Little boy blue and girl in pink
Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, we're told. But do these gender norms reflect some inherent biological difference between the sexes, or are they culturally constructed? It depends on whom you ask. Decades of research by University of Maryland historian Jo Paoletti suggests that up until the s, chaos reigned when it came to the colors of baby paraphernalia. Because the pink-for-a-girl, blue-for-a-boy social norms only set in during the 20th century in the United States, they cannot possibly stem from any evolved differences between boys' and girls' favorite colors , Paoletti has argued.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Why is it Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys?
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Little Boy Blue with lyrics - Lullabies & Nursery Rhymes by EFlashAppsContent:
- Pretty in pink and little boy blue
- List of historical sources for pink and blue as gender signifiers
- Here’s Why it All Changed: Pink Used to be a Boy’s Color & Blue For Girls
- Cabinet of Curiosities: Why Baby Boys Wear Blue and Baby Girls Wear Pink
- Why Is Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys?
- Why boys are blue and girls are pink
- Little Girl And Little Boy Color Scheme
- Pink=Girl Blue=Boy: The Relatively Recent History of Gendered Baby Colors
Pretty in pink and little boy blue
It, in turn, cites an Ask Smithsonian blog post by Jeanne Maglaty. According to a traditional color scheme, which is of unknown origin, baby boys are properly dressed in pink clothing and baby girls in blue, although in some parts of the country, particularly in the Southern States, this symbolical color arrangement is reversed and baby boys are dressed in blue and girls in pink.
One writer says that blue was assigned to girls because that was the color assigned to the Virgin Mary and the royal house of David to which she belonged. At any rate, blue and pink have become associated with babies. When friends are notified that the stork has paid a visit to a home the announcement cards are often decorated with blue ribbons if the baby is a girl, and with pink ribbons if it is a boy. Apparently, however, this traditional color arrangement based on the sex of the child is giving way to more practical considerations.
In the issue of Forecast for May, , Mollie Amos Polk says on this subject : "According to the buyer of one of the most famous shops pink and blue are now used interchangeably for boys and girls. Pink, however, since it is universally becoming and will stand frequent tubbings, is much more popular for both.
Like fredsbend commented, there are lists of additional sources on Wikipedia. Sources saying "blue for girls, pink for boys" can be found up to about ; however, it was not a strong tradition.
During the same time period, as the above shoe reference shows, people also dressed boys in blue and girls in pink. Mothers take good care to discover the suitable color and adornment for their little ones, blue for the little boy, pink for the little girl The strongest evidence I can find for a tradition of pink for boys, blue for girls, is that there was criticism of president McKinley's wife for sending blue booties to former president Cleveland's wife on the occasion of a boy being born:.
A Word about Babies: Appropriate gifts St. Baby's Wardrobe Lawrence Democrat 29 September Pink pique is also used for small gentleman in the baby stages Blue being a girl's color the sky blue pique is not used for boys.
If you are sending a gift to a baby, tie it up with blue ribbons if the baby is a girl, pink ribbons if it is a boy. After a reader disagreed with columnist Cynthia Grey's pseudonym advice "pink for a boy, blue for a girl", Grey responded in The Tacoma Times 28 November According to the authorities at the public library Pink is for boys and blue for girls.
This is an old Dutch custom. When a boy was born a pink ball was hung out and when a girl was born a blue ball was displayed. So in conclusion, though numerous sources can be found starting around saying that "pink for a boy and blue for a girl" is traditional, others expressed that the tradition was visa versa.
A quantitative study was done in Our questionnaire replies showed cities totaling 12,, people using blue for a boy, cities totaling 6,, using pink for a boy. This claim originated in a paper by Jo Paoletti, a researcher in American Studies, and was presented in expanded form in a book by the same author. In these publications, Paoletti did not argue that pink and blue had been reversed , but only that their use had been inconsistent prior to the s.
It is unclear how and when this initial argument morphed into the popular, widely repeated idea that the gender associations of pink and blue were uniformly reversed in the early 20th century. While some text fragments found by Paoletti and others are compatible with a scenario of inconsistent gender norms, the idea of a complete reversal has no basis in historical evidence and seems to have spread as a sort of urban legend, eventually making its way into the scientific literature see here for examples and discussion.
In a letter to Archives of Sexual Behavior , Marco Del Giudice performed a Google NGram search in English language books US and UK from to and found no evidence of inconsistent usage during this period; in contrast, there were many instances of the familiar female-pink and male-blue associations.
Based on this finding, the author suggested that the text fragments that are usually cited in support of Paoletti's claim may have been unrepresentative of the cultural norms of the time, or at least in some instances have other, less obvious explanations e. Jo Paoletti and biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling replied to the letter in a Huffington Post article , although they did not provide additional evidence.
