• Mon, Oct 21 - 10:00 am ET

The Real Story Behind The Boy In The Pink Cast All Over Facebook

1025458_10151668141842302_127516930_oThis month the mixed-up viral photo of my kids has had a resurgence due to Breast Cancer Awareness. The picture is similar to the one here, except this is my own personal photo, not the one from the impossibly talented Humans of New York.  Friends have posted links on my Facebook page with the “catfished” version from BuzzFeed (#14), The Meta Picture, and just yesterday, FCKH8.

All of these posts show the picture of my son in his pink cast with the story of “Tonya K” whose older son elected to get a pink cast in October. They all have some notation of “great parenting” and frankly I’m never sure if it’s because genetically my kids are so cute (ha, ha) or because Tonya’s second grader knows about pink representing Breast Cancer Awareness.

Upon seeing this picture of my kid with a story that doesn’t represent his choice (even though it’s a great reason), I’ve run the gamut from furious to confused (seriously, how could anyone think my preschooler is seven years old?) to indifferent. Now there’s really nothing else to do besides tell the real story.

My four-year-old broke his arm back in May. Before he went into surgery the pediatrician showed him all the color options he could choose from for his cast as a way to ease his anxiety over the whole process. He immediately chose the hot pink color. The doctor acknowledged his choice but kept showing him other colors, thinking he’d change his mind. I knew he wouldn’t. Pink is, very simply, his favorite color.

A few days later, when the post-surgery swelling went down, we went back to the doctor to choose his cast. This time, a different doctor, showed him a few of the “popular boys” swatches and didn’t pull out the entire color ring. My son just looked sad. I piped up.

“I think he wanted the pink.”

The doctor was visibly surprised but my son was undeterred. After he got the cast on, people were less guarded in their criticism.

“You mean he got to choose?  And he picked pink?”

“Did your sister pick that for you?”

And of course, “don’t you know that pink is a girl color?”

In our house, pink is not a girl color. Both of my children wear pink. Both of my children wear blue (which is, in fact, my daughter’s favorite color). And every color of the rainbow.  My girl wears dark blue Pumas and my boy wears hot pink Keens. My daughter wears all of my son’s hand-me-downs, in addition to her own “girl” clothes. Their room (which they share) is green and brown, like the forest. Our toys are all gender neutral, including our red and tan kitchen set — a favorite of both of my kids. They both love racing cars, doing puzzles and playing with Play-Doh.

When my son first declared his favorite color at the age of three, I was very defensive.  Mostly because I couldn’t believe how many people were attacking him for his choice of pink.  My constant response was this:

The color pink is simply a preference — some human beings like it, some don’t.  If my son is gay I will support him 100% but I doubt if he has any clue about sexuality at the age of three.  Even if he did, I can be certain he isn’t ready to decide his life-long mating habits in preschool.  Determining one’s own identity — sexual and otherwise — is a long and often winding road — but I can promise you it doesn’t start with deciding pink is your favorite color.

At the ages of two and four, they don’t know anything of the gender stereotypes that adults have etched in their mind. I refuse to impose that on them. In this house, they will never hear “XYZ is for boys” or “only girls do ABC.” They will be allowed to like the colors, the activities, and the styles that they like. I know first-hand that the greater population is not as accepting of anything that bends traditional preferences, but I can only change that one person at a time. I’m starting with my two children.

(photo: copyright Carinn Jade)

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  • JustAGuest

    Of course, historically pink was a boy’s color anyway. Red was seen as masculine and assertive; pink was the watered-down version that they used for young boys. It’s relatively recently that we’ve come to think it is only a color for girls.

    • Ann B.

      when I first read this, I read either the 20s or 50s (I forget which) when the colors swapped. I was talking about it with a friend at her baby shower, and her mother overheard and said ” well we live in the 21st century and things have change now.” I was so baffled at why that would be considered a good reason to justify any color being for only one gender or the other.

    • Blueathena623

      You know, I just read a bit about this, and it seems that is a bit of an urban legend. It seems like for the longest time babies wore white, so they could be bleached, but then around the turn of the century some pastels were introduced. Then some sources state that pink is a male color, and some sources associate pink with girls.
      So I would say that all colors were more gender neutral in the past, and its only kinda recently that society forbids pink for boys.

