Monday, May 7, 2012

Do Real Dudes Wear Pink?

For the Little Dude’s 2nd birthday party, we hired a guy in an Elmo costume to entertain the kids for an hour.  As part of his shtick Elmo made balloon animals for the kids.  Since it was his birthday, the Little Dude got first choice and was very excited when he saw the rainbow of options laid out before him in cheap latex.  There were myriad options: blue, red, yellow, orange, green, pink, purple, and pretty much every other color on George Clinton's head.  If it were me, my first choice would always be blue. My son picked pink.  My heart sank.
George "Crayola" Clinton
The following week, at one of his friend’s birthday party, one of the goodie bag items was a bottle of Mr. Bubble pink foamy bubble bath. Seems harmless enough, right? After we introduced it to his bath routine a few days later, every night he was clamoring for “Mas Pinky!” (Side note: he uses “Mas”, which means “more” in Spanish, more than the actual English word “more” for some reason.)  When that bottle ran out, we replaced it with a bottle of blue Mister Bubble foam which he now refers to as “Blue Pinky!”


There have been a few more instances like this over the last few months, which made me start drilling down on this. What’s the problem, you ask?  I guess the manly man section of my psyche yearns for my son to be a manly man, too, and choose blue instead of pink.  Is it my “fault” that he likes pink? Did I do something wrong? Should I have covered him in fresh animal pelts as an infant instead of a soft silky blanket?

I did some research to find out why we associate blue with boys and pink with girls. I figured the tradition dated back hundreds of years and had a purpose-driven origin. I was quite surprised to learn it’s only been since WWII and that pink was originally associated with baby boys, because it was recognized as a stronger color. Light blue was seen as better for baby girls because it was “softer”.  Whatever that means.

As a Dude who grew up in the 1980s, you might think I would like pink.  Most of the movies I grew up watching featured either a very cool or very wicked male character (usually Andrew McCarthy or Rob Lowe) who was invariably dressed in a Preppy pink polo shirt.  But the Preppy style died down when the ‘80s ended and Grunge styling took over. I don’t remember Nirvana wearing much pink flannel during the early ‘90s.
Do you think John Locke isn't a Dude?
So should I be bothered that my son would pick a “girlie” color, if given the option?  At first, I was frustrated. I want him to like the things that I like. A big part of parenthood is teaching our offspring. That’s why I play him the music I like and why he has Ohio State memorabilia all over his room. It’s not that I don’t like pink. It’s just that it’s not blue, which is my favorite color*.

The Little Dude’s affinity for pink is merely that: something that is pleasing to his senses. Does it make him  any less of a Dude? Not at all. I don’t understand why he would ever choose to eat 3 plain rice cakes instead of pizza, but I don’t think that makes him any less of a Dude either. 

After thinking about all of these factors, I think it really just means he’s more creative for looking outside of the box. He is very artistic in many ways so this is probably just an extension of how his unique mind works.  I don’t want him to be a conformist anyway, so I give him credit for blazing a Dudely new trail. Even if it leaves pink dust behind it.

I tried to think of things that I like that are pink and came up with a short list:

Pink Ribbons: Enough said. 
Pink Floyd: If you don’t eat your meat, how can you have any pudding?
Pink Panther: Not the crappy Steve Martin version, though.
Pink Lemonade: Though I have yet to encounter a pink lemon...
Pink’s Hot Dogs: Though their lines are always atrocious, the dogs are top notch.   
Pink Houses:  Ain’t that America? 


What pink things do you like? Leave a comment below with your favorites.
*=Is it strange for a grown man to have a favorite color? Or just to admit it?


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65 comments:

  1. "Should I have covered him in soft animal pelts..." That made me laugh out loud! Great post. Go Pink!

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  2. Don't forget Pink!!! Your son is "f*&^%%$$ perfect" in his pink Mr. Bubble:)

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    1. I had to Google what that meant. Never heard the song before, but I do know who she is. Not my kind of pink-tinged music.

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  3. Pink? No biggie. Honest! My eldest used to love Polly Pockets and he's very much a guy as an adult. Sometimes a little too much guy.

    I used to threaten to paint the entire house pink when the 2 boys were acting to much like guys. They knew I hated pink more than them so they never believed me.

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    1. Interesting threat, though. A for effort!

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  4. Pink Floyd still works for me- even if it with pink.

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    1. They still rock. Even after 40+ years...

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    1. I know what you mean, Emily. Sounds like quite a Dude.

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  6. Funny and thoughtful post, Dude. My ten-year-old boy is very manly in most of the traditional ways but he also is attracted to pink; I think it's a soothing, pleasing color if you don't have any preconceptions about it.