In the same article they challenged previous speculations that sex-related preferences for pink and blue may be partially rooted in biological processes. The relevant peer-reviewed literature includes:. A paper by Hurlbert and Ling that found a pattern of sex-differentiated color preferences in different regions of the visible spectrum blue-green vs.
A paper by Sorokowski et al. A paper by Wong and Hines that found no robust associations between color preferences and other sex-typed preferences e. It also reviews recent studies of sex differences in color preferences and summarizes current evolutionary hypotheses in this area. The custom to tie newborn boys with a blue ribbon and red ribbon for girls stem from the law that every Grand Duke is decorated with the Order of St.
The aforementioned law is the statute of the Order of St. Andrew signed by Paul I of Russia on In an episode of QI youtube they address this, their website I will quote below:. Until the 20th century toddlers of either sex were normally dressed in white, but when colours were used, boys were dressed in pink. At the turn of the 20th century, Dressmaker Magazine wrote: 'The preferred colour to dress young boys in is pink.
Blue is reserved for girls as it is considered paler, and the more dainty of the two colours, and pink is thought to be stronger akin to red. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered.
Was pink a boy color and blue a girl color prior to the 20th century? Ask Question. Asked 2 years, 11 months ago. Active 2 years, 11 months ago.
Viewed 27k times. How well-grounded in the historical evidence is this claim? Jayson Virissimo. Jayson Virissimo Jayson Virissimo 2, 3 3 gold badges 13 13 silver badges 20 20 bronze badges.
Well sourced section on Wikipedia. Seems to be true. Further investigation turned up this paper: researchgate. It is a little puzzling why this isn't mentioned in the Wikipedia page. Please remember to restrict this kind of question to a sensible domain e. United States. There's no reason why different cultures can't have different gendered colors, or different histories of them.
Sklivvz This article discussing Naples, Italy in says pink blouse for boys, blue blouse for girls: books. Sklivvz after much search of old newspapers, the oldest US mention of the "pink for boys, blue for girls" tradition is in an article "Styles here and abroad", and the article says it is based upon a Berlin fashion journal that "is considered the fashion autocrat of Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, and New York".
Maybe "Seasons" is the title or translated title of the journal, February issue. I think when people say it was a tradition, they mean a tradition from Europe.
Several other US articles specify France, and one says it is from Dutch tradition. Active Oldest Votes. According to the version of Stack Exchange, Popular Questions Answered : What are the clothing colors for baby boys and girls? Another clear counter-example is the article Women's Part in the New Renaissance Century Magazine , April Mothers take good care to discover the suitable color and adornment for their little ones, blue for the little boy, pink for the little girl The strongest evidence I can find for a tradition of pink for boys, blue for girls, is that there was criticism of president McKinley's wife for sending blue booties to former president Cleveland's wife on the occasion of a boy being born: as all the world which has had experience in such things knows, blue boots are for girls and pink for boys Omaha Daily Bee 7 November similar articles 6 November in Desert Evening News , the Salt Lake Herald and Blackfoot News Additional articles recommending pink for boys, blue for girls include: The earliest article, Styles Here and Abroad , The Sun, New York, 09 January Pinks and reds are the colors for boy babies, blues and creams for girls A Word about Babies: Appropriate gifts St.
Paul Daily Globe 22 October the advice spread to several other newspapers a month later, the Hickman Courier , the Ohio Democrat and the Macon Beacon : pink for boys, blue for girls, the gossip says About Fall Fashions Evening Star, Washington, 20 September same article in Indianapolis Journal : white ribbon for the first three months, afterward pink for a boy, blue for a girl-clover pink for a blonde boy and very pale blue for a dark baby girl Article in The Sun, New York 03 July pink for a boy, blue for a girl, according to French fashion Baby's Wardrobe Lawrence Democrat 29 September "Pink for a boy and blue for a girl" is a generally accepted dictum For Small Fry Salt Lake Herald, but with New York dateline, 19 April also published in The Morning Times , Washington, and days later with the title For Small Children in the Norfolk Virginian : Pink pique is also used for small gentleman in the baby stages Birth Announcements The Monett Time s 14 February For boys a pink border, for girls a light blue Baby Books Bridgeport Evening Farmer 17 March blue for girls and pink for boys After a reader disagreed with columnist Cynthia Grey's pseudonym advice "pink for a boy, blue for a girl", Grey responded in The Tacoma Times 28 November According to the authorities at the public library See Correct Color for Birth Card Announcements in volume 89 of The American Stationary and Office Outfitter , 6 August , page Our questionnaire replies showed cities totaling 12,, people using blue for a boy, cities totaling 6,, using pink for a boy.