    • Chrissy

      I think I remember reading somewhere that it was based on local stores at the time. Like Macy’s may have promoted blue for boys/pink for girls but Kohl’s would do the opposite (I don’t remember the stores of the time, but that’s just an example). Somewhere down the line, they all got on the same page and picked one. I don’t know how true that was because I’m too lazy to do the real research, but I’m with you. It seems recent that there’s a “ban” on pink for boys.

    • GenerikErik
    • Serendipity9

      blue was historically the color of girls — from the color of the Virgin Mary. It was also the color of wedding dresses before the whole deBeers advertising campaign (coupled with white being a color only the rich could afford to wear – lest it get too dirty). Blue symbolized the purity of the Virgin Mary, and who wouldn’t want their daughter associated with that?

  • lin

    My son’s favourite colour was pink until grade 1. Drove me nuts when people commented on it. He also liked princesses and fairies. Along with Hot Wheels, trains and a whole bunch of gender-neutral stuff. Why does anyone care?

  • Girl in Louisiana

    I was at the school fair this weekend with my brother’s family and noticed a TON of boys in hot pink, especially the neon pink and orange shoes. One boy had a head-to-toe hot pink body suit (with black shorts). My SIL, mother of an awesome 9-year-old boy confirms that hot pink is the in color for 8-10 year old boys in Baton Rouge, LA.

  • Polyamorous Mom

    gosh your kids are cute! I rememeber seeing the last time you wrote about this and looking up what happened with it getting stolen. people are just silly, wanting to attach your pic to some other story because it makes them feel good (not that the other story wasnt a good reason).

  • LiteBrite

    I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll do it again here. He’s an ex-Navy swimmer with arms that could crush a rhino. He also wears a lot of pink. Pink shirts. Pink ties. Sometimes it’s a muted pink; sometimes it’s flashy and bright.

    But yeah, go ahead and tell him pink is a “girl’s color.” Good luck with that.

    • JESS

      Is your co-worker Rachel Sea’s grandfather in law!!

  • Hannah

    I remember you writing about this before, but seeing it again (and re-looking up the links,) I have to ask: how are you not furious?? How can someone just “steal” your kid like that??? [And I, too, am flabbergasted that people think that kid is 7...]

    • Carinn Jade

      I have only found a few sites that have said that the boy in the picture is their kid or their friend’s kid. Those make me furious. But this weekend, most of the sites I saw shared just make the mistake of matching someone’s comment on the HONY Facebook page (Tonya K) with the picture of my kids. It’s hard to be furious about a mistake — except to just be angry at the culture that just believes anything and everything they see on the internet (but that’s a whole other issue).

    • shosha<<

      the real story is not sooo different from the one on FCKH8. the message is the same and just as cool either way. (I was worried by the headline that the real story was going to be non-supportive of gender-liberation issues).

  • Allie

    Jesus, people are really this assholey over a kid’s cast? Get a grip. My response would have been “Cool, I like pink too.” And congrats he is not indoctrinated into the pink-washing of breast cancer. I find the medical-industrial complex highly suspect. Also, men get breast cancer too.

  • Rachel Sea

    My grandfather-in-law’s favorite color was pink. His bedroom was pink, many of his shirts and ties were pink, and as an ex-Navy, retired construction worker, who made wooden furniture for a hobby, he would have been able to crack the skull of anyone who took issue with his preference, with his bare hands. He was pretty much the archetype of straight manhood.

    Color preference has bupkis to do with genderedness, or sexual preference. Even if it did, making a person pretend to have gender-normative preferences has never made a dent in their real identity.

  • Coby

    I was in Carter’s this weekend, and I overheard a father venting to another dad about dressing kids in pink. Dad 1 was trying to explain that of course his daughters would wear pink. “They don’t have a lot of hair, so of course I have to make ‘em wear pink.”

    Okie dokie, great for you. Meanwhile, I’m picking out “boy” pants and “boy” colors for my toddler girl because I know how much she likes to run amok, and honestly, dresses and skirts are just not feasible for those activities. And black and blue hide the dirt a little bit better.

    • AP

      Whatever happened to “play clothes”? Is that something that died in the 80s? You know, clothes that may or may not be cute but are practical for running around the gym, yard, and playground without getting caught on things or exposing your underwear? If you get mud or paint on them, no big deal?

      Is it perhaps that kids just don’t “play” any more? Because that’s sad.

