If I were to say the word girl, you would most likely associate it with the color pink. But the history behind this color association is much more complicated. According to a Today I Found article, the early 20th century began this stereotype. Until then, both boys and girls wore white dresses until age six. Once these stereotypes came in, pink was for boys and blue was for girls. The reason for this is that pink was seen as a stronger color whereas blue was more delicate.
But in the 1940s, for unknown reasons, clothing manufacturers decided to make pink for girls and blue for boys. Some have suggested that boys just liked blue more than pink.
Throughout the decades though, things have changed. Girls have started to associate the color pink with bad traits. According to some things I’ve seen and experienced in my own life, I have created the chart below.
As you can see, girls tend to lean towards pink until age 5-7. Probably because girls start not wanting to be a “girly girl” and start thinking that being more feminine is a bad thing. By this age, children are exposed to sitcoms, TV, and the internet. On TV, there is usually that one girl who is very traditionally feminine and is portrayed as mean, manipulative, she is obsessed with her appearance, boy crazy and more importantly, loves and wears pink.
We see this very clearly in the“Not Like Other Girls” (NLOG) meme. In this meme, there is one very feminine girl on one side with bullet points saying all of her “bad” qualities (i.e. revealing clothes, cares about appearance too much, likes pop music, obsessed with boys, dumb, mean, pink) and on the other side, a less feminine girl with her contradicting “good” qualities (i.e. modest clothing, doesn’t care about appearance, hates pop music/likes rock music, doesn’t care about boys, smart, hates pink). This pushes the idea having more masculine traits is better than having more feminine ones.
Hearing or seeing this phrase can be extremely harmful and degrading since it reduces “other girls” to dumb, mean, pink loving, and boy-obsessed. If you are not those things, you are cool and special. But this is not how the world works. You can’t lump an entire group of people into one category based on a stereotype. Everyone has different likes, dislikes, interests and style and no one is an exact carbon copy of someone else. In the grand scheme of things, we are all human and deserve to be able to present ourselves in a way that makes us feel confident, comfortable, and accepted.