Debunking The Colour Normalization
Debunking The Colour Normalization, Recently when I was picking a gift-cover for a few books I bought, a question from the sales girl baffled me.
Recently when I was picking a gift-cover for a few books I bought, a question from the sales girl baffled me. She asked me if the books were for a boy or a girl and offered to wrap the gifts in either pink or blue accordingly. Although the phenomenon of separating kids’ toys, clothes etc. into pink and blue is not something new it struck me as unusual. We have become so accustomed to this, for a lack of better word I say, discrimination that we do not think of it as something out of the ordinary.
Nevertheless, how did we come about with this distinction? Whoever came up with this, did they know girls’ and boys’ minds were programmed to like only one of these colours? An age-old tradition, does it have any backing that this distinction is biological? If yes, how much of it is biological and how much is culturally or socially constructed? We cannot deny that fact that parents and grandparents cover newborn babies in pink or blue blankets and sweaters, which is an example of social construction.
Research proves this was not always the case. It was only during the 20th century that pink for girls and blue for boys emerged in the US, which did not take long in seeping into the rest of the world. The debate I wish to raise is that why are we still adhering to this ideology of assigning colours to genders? For this seems to be the first step in taking away a person’s right to choose. What would come next? Keeping the girls from watching action movies? Chiding boys for playing with Barbies?
Children will grow up to make choices only within the space limited by their elders. It is true that many women choose pink over any other colours, but cannot we question that this case is only true because they have long been exposed to and encouraged to like this particular colour? I leave the question open for the readers.
There is no one way to prove only culture or biology is affecting this worldwide phenomenon. However, for whatever it is worth it is necessary not to restrict children to a space that so clearly defines their boundaries in the society.
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