    • Coby

      See, those are just “clothes” to me. I found a really cute shirt that I dressed my daughter in for daycare. Sure as I am, THAT’S the shirt that got covered in green paint. And you know what? Clothes wash.

      But I remember wearing play clothes growing up. I almost think they’re the equivalent to yoga pants for moms now. :)

    • Limey

      My kids have play clothes for day care. I don’t want my daughter thinking she can’t run around because of the risk of a skinned knee while wearing a dress. Also my boy wears whatever colours he wants, I’ve never had any comments and I live in a very parochial city. But in nz, must be an American thing

    • DatNanny

      I was thinking something along similar lines in Target this weekend: Why can I not tell the girls’ clothes from the women’s at a distance?

      Even as a child who wore lots of dresses and “girly” clothes, they were always sturdy and practical for rough-and-tumble play. Thick leggings, cute but simple dresses, overalls. I still had my fancy dress clothes filled with ruffles and lace to wear on special occasions but all of my other clothes were designed for play.

      Boys’ clothes seem to still mostly be t-shirts and jeans or shorts. Girls’ clothes? Ruffles, bows, rhinestones, impractical length skirts, fake fur?! How does a child play like that?

    • Evelyn

      These days it is acceptable to dress your kids on cheap clothes from supermarkets so that often all clothes are play clothes. With my kids they might have a party outfit for best but the rest of their clothes they are welcome to dirty and wear out. We don’t get the really bargain asda clothes (like Walmart) although there is nothing wrong with them, we get a step up at sainsbury’s because we shop there and they have adjustable waists for my skinny kid. The clothes are cheap and nice so we are happy to replace them if needed. Most families I know do the same. Also washing detergent is better than it was so that mud doesn’t mean ruined.

    • pixie

      My dad tells me that a lot of people thought I was a boy when I was very young (like up to 2 years old). It wasn’t because of my short hair or the clothing I wore, it was because I spent a lot of time with my dad. People can assume the weirdest things. It didn’t matter that I wore slightly more feminine clothes (still wore pants and t-shirts, but in more “girly” colours or patterns), people assumed I was a boy because I hung around with my dad. I guess according to them little girls only hang around with their moms? In reality, my mom worked longer hours and travelled a lot for work (still does), so I didn’t have much of a choice who I spent most of my time with (not that I really cared, anyways. My parents are still married and I get along with both of them equally well).

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      I dress my son in girl’s jeans. Not sparkly or flowered ones, but I would be fine if he chose those later on. But he inherited a very delicious butt from his dad and I like the way the girls pants fit him better. Boys pants just make him llook shapeless.

  • Outlaw mama

    It’s messed up how this was appropriated. And doctors who are that concerned about gendered coloring? Also messed up.

  • Mamatray

    Good for you ! My son loves pink too and he can not understand why adult men have such a problem with it, I have always told him be who you want to be.Like what you want to like, don’t worry what others say.He is 9 years old now and his favorite color is still Pink followed by Green.Keep up the good parenting.

  • Gretchen_L

    Every time I read a story like this, it comes across as so unique – as if the author is saying, “I know it’s unusual and you might not understand, but yes, my son likes pink.” I love these stories, but I’m frustrated because they continue to NEED to be told… because people continue to be surprised that young boys may prefer pink. So, just in case you think you are alone out there, with your pink-loving son, I’d just like to say – you are not alone. Many many many many little boys like pink, and many many many many parents adopt a similar attitude as the author here – colors aren’t gender-specific, we like what we like and that’s okay. So, come on society, be as enlightened as you think you are and stop being surprised at a little boy choosing pink!! (My son’s favorite colors at age 4 were pink and black. Once enough kids told him, because adults told them, that pink was a girl color, he changed his mind. Pink was forbidden throughout age 5, and now at age 6 he is willing to embrace the fact that pink is a nice color, regardless of whether people say it’s for girls.)

  • ebrenner

    My 10 year old’s favorite color has been pink since he was 4 or 5. He’s sported a pink cast, worn pink coats and shirts, and chosen pink whenever it was available. He’ll tell anyone who will listen (and even those who won’t) that pink is not a girl’s color. Colors aren’t owned by one gender or another.

    I hate when people comment on his choice as those he were less of a boy because of it. I hate that he has to go through it with both adults and peers. But I’m glad he’s learning to stand up for himself and to break down gender barriers.

