Pink Was The Color of Boys Till the 19th Century But After WWI it Became a Girl’s Favorite

There is a universal assumption that blue if for boys and pink is for girls. But how are these rules of gender-based on color reflective of differences between the two? Do they have any cultural origins? Why is pink considered a girly color and why do women have an affinity for pink? Pink, of course,

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is a pleasing color no doubt but it is often chosen by women. When you envision the color pink, you most probably will conjure up images of little girls in Pink Dresses with pink toys such as a Disney princess and a Barbie doll. The color pink is usually associated with feminity and delicacy.

1In earlier times both boys and girls wore pink

Back in the 18th century, both little boys and girls of higher classes of society wore pink and blue uniformly says Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. So how come today has been separated in terms of gender choices. In fact, the color pink was even a masculine color and in catalogs and books, pink was also a color for little boys.

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2What research says?

A historian at the University of Maryland Jo Palette says that after decades of research, until the fifties, it was almost chaos when it came to baby color. There was no color symbolism in respect to gender. The pink for girl concept only appeared in the 20th century in the United States.

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3Books in the 1900’s associated pink with little girls

Baby books and children books from the 1900’s show that pink were associated with both girls and boys. In one issue of a clothes manufacturing magazine, the Infant’s Department of 1918, it said “There has been a great diversity of opinion on this subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy; while blue, which is more delicate and dainty is prettier for the girl.”

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4The concept appeared after the Second World War

However, the attempt at establishing a color gender rule did not go down well with manufacturers. It was only after the Second World War that the concept for pink for girls started to be accepted and dominate clothing. But it still didn’t catch on fully until the eighties. A sociologist Philip Cohen says that the strict color coding difference for boys and girls was perhaps a marketing ploy.

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