• Home
  • Pink is for Boys

Pink is for Boys

As parents of two young boys, we’ve been very conscientious not to fall into the gender-stereotype trap. We try to encourage and give our kids opportunities to access all types of toys, books, and clothes that are traditionally assigned to girls and boys. But despite our best efforts, the inevitability of schoolyard conditioning will take hold of these young minds. I knew I had work to do when I heard my five-year-old boldly exclaim that dreaded, trigger-worthy statement “… but pink is for girls.

I don’t entirely blame my fellow parents for such gender misappropriation. All you need to do is walk into a kids’ clothing store or a toy aisle and you’re slapped in the face by a sea of bright pinks and purples versus dulled blues and greys. I vividly recall last year when I had a difficult time finding shirts for the boys to celebrate love and kindness. Most of the Valentine’s Day themed clothes for boys were about loving pizza, video games, and dinosaurs. What kind of message are we sending our kids? Are boys less capable of tenderness toward other people? Are we instead encouraging emotional attachment to food and games? 

There is a very purposeful need for parents to untangle this mindset and explain to our kids how ridiculous it is to assign gender to a colour (or a toy or a book). One of our family-favourite books is “Pink is for Boys” by Robb Pearlman. It’s a beautifully illustrated book that goes through a rainbow of colours and how every colour is to be enjoyed by all children. I also routinely hunt for pink shirts for myself and the boys (mostly online now) and I applaud school efforts such as pink shirt day for anti-bullying awareness.

I take comfort in knowing that my oldest son – who’s heard my ramblings a few extra times – can proudly wear pink and unabashedly play with dolls and stuffies. He can also be heard stepping in to correct his little brother saying “Pink is for boys AND girls. Now let’s build a Lego tower and smash it with our dinosaurs!”

Frank Emanuele is a proud father of two boys, a special education teacher, and a director of Dad Club London.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter