Sunday, December 06, 2009

Pretty in Pink

The past few weeks I’d been worrying that my baby was going to start having gender identity issues, as her entire wardrobe before her arrival consisted solely of gender-neutral clothing—slate-colored leggings, brown sweaters, pale-aqua shirts—clothes that, come to think of it, no man would ever wear—at least not off Broadway—but it turns out when you stick a baby in a plain-white onesie and a pair of ice-blue leggings, she looks like a boy. It turns out all those ruffles and frills and flowers and hearts adorning all those pink, pink, pink shirts and jackets and rompers and sleepers are the only things in the world that will ward off the questions, “How old is he?” and “What’s his name?”

Who cares if people don’t correctly assess the sex of the baby? you say! That’s what I used to say, too, back when I naively thought a person could dress her newborn in pale green and have the world receive her as a girl. But it turns out I feel very protective of my offspring—ready to pounce on anyone who fails to see her for exactly who she is: an adorable, brilliant, motivated, fashion-forward, perpetually hungry girl. What else does she have at this age beyond her sex to define her? She’s not old enough to acquire her own message-bearing t-shirts or haircuts.

So I bought her a package of girly knit caps: a white one with pink flowers, a pink-and-white striped one, and one plain pink. She was wearing the pink-and-white striped one this morning when a fellow customer at my local coffee shop asked, “So, what’s his name?”

If the antidote is more pink, we’re in luck as this week the pink has been pouring in from friends and relatives and relatives of friends and friends of relatives like a tide of frosting on Valentine’s Day: pink footie pajamas with a matching pink hat; pink overalls with a pink-trimmed shirt; a denim dress with pink sequins, pink leggings, and a pink undershirt.

I have to say that even though when I put my baby in the frilly white bunting in which I myself was brought home from the hospital, she appeared to be dressed in drag, my pale white baby girl does look rather good in pink.


  1. I've found this ever so strange. When I dress her in *anything* other than pink, people assume she is a boy. How did this happen, that pink = girl and every other colour = boy?

  2. In the UK too, huh? I wonder what other countries are thus mentally limited?...