It’s official. The anti-pink movement has taken off.
Concerned mums and dads, in their quest to steer their daughters’ pliable young minds away from the ever-expanding quagmire of Bratz, pole-dancing dolls and other questionable residents of the “pink aisle” at toy stores today, are increasingly opting for toys that are pink-free, glitter-free or traditionally marketed at boys.
Parents’ groups across the world including PinkStinks have spearheaded this anti-pink campaign, with former head of the National Consumer Council in the UK even calling the division of girls’ and boys’ toys in shops “gender apartheid”.
Most recently, we’ve seen the emergence of “empowering,” non-pink girls’ toys like Goldieblox, whose founder – Debbie Stirling, a former engineer – was motivated by what she saw as a need for “more choices than the pink aisle has to offer”. In the widely-publicised viral video campaign for the brand, three young girls go about destroying a collection of pink toys with their supercool, defiantly non-pink construction toys. The idea is that little girls are sick of all the over-the-top pink being shoved down their throats and need more stimulating options.
Now I get the point of all this anti-pink sentiment, I truly do.
We can all agree that the pink aisle offers options to girls that are both limited and damaging. Raising your daughter on a playtime diet of sparkling tiaras, infant bikinis and mini ironing sets? No, thanks.
I’d like my future daughters to have access to a wider range of make-believe playtime options than princess, pageant queen and domestic goddess.
But how does this all translate in the real world, where your daughter’s probably already been exposed to a bunch of pink toys and, God forbid, might actually like a lot of them?
What if your daughter, when asked to get dressed for school, innocently chooses a pink hoodie over blue? Or a frilly dress over pants?
What if she chooses Dora the Explorer – who wears pink and sometimes princess dresses, and is explicitly marketed at girls – over the more ‘boyish’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Should we step in and demand that she step away from these items, simply because they’re products of the pink aisle? I’m not sure we should.