Saturday, January 03, 2009

Pink: The Most Insidious Colour

In addition to wasting my time in a useless MBA program I also spent part of my sabbatical becoming the proud father of a lovely baby girl. Which, if I understand the Official Rules of the Blogosphere correctly, provides me with license to pontificate ad nauseum on child-rearing. I don't intend to do much of that, given that I don't have real strong opinions on nappies, bottles, or Ferberization. Mostly I'm just overjoyed that people can't play the "You'll understand when you have kids" trump card on me anymore.

So if I'm not going to talk about the merits of babywearing and co-sleeping what am I doing here? Well, today I'd like to talk about the color pink. It looks all cute and cuddly and innocuous sitting there on the color wheel between red and purple, but looks can be deceiving. Pink is an adorable little ninja that will drop you as soon an you turn your back on it.

My wife and I have gone to some pains to try to buy gender-neutral clothing for the wee one. We're not particularly militant; mostly its just a reaction to the fact that clothing for little girls is an aesthetic nightmare. Well... that, and my personal imp of the perverse likes mucking with peoples' expectations. Anyway... it turns out that buying gender-neutral clothing is more difficult that you would expect. 7-11 sells 20-packs of pink Gerber onesies for less that the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but non-suck clothing for small people is hard to find and stupidly expensive. We thought about buying some of the nice looking stuff from Kate Quinn (how cute... they're pandering to my demographic), but figured that she'd appreciate a college education more in the long run.

But I digress. The point is that our daughter spent the first few days of her life in outfits that didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out. Then we ended up back at the hospital on account of a minor case of dehydration, which is when all hell broke loose. My wife and I, we're good liberals (or possibly bad liberals, depending on your point of view), so we're aware of/armed against all manner of mindfuckery. Both of us, the first time we saw our daughter in a pink hospital onesie, went "Holy shit! She looks like a girl!".

For my part I can testify that this was accompanied by all sorts of subtle mental knock-on effects. Which brings me back to my main point: pink is serious shit. I would guess that I'm more immune than most to that sort of thing, but I could feel the pink worming its way into my brain regardless. Which, of course, makes me wonder about how it affects the populace at large?

I'll leave the deconstruction of the "pink effect" to someone more trained than I. The main takeaway here is that there seems to be good reason to avoid the cutesy shit with ruffles and bows as if it were the plague.


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