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We can all understand why yellow and red are associated with bananas and apples, but boys are not blue and girls are not pink. In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart highlighting gender-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. For reasons unknown, this all started to change around the 1940s when clothing manufacturers decided on pink for girls and blue for boys. Whatever the case, the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s saw a resurgence of more unisex or perceived gender-neutral clothing colors. But these gender neutral efforts were undermined with advancements in prenatal testing where parents could find out the gender of their baby before needing to buy clothes and accessories. Of course, today for many in the Western world, girls wear pink dresses and boys wear blue pants.
Interestingly, through most of history, and still today in many countries in Africa and Asia particularly, the average age a child would be fully daytime potty trained was typically around 18 months old, instead of about double that today in the Western world.
Pink I thought was associated with girls because of the insides of the vagina lips and their lips and their nipples also being a bit pink, at least with white people. Unless your girls grew up in a missile silo with absolutely no contact with the outside world, I think it is not wise to assume that your color blindness as parents has left your girls a completely blank canvas to build their color preferences. One thing I find fascinating in this article is that I remember clearly back in the 60’s as I was growing up, this color preference being already firmly entrenched in society. Apparently, none of these people were even a bit bothered by this radical and dictatorial imposition of the opposite color schemes by “Big Garment”? The use of blue originated in what it commonly referred to as ancient times (like egypt) where blue was thought to be able to ward off evil spirits because it represented the heavens. A few random facts on apparel—1) In AD 393, Emperor Theodosius I of Rome exiled men in pants as political subversives and seized their property. One of the other reasons that I learned in Religious Studies, and there is some debate that it is apocryphal, is that there is the association of red with Jesus, (think of the red cross on the shields of the crusaders), and blue with Mary, (who is most often pictured wearing blue and white).

Find Us On YouTube!Subscribe today to check out our free Daily Knowledge Youtube video series! Before this, pink and blue did not hold any gender specific connotations and there are numerous examples of men wearing pink outfits and girls wearing blue; one French author, Xavier de Maistre in his work, A Journey Around My Room published in 1794, even recommended that men choose to paint their rooms pink and white to improve the mood. The reason is that pink , being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.
It has been suggested that boys simply like blue more and girls like pink more, but studies to date trying to see if this is true have come up with mixed results, except firmly showing that the vast majority of humans prefer blue to pink, and pink is actually one of the adult world’s least favorite colors. In fact, in the 1970s, the Sears and Roebuck catalog even went two full years without showing any toddler wearing pink, in stark contrast to a couple decades before. Prior to the invention of cheap chemical dyes that allowed clothes to be washed in hot water over and over again with minimal fading, most infants were simply dressed in white for everyday life and sometimes in random colors for more formal occasions, with no one color being favored for boys or girls. White was easy to bleach and, at least in the beginning, changing diapers is much easier in dresses than pants.
Yet, in view of what we are reading in this article, the planet (or at least our emisphere) was full of people that grew up with the opposite color scheme. So young boys in many cultures were dressed in blue because their survival was viewed as more important.
Can you imagine the laundry you would have to hand wash when the cloth diaper leaked if they wore pants?!
About potty training: my four younger siblings and I were all potty trained day AND night time before we were a year old. Further, with children growing rapidly, dresses were a bit more practical in terms of not needing to get the sizing as precise.
This curious phenomenon is so firmly entrenched that if you tried to dress a two year old boy in a pink dress, regardless of the child perhaps having a traditionally male hair style with male-centric accessories hinting that your toddler is a boy, absolutely no one would think they were looking at a male child until you told them. With the effort needed to potty train the traditional way over waiting and the relative ease and cleaner nature of disposable diapers over having to wash cloth ones, people didn’t take much convincing to simply wait until the child was much older and showed an active interest in potty training.

The influences on children are vast and continuous, and unfortunately happen when parents aren’t there to supervise. Lots of things are written about all over the place, sometimes even from otherwise reputable sources, that aren’t true. However, recently with advancements in diaper technology and pull-ups, this has started to become more of a problem (mainly environmental, but also sometimes financial) as kids show interest in potty training later and later.
Later as time progressed children were often simply dressed in white but due to messes etc, pastel colors were brought in during the mid 19th century. For reference, in 1957 in America, it was typical to start potty training at 12 months with the vast majority of children fully daytime potty trained within 6-12 months of that and nighttime potty trained by 3 years old.  Today, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average is to start potty training at 24-25 months, achieving daytime potty trained at 36 months and night time around 5-6 years old. But even if they would have that still wouldn’t say anything about girls in general, just your daughters, and even perhaps just the first daughter, with the second being influenced by the first. Both my husband’s oldest niece and my oldest niece prefer the color green, which is also my favorite color. You could argue that it’s cultural but neither my wife nor I have anything pink at all.
Now the reason for the shift because during the 1940’s Hitler marked homosexuals with the pink triangle so westerners did not want their sons to be viewed as homosexuals.
Even my girl friends can agree that if given the choice between the stereotypical pink or blue, they would go for blue. So the color was given to girls and blue to boys which has been continually pushed by marketers since.

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