Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pink Power

My daughter is loud. She loves to read and play outside and eat French fries and help me cook dinner. She adores her mommy and her big brother and her friends. She's as happy playing Power Rangers or light sabers as she is playing with her toy kitchen and bringing me pretend coffee or a warm slice of make-believe pie.

Oh, and she fucking LOVES pink. And she loves purple. And she loves her baby dolls and she loves princesses.

And she can KICK YOUR ASS.

So for all the anti-pink stormtroopers out there who have gotten it in their progressive little heads that doing and loving stereotypically girly things and being a smart and kind and all-around-awesome little girl are somehow mutually exclusive, here's fifty Internet bucks to go buy a clue. I didn't tell her to love pink dresses. I didn't reward her with cheese each time she picked up the pink crayon in her chubby little fingers or zap her with little electric shocks every time she plucked the blue one out of the box. It's who she is.

Every day, I see some new article or blog post from some pseudo-intellectual about how This Pink Thing or That Doll Thing is ruining girls and their self-image and teaching them that they are secondary life forms and putting them on an express train to Stripperville. The same people who cheer boys who love pink and purple to show how open-minded they are also robotically condemn parents who supply their girls with a pink doll, as though I've given my daughter a pixie stick of crystal meth. And I think about my brilliant, beautiful little girl, and it makes me angry.

Angry that somehow, people have yet again forgotten that it doesn't matter what any kid (boy OR girl) wears or what toys they play with or what color they love. All that matters is what my wife and I teach my daughter about life and working hard and believing in herself. Same goes for my son. I mean, it's not that hard, really. I'm not splitting the atom with this. She likes pink because SHE LIKES PINK.

If my son liked pink and playing dress-up, the "all that matters" thing would be exactly the same.

But it seems like we've become so obsessed with finding some quickie band-aid fix for the problems that kids face growing up that we've lost sight of the fact that there really isn't a set of grayscale, hemp-wrapped hoops that a little girl must jump through as a prerequisite to becoming an independent, strong and self-assured woman. Rest assured, you pop-psychology-reading, truffle-eating critics, I'll be teaching her the same things I teach my son, I'll be expecting the same things I expect from my son, and I'll be pushing her to follow her dreams the way I'll push my son -- who, by the way, is equally smart and kind and funny and would, if he could, round up every pink item in our house and shoot them all into outer space.

So please, the next time you see a little girl who looks like she's vomited pink and you wonder how will she ever make it in this world, remember -- that's probably my kid, and she'll probably be operating on your decrepit, judgmental ass in 25 years.

With a pink Disney princess scalpel.

5 comments:

  1. Nice! I have two girls - raised the same way - and one got heavy into pink and princesses while the other did not. Who knows why? Who cares? Incidentally, my pink princess is also the more athletic of the two and can kick anyone's ass in mario cart ( no, really, I mean anyone). Let's enjoy their little unique selves and not try to twist ourselves in knots about it. As a wise woman once said to me, whatever they're doing now, don't get too invested in it or worried about it, because chances are they won't be doing it next year or even next month. Exactly!

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  2. Sybil, I couldn't agree more. And I dare someone to try and take her pink baby doll -- they'll lose a hand.

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  3. I think my profile pic will speak volumes here. GO PINK!

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  4. I'm with you on this, David. And look for our review of your novel over at White Cat Magazine week after next.

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  5. @Jenny -- Why, yes! yes it does. Go pink, indeed!

    @Rick -- thanks, glad you liked it. And I'm looking forward to seeing the review!

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