  • Leelz247

    Pink is a bright vibrant color that really attracts the eyes and brings in the warmth, but none of the harshness of a deep red. Some adults don’t like it because it reminds them of pepto bismol. That’s all. I think this kid looks totally bad a** in pink. Of course, not all boys are truly man enough to wear pink. It takes someone with a strong personality to rock it.

  • Leelz247

    I think the mom took a bit too much of a mental leap in saying “my boy likes pink….we will support him if he’s gay.” I mean, doesn’t that reveal that she also has a ‘pink is a girly color’ bias?

    • Justine Burgess

      I think she mentioned that because people had made comments to her relating to that when they discovered her son like pink, not because she herself assumes that he may be gay.

  • St. Ends

    My son is now 9. He loves pink, always has. Loves purple, too, and pretty much every color in the rainbow, especially rainbows. He will choose a rainbow striped shirt with My Little Pony on it over a dark navy t-shirt with a football or a skull in a heartbeat every time. He likes his hair long and gets upset at every haircut so we let it grow. He is often mistaken for a girl. He likes sparkles and “pretty” things. He says he has a “sensitive heart” (he’s high end autistic). He also likes dinosaurs, bugs, building things, and games like Roblox and Minecraft. He has dolls and legos, cars with tracks, play food sets, paints and dollhouses. He has dresses that he likes to wear around the house. He doesn’t want to be a girl but he thinks “girl things” should be for everyone, as he says “girls wear pants and no one makes fun of them for it”.

    I absolutely, head-over-heels, adore him.

    My daughter is 14. She likes black, dark blue, and Doctor Who. She likes things that are “scary” and gruesome and balances it all out with a stripe of neon or a pinch of glitter. When she was small I bought her the prettiest dresses and tied her hair up with braids, curls, bows and ribbons, which lasted until about 5 seconds after I put them in. I learned quickly she was not a “girly girl” and followed her lead to more punk and gothic things. My kids rock and I am proud of them both. They can wear and like whatever they please and I will fight for their right to do so. These social gender “rules” are small minded and pointless. If they grow up and become the gayest people alive I will still absolutely adore them and be proud of them. I could absolutely care less what their genitals are, as long as they are happy (and they are) then their lives are successful.

    The problem here is the people who think only boys (or girls) can like certain things otherwise something is “wrong” with them. No, honey, there is a problem and the problem isn’t the kids.

    • Karen Milton

      When my now-teenage son was a little dude he carried a pink and purple purse. How the heck else are you supposed to carry your cars around? Now he’s a die-hard Doctor Who-loving brony. Most boys would hide being a brony, but not that kid. He loves those little pink pony dudes and he’s proud to say so.

  • Valery

    This is so frustrating. Pink was never even considered a “girl” color by most people until the middle of THIS century. In fact, for a while, pink was encouraged more for baby BOYS since it was a shade of red, which was considered more masculine. Colors are just colors. They are our eyes reacting to the light spectrum. It is completely ludicrous to say that colors have genders. Not to mention incredibly sexist since there are no colors that girls “aren’t supposed” to like.

  • Kimberly

    Beautiful. The real story is so much more beautiful!

  • Suburban Mommy

    Wow. People have WAY too much time on their hands to be concerned about the color of a little kid’s cast. Jeez. I’m glad to see a parent who focuses on the big picture: A happy, healthy, and loving child.

  • courtneth

    I think I just figured out how this lady’s picture got “catfished” and had the wrong story put with it.

    A friend just posted this on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=175549029316768&set=a.119821748222830.1073741828.119818421556496&type=1&ref=nf

    It looks like the story that’s going around with this picture now was actually posted as a comment on the photo (which was apparently posted on the Humans of New York page for some reason), and was probably just someone sharing a similar story, but then someone else took that comment and the photo and made a meme out of it. BOOM. Case closed.

  • VK

    unbeliveable. I used to do volountary work at a facility which is mainly visited by young families with small children. I met so many little boys who loved the colour pink. In fact most small children like it because it s a bright shiny flashy colour. Anything that is glittery, twinkling or bright and shiny will be chosen as a favourite by small kids no matter if they are boys or girls…. People who react like that forgot that once they were children too….

  • Lauren

    Anyone who freaks out over the thought of a boy wearing pink should go look at baby photos of their grandfathers wearing frilly dresses with their hair curled.

