and boys wearing pink means (apparently) that they are comfortable with their sexuality and don't care for stereotyping. I think the fiscal approach is commendable.

Mrs. said...

pink won't hurt him!! enjoy it while you can.

Nova said...

My two year old is wearing his sister's pink snow boots and her pink ski gloves as I refuse to buy more for such a short wear time. ;0)

Babies who brunch said...

An update: I actually used the retro line when an 11-year-old boy remarked on the pink boots. I smiled inwardly a lot when he spouted it back to me a couple of days later!

The boots were a huge hit. In fact, now we're home I'm not sure how I can get him to stop wearing them! More soon....

Babes about Town said...

Those are some rocking boots and I'm glad you decided to go for them.

We get so easily locked into these weird little boxes and sometimes we just need to trust our kids' judgement.

My Ezra is definitely a 'boys' boy' and yet he has declared his favourite colour to be pink.

I love men in pink and while I probably draw the line at boys in frills or dresses I don't see why they can't pink it up every now and then.

Babies who brunch said...

Thanks babes about town! Have just remembered my husband got married in pink. His choice! So our family has form on the pink front! Ps louis insisted on wearing my jumper out today...... It was green though

Jennifer@alphamummy said...

I applaud your choice of pink boots for him! After all, it used to be the traditional colour for boys - along with frilly collars and patent shoes with buckles!

A Modern Mother said...

What the heck are you thinking? No!

OK, I'm calm now. I guess he is little, but what if he ends up loving pink? I guess he could row for Leander!