The Pink & Blue Project

Alexandra and Her Pink Things

I was chatting with Alek's sister-in-law about her pregnancy and asked her if she knew the gender of the baby. Alek's sister Leanna, who speaks two languages AND has a photographic memory, AND is a speed reader AND happens to hold a masters degree in English AND who is just wicked smart in general jumped in and said something about gender being culturally driven. So, I did a little research on the words sex and gender. A person's sex is physiologically determined but their gender has more to do with cultural groupings. In fact, the number of genders in other languages ranges from 2 up to 20. Essentially sex = biological and gender = social/cultural.

ANYWAY, today as I was walking through the San Francisco airport, I was struck by a photography display called The Pink & Blue Project by JeongMee Yoon:

The Pink and Blue Projects were initiated by my five-year-old daughter, who loves the color pink so much that she wanted to wear only pink clothes and play with only pink toys and objects. I discovered that my daughter’s case was not unusual. In the United States, South Korea and elsewhere, most young girls love pink clothing, accessories and toys. This phenomenon is widespread among children of various ethnic groups regardless of their cultural backgrounds. Perhaps it is the influence of pervasive commercial advertisements aimed at little girls and their parents, such as the universally popular Barbie and Hello Kitty merchandise that has developed into a modern trend. Girls train subconsciously and unconsciously to wear the color pink in order to look feminine. Pink was once a color associated with masculinity, considered to be a watered down red and held the power associated with that color. In 1914, The Sunday Sentinel, an American newspaper, advised mothers to “use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.” The change to pink for girls and blue for boys happened in America and elsewhere only after World War II. As modern society entered twentieth century political correctness, the concept of gender equality emerged and, as a result, reversed the perspective on the colors associated with each gender as well as the superficial connections that attached to them . Today, with the effects of advertising on consumer preferences, these color customs are a worldwide standard.

If you are going to be at the SFO airport in May, be sure to check it out. United Airlines Domestic Terminal, Gate 76A.

Jake and His Blue Things