  • Julie

    Sadly, it’s not just colors. Anything considered “girly” is perceived as off-limits for boys. A few months ago at the dentist, my two-yr old son chose a Snow White sticker (his favorite movie), and the receptionist initially wouldn’t give it to him, and instead tried to give him a Cars sticker. It was only after I insisted that I was fine with my son wearing a Snow White sticker, that she gave it to him. All I could think was, “Good grief, he’s TWO.”

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Yup, I just don’t get the gender policing people see to HAVE to do: my daughter is 19, when she was a toddler for about 4 months her favorite outfit was a black long sleeved turtleneck and a pair of black stretch pants. Oh the side-eyes I got from some of the more conservative parents at preschool! I though she looked cute(my little beatnik). She refused to wear dresses for a while, hated them, too cold and not helpful when running, falling and climbing the monkey bars.

      The “rules” are harder for little boys its true, little girls who like “boy” stuff may get labelled tomboys but that’s it.But as much of our culture see female as “lesser” a little boy who likes stuff that’s seen as coded as female gets a lot more push back. You see it in sports too, some of the insults coaches use when they want to “motivate” male players “what are you a bunch of little girls? don’t be a sissy! make you cry like a little girl”

    • brebay

      That would have pissed me off, I probably would have said something that would have resulted in us having to find a new dentist…I admire your restraint.

  • Cher McGuinness

    I love it, my four year old also chooses pink as his favourite colour. We’ve taught our boys to love all colours because their dad is totally colour blind (sees only black & white) so we know that our precious abilitiy to see colour is just that – precious. I love that my Morgie loves Pink as his favourite colour. I love to that he tells me a thousand times a day that I’m beautiful, that he loves me, that i’m the best mummy in the world etc etc. So glad there are other people out there like us that don’t stereotype their children.

  • DatNanny

    It seems so gross to me that a picture of your child has been “catfished” for what… ‘likes’? I know there initially might have been some confusion about an unrelated comment, but the fact that people chose to spread an image of a child they don’t know… maybe it wasn’t for likes, maybe it was with the best intentions, it’s still such a violation. I would be furious as well. It’s exploiting a child without respect for his own thoughts and feelings.

    “I can be certain he isn’t ready to decide his life-long mating habits in preschool. Determining one’s own identity — sexual and otherwise — is a long and often winding road — but I can promise you it doesn’t start with deciding pink is your favorite color.”

    This, so much this. Preschoolers are not aware of their sexuality. They do not have the cognitive processes to understand and determine gender identity. They simply have not developed enough. Sexually, you’re not going to know what you’re attracted to until puberty. Gender identity is a long process; I think most transgender people are not through that process until close to adulthood. That’s why I rage when I read about that mother deciding her child is trans because of a comment made as a TODDLER. Just no. I wouldn’t raise my child feline because at age two he told me he wanted to be a cat instead of a kid. Toddlers, preschoolers, do not know themselves enough to figure out gender identity or sexuality. They are not ready physically or cognitively.

    To bring this around… pink is a color. Blue is a color. Having a preference doesn’t mean anything about gender, sexuality, personality. (Hell, we don’t even all see colors the same. Look up studies about how language affects color processing, crazy stuff.)

  • Sarah Markel

    I have a 17-year-old brother who absolutely loves pink! He’s also very straight. I can’t stand the stereotype that just because a boy likes a “girl” color, they’re gay. I admire you for allowing your children to like what they want to like. Like you, my daughter gets quite a few of her brother’s hand-me-downs. My 2-year-old son also plays with his baby sister’s toys and attempts to put her clothes on. Kudos!

    • brebay

      lol “very” straight? Dumb.

  • rahime

    Yay for you!!! good heavens, people!!! Pink cast? He’s a toddler for heaven’s sake. let him like what he likes and choose whatever makes him smile to help heal his bones!

    • brebay

      he’s a pre-schooler, not a toddler. But what difference does that make? At what age does color have a gender?

  • Sara

    When my lovely brother broke his arm just before he joined the Marines he proudly sported a pink cast whilst doing his pre PT. His recruiters were mighty jealous lol

  • Miron Arnold

    Great read. It’s a shame that the majority are so narrow minded and stuck in their ways. Thank you for a little rationality.

