Fairy dress, 2008

Fairy dress, 2008


I was surprised to learn that the colour pink was considered a masculine shade in English society a century or more ago.

As the mother of two girls, pink has been in our lives for a long time, filtered out by age in recent years.

When my eldest was born every nurse and doctor assumed she was a boy. Maybe it was her shock of thick, black hair. I asked my husband to get her a pink babygro so there wouldn’t be anymore mistakes. I don’t know why it mattered so much. I’d been in labour a long time and was exhausted.

Pink isn’t a colour I wear well, its cool tones aren’t suited to my warm complexion. It highlights the shadows under my eyes, something I am keen to avoid as I get older. Aside from some neon footless tights I had in the ‘80s, I’m not sure I’ve owned anything pink. The odd t-shirt perhaps.

My youngest was given a leotard with tutu attached in the brightest shade of pink. A bubblegum pink. She was 4 at the time and loved it. When she played one of the three kings in her school nativity, she wore her pink tutu leotard plus cape and crown. It was a proud moment.

My mum remembers that toys were never so gendered when me and my three sisters were kids. My sister was the proud owner of a fire engine.

Thankfully we no longer have a sea of pink paraphernalia crowding our house. My daughters are growing up and discovering their own preferences and tastes. The youngest now wears something black every day or camo print or a boys graphic tee. Oh, how things have changed.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.