‘pinkification’ of girls’

Why girls aren’t pretty in pink

Two sisters forced retailers to rethink the ‘pinkification’ of girls’ toys. Now they are turning their attention to makeup aimed at children

True colours ... Abi and Emma Moore and their children, from left, Gabriel, Rebecca, Ziggy and Jasmine. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

 

Children can be comically fierce in their ideas of which toys are or aren’t appropriate: “It’s for babies!” or “It’s for girls!” they will insist. But when, on a recent visit to a toy shop, Emma Moore’s daughter announced that farm animals were for boys, Emma was disappointed.

“All the signage was blue and there was a boy playing there,” says Emma, 40, and the mother of two daughters.

Other parents might just roll their eyes and move on, but not Emma. “When I had a second girl, the onslaught of pink rubbish piling into my house, and all the slogans, ‘Daddy’s little princess’ and so on, became even more noticeable,” she says. She and her twin sister Abi, who has two boys, were so angry about the gender division of children’s toys promoted by retailers that they decided to act.

The result was Pinkstinks, a campaign they set up four years ago to raise awareness of what they say is damaging gender stereotyping of children, and which this week won a Mumsnet-sponsored award for promoting body confidence in children. The sisters say they are thrilled, partly because they thought they were too radical for Mumsnet, but also because the accolade coincides with the launch of Slap, their new campaign, which is aimed at challenging the increasing tendency to target makeup at little girls.

Emma and Abi grew up in south-east London, not far from where they live now, and although their mother was active in the women’s movement and their stepfather was a Labour parliamentary candidate, no one expected the sisters to become activists. When they started Pinkstinks, “It was really challenging within our own family as well as in the wider world,” says Emma, who jokes about mothers running away from her at the school gate, presumably because she makes them feel awkward.

“Some of the presents Mum had given my daughters, I was like, really? A pink, plastic Disney castle? Are you sure?” she says. Abi chips in: “Vast swathes of people have accepted all this stuff as normal, and when we started questioning it, we were questioning ourselves as well.”

Source: The Guardian Read more