  • Evelyn

    My eldest son and at least two of his male friends had pink as their favorite color at that age. My son moved onto red to avoid being picked on when older (his choice) but his friends were more robust and less self conscious and so stuck with pink and carried it off without any teasing. I run a beaver scout group (6 & 7 year olds) and in the UK we allow girls in scouts as well as rainbows/brownies/guides so I started putting pink making bits out at craft time when we had a couple of girls in the group. They have moved on but I noticed that about 2 of an average of 16 boys wants pink each make so I now include it in the color ranges I use. The other kids don’t tease them about it and over the years I have noticed that the tough sporty kids, the cheaky kids and the rougher kids are all just as likely to be the kids who like pink as the sweet and sensitive kids. It really is just a colour to them.

  • Kimberly

    My 3.5 year old boy loves pink and frequently picks pink things for himself. I get strange looks occasionally but generally I just shrug, smile and say “He just loves pink!” and people tend to leave us alone. I have read that pink actually used to be a “boys” color because it was a muted tone of red, and blue used to be a “girls” color because it was soft and gentle. Funny how gender stereotypes have reversed and people have to defend their childs choice. Good job mama!

  • Roberta

    Out of curiosity, how many of these people that were so concerned with the colour of the cast were also concerned with the fact that he broke his arm?

  • Moggie

    Just for your information – until the early 20th century, in the Western countries, pink was considered a boys’ color and light blue a girls’ color. It is a purely arbitrary, culturally determined choice.

  • Moggie

    My 5-year-old son loves babies. He turns into mush every time he sees one, he plays with them, croons to them, cuddles them – all very gently, he’s never even touched them too hard. He kept telling me he wanted a baby of his own. So, since two kids are quite enough for me, he now owns a kids’ stroller and a baby doll. He dresses him (it’s a baby boy) in his own old baby clothes, he “feeds” him (using his own old baby bottle), cuddles him, sings to him, sleeps with him. He’s probably the happiest boy in the known universe. :-)

    Yes, we get weird looks when people see a 5-year-old boy pushing a stroller down the street, or cuddling a baby doll. We even got some not too positive comments. I could care less what they think. Should I have denied him just because he’s a boy?

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      My son has a baby doll too! He loves the heck out of it.

  • Another mom

    Pink was my now 12 year old son’s favorite color for years, now its orange. Who cares? It’s just a color…if anything, I was glad as it meant I had manged to “teach” him that there were “boy colors” and “girl colors”…and today, he loves tae kwon do and playing his flute in the band. I think folks making a big deal on color are nuts.

    • Another mom

      Oops…manged to NOT teach him……obvious typo! :)

  • Shazzy May Williams

    Well when did colour start defining us as people. it just a colour and people like and love different colour because of there spirit in life. me was a grown up woman has always love bright pink. but as a child i never wear it because of what other think. I lost that part of me who make me who i am. but now i wear pink and don’t carry what other think about me. why it makes me happy and feel a life. by who you are not what other what you to be.

  • GenerikErik

    My son wears weird clothes, sometimes things that might be considered gender inappropriate. A dad of a friend of his was male-bonding with me by making fun of my kid’s clothes to me and a bunch of other dads. I very earnestly said I had no idea he was so into fashion and complimented him on feeling comfortable enough with his interest in clothing to talk about it in front of a bunch of guys, that while I could care less what clothes my kid wears I thought it was cool that he didn’t feel he had to conform to masculine norms and hide his feminine side.

    Much the same could be said to any man trying to enforce gender norms by caring if a boy has a pink cast.

  • brebay

    Had an idiot pre-school teacher who told my son yellow (his fave) was a girl color. Then told a little girl that the sticker she chose (Bob the Builder) was a “boy one.” What the hell is wrong with people?

  • erckma

    This is so weird to me! My 5 year old son’s favorite color is pink and it has been for a few years now (before that it was purple.) He started kindergarten a couple months ago and I was afraid he’d be pressured into changing it, but I was very pleasantly surprised when he told classmates boldly that there are no such thing as boy colors and girl colors after he was razzed a bit about liking pink. So yeah, there was a little pushback at first (mostly from the girls, surprisingly) but now it’s just not a big deal. Everyone knows pink is his favorite color just like green is his best friend’s favorite color.