In Belgium, until at least when I left there, blue was the colour for girls, as it was the colour of the virgin Mary. I don't remember if there was a specific colour for boys - I certainly don't remember being dressed in pink I wonder if the "blue for girls because Virgin Mary" was a Catholic thing. It would explain why it never took hold in the South low percentage of Catholics. It would also explain the Belgium comment. Keep in mind that blue for girls and pink for boys does not seem to be nearly as common in English-speaking countries.
In Wikipedia's list of historical sources for pink and blue as gender signifiers en. I do think the few examples of the opposite are from people used to Catholic traditions. Blue is natural colour for girls because of the virgin Mary indeed, but pink also makes sense for boys as it is a lighter version of red which is to this day the manlier colour colour of patricians in antiquity, colour of blood and war, action and force.
The relevant peer-reviewed literature includes: A paper by Hurlbert and Ling that found a pattern of sex-differentiated color preferences in different regions of the visible spectrum blue-green vs.
The Ngram evidence seems much stronger to me that any handful of anecdotes cited on wikipedia or in the media, but the biological claims are probably beyond the scope of and unnecessary for answering this question. JaysonVirissimo Ngram will only give info from googlebooks, there is much more information in newspaper databases.
When del Giudice relies on NGram, the problem is how he interprets a hit for "pink for a girl". For example if he read the actual reference represented in the Ngram, it says " It has long been an accepted fact that pink for girls of your colouring is inadmissible.
Fair ones with golden locks must content themselves with blue" google. MDG, its worth nodding to sds' russian sources, as it establishes some older timelines on these color associations. DavePhD: the assumption was not that each individual Ngram hit represents a statement of gender norms.
In this kind of search there is going to be noise and a number of irrelevant hits. The point is comparative, i. It is hard to reconcile this overall pattern with the existence of widespread opposite conventions.
List of historical sources for pink and blue as gender signifiers
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Here’s Why it All Changed: Pink Used to be a Boy’s Color & Blue For Girls
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Cabinet of Curiosities: Why Baby Boys Wear Blue and Baby Girls Wear Pink
Future President Franklin D. Roosevelt in If we were to play a word association game where I said a word and you had to yell out the first color that came to mind, it would probably go something like this: Banana- Yellow; Apple- Red; Boy- Blue; Girl- Pink. We can all understand why yellow and red are associated with bananas and apples, but boys are not blue and girls are not pink. So why are these colors so very much associated with these genders?
To avoid that awkward moment, we often look for the universal clue — a splattering of pink for a girl, or blue for a boy. Back then, pink was a particularly treasured dye and pink cloth was often used as the first prize in horse races. And because it was expensive, pink was used by the male elite.
Why Is Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys?
Since the 19th century, the colors pink and blue have been used as gender signifiers, particularly for infants and young children. The current tradition in the United States and an unknown number of other countries is "pink for girls, blue for boys". Prior to , two conflicting traditions coexisted in the U.
Five week old twins newborn wearing pink and blue — boy or girl? To understand this concept, we have to go back to a time before colors were associated with gender at all. As revealed by Jo B. Paoletti, a professor at the University of Maryland and author of Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America , there was once a time well before pink and blue were used to distinguish between boys and girls at all. Portrait of a young girl in pink dress by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, s.
Why boys are blue and girls are pink
Cabinet of Curiosities is a series meant to explain some of the most prevailing mysteries out there. A lot of these "curiosities" involve seriously confusing scientific studies, so we're trying to break it down into layman's terms. Because nobody has time to decipher an entire science experiment when looking for a quick explanation online. Walk into a Babies"R"Us and you might as well walk into two stores sharing the same retail space. On one side, there's the Blue Store, filled with clothes, toys, diapers and pacifiers in various shades of pale blue.
Earlier, we discussed the theory that the "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" binary is foisted on children by society. In baby photos from the late s, male and female tots wear frilly white dresses — so how did pink onesies with "Princess" emblazoned on the butt infiltrate American girls' wardrobes? According to Smithsonian. For centuries, all children had worn practical white dresses, which could easily be pulled up to change diapers, and bleached when said diapers inevitably exploded. Pastel baby clothes were introduced in the midth century, but according to University of Maryland historian Jo B.
Little Girl And Little Boy Color Scheme
Pinkie is the traditional title for a portrait made in by Thomas Lawrence in the permanent collection of the Huntington Library at San Marino, California where it hangs opposite The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough. These two works are the centerpieces of the institute's art collection, which specialises in eighteenth-century English portraiture. The painting is an elegant depiction of Sarah Moulton , who was about eleven years old when painted. Her direct gaze and the loose, energetic brushwork give the portrait a lively immediacy.
Pink=Girl Blue=Boy: The Relatively Recent History of Gendered Baby Colors