  • Momma425

    Holy crap, these doctors seem to have a ton of time on their hands.
    I work at a community clinic. We see 30 patients per doctor per day on a slow day. I put casts on kids all the time. Blue casts on girls, pink casts on boys, even tiger stripes. I’ve seen different kids pick all different shades and not betted an eyelash because who freaking cares?
    We have small time slots and see a ton of patients. At our clinic, we don’t have time to send multiple doctors in to see a patient, and go over all sorts of “boy” vs “girl” color swatches for hours. Kid picks pink, kid gets pink, and it is onto the next patient.

  • Karen Milton

    I work in a fracture clinic, and a surprising amount of boys choose the pink fibreglass cast tape over the other fifteen or so options (If memory serves, the cast tape comes in black, dark blue, light blue, white glow-in-the-dark, soccer balls, camouflage (very popular with boys of certain age), purple, paw prints neon green, orange and green and purple. In December there’s the option of green with Santas all over as well. Kids agonize over their choice, but pink is pretty darn popular, both for boys and girls.

    Insider tip: pick black. Always black. Any other colour will be manky in two days.

  • kiwidesign78

    This post made me tear up. I think because my son loves pink and we live in a small close-minded community. I found this article because I was googling “should I buy my son a pink coat.” He REALLY wants a pink winter coat this year. I’ve bought him pink (boy) clothes, he wears a pink watch, and does ballet. He’s 8 years old. He’s been teased a few times about painting his nails and about his watch, but for the most part the teasing is controlled within a classroom and he handles it well. I worry that by dressing him in a pink coat, his non-gender conforming preferences will be broadcast to the rest of the school – up to 6th grade. Is it wrong of me to want to protect my child from the harshness of 750 kids? Or will it be even more harmful if I somehow have to explain why he shouldn’t wear a pink coat? I’m about halfway through the book, “Raising my Rainbow” and I really love it. Her son is so much like mine. But she lives in California and I live in rural Indiana. The acceptance level is much different… I want to support my son, and I want to protect my son.

  • arosenb4

    When I was little I had a leather bomber jacket with a flight pin on the collar from when I flew to Disney. My grandmother thought that it was inappropriate for a little girl to wear such a masculine jacket. So, every Sunday when I would go to my grandmother’s house, I would go wearing my bomber jacket. And every Sunday night, when I would come home, I would come back wearing a pastel pink and purple windbreaker (not exactly warm in the winter, let me tell you) and with my bomber jacket in a bag. It was a cycle that would continue for quite a while, as my mother would then send me back to grandma’s wearing my bomber jacket with the pink coat in the bag.

    I *loved* my bomber jacket. It made me feel cool, hip, bada$$. My pastel windbreaker? Not so much. And having to put my rockin’ jacket in a bag to wear the less rockin’ coat made me hate the colors that it was composed of for years to come. As a twenty-something, I am just now getting over my extreme loathing of pink. And there’s a lesson to be learned there. Don’t force your kids to be something they aren’t. Because they will, more often than not, lash out, push back, and potentially start hating the thing you want them to love. To put it in another, simpler way, get over your color issues ’cause kids don’t care.

  • NTibbs

    Ah, those moments when your truth is just as wonderful as someone else’s truth! Both are great stories, though I’m sad not to see the 7-year-old with his pink cast. But then online anonymity for children is very important; perhaps that plays a part here.
    Thank you for sharing your family’s story.

  • Niki Bhatia

    Hi I am a mom and author of PINKIS JUST A COLOR AND SO IS BLUE. The book is inspired by my son who also loves pink.

    http://www.amazon.com/Pink-Just-Color-So-Blue/dp/1469902176/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351352420&sr=8-1&keywords=pink+is+just+a+color+and+so+is+blue

  • Crowther Amanda-Beth

    Save pink and yellow for the walls it doesn’t look good on many people. But no reason a boy cant find pink pleasing. I personally don’t like seeing people wear it of either gender supposedly i pull off pink well but i don’t wear it often as i don’t like it. Purple and orange have always been my favs sence i was 1 so my parents say. I know for sure sence i was 3 purple and orange are still my favorotes. I like color green. But other colors meh. Probably doesn’t help i was born in 85 to much neon first few yrs life lol.

  • http://batman-news.org Bruce Wyane

    I knew that pink is not just a girl color . Pink was actually the first color boys were allowed to like many years ago. IM BATMAN!!!!!!!