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    1. Thanks, Louise. Soothing is a good word to describe the light pink. But the "hot" pink is a bit too much for me.

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  7. On the weekend my daughter painted her toenails. My son asked if he could too; I said yes, and he did them himself in bright red. He then straightaway asked if I could remove the red with nailpolish remover. "Sure! Why so quick?" "Because I want to paint them this light peach colour that matches my skin." HAHAHA!

    Jade
    http://jadeluxe.wordpress.com

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  8. Don't kick me in the shin but I have never had a Pink's hot dog. I've had Dodger dogs! I have two regular dogs!!!

    I like pink lip gloss. All shades. So pretty!!!

    ~The G is Silent

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    1. Kim, I can't say I blame you. It took me several years to actually have the patience to wait through their line. Even then it was close to an hour! Amazing dogs, though...

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  9. I'm glad you are coming around to the pink. As parents I think the best thing we can do is let our children become the people they want to be.

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    1. You are exactly right, and that's what I realized. I don't understand a lot of what my Little Dude does, but I go with the flow because I want him to be able to think for himself. I definitely don't want to stifle his creativity. Thanks!

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  10. My son's first Game Boy was pink. he picked it out himself for his 4th or 5th birthday. Luckily, it looked a lot like pearly purple when my dad saw it or my dad would have hit the roof (he never hits the roof) like the time I painted my son's toenails cuz he wanted to be like his big sister.

    Pink is a nice, soothing color, so there's that, manly man with your animal pelts. :)

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    1. Is pearly purple better than pink for a boy? Just wondering.

      You are the second person to mention painting the toenails. Hilarious.

      Me want pelt! J/K

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  11. We bought my oldest a Barblie for Christmas when he was 3. My FIL almost died, but he wanted what his sister wanted. He seems fines and boys wear pink all the time now with no self-consciousness about it at all. My 13yo daughter wouldn't be caught in a pink shirt. Go figure. Great piece. Erin

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    1. Oh, the irony, Erin. That's what keeps life interesting, right?

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  12. Embrace the pink, Daddy. Go toward the pink! Let him have all-pink. This way he won't go goth when he's a teen because he won't feel the need to rebel. (-:
    Also, I love a man in pink. It takes a real man's man to pull off pink you know! (-:

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    1. I've bought a few pink shirts over the years, but can never quite bring myself to wear them. Maybe someday...

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  13. oh man do i hate the color pink. always have and always will. imagine my horror when my Lovie becomes enamored with pink. everything is now pink pink pink for her. "mah favorite color is PINK!" yes, baby, i know already. the world knows!! ;D

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    1. Get ready for a world of pink, Christina! She is little now so just wait :)

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  14. One of the moments I'll never forget is the time my daughter stormed away from me, telling me that just because I liked jeans and ponytails didn't mean that she did. I was heartbroken - especially because she was only four. One of the hardest lessons of parenting, for me, is letting them be who they are and not trying to force them into who I think they should be.

    That being said - I love pink. But my kids all dislike it.

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    1. Exactly, that's what it's all about, Melissa. It's hard, but necessary.

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  15. Covering him in pelts... Love that and this..."I don’t understand why he would ever choose to eat 3 plain rice cakes instead of pizza, but I don’t think that makes him any less of a Dude either." Ha! Rice cakes.
    I like pink lemonade and pink tutus...very girly of me, I know.
    Awesome post.

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    1. Thanks, Heidi. I like pink lemonade, too, but where are the pink lemons? Have you ever seen one? I think they are just adding dye to the sugar, water and lemons in the beverage. Doesn't even taste different, to me at least.

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  16. Heheh I love pink. Right now I have a bright pink purse I love. That's probably not helping your manliness thing though..

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    1. Not a lot, Gia. But thanks for trying :)

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  17. I travel with a pink unicorn who gets me in trouble with TSAs... Nuff said.

    WG

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    1. I can only imagine the trouble it costs you, knowing what my laptop plug does earns me.

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  18. I think it's great that while you might not be a huge pink fan that you're letting him come around to his own decisions about things. That's being a great Dad :)

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  19. My oldest son was obsessed with pink for a long time when he was about 3. He has since outgrown the love for pink but rest assured I have kept all the pictures and use them now as blackmail when he doesn't behave. Hee Hee.

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    1. That is a genius move, Delilah. I may have to steal that one :)

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  20. Victoria's Secret "PINK" store and Aerosmith's "Pink" song!!!!!

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  21. My son referred to purple for a very long time as "my color." You know, the same way women of a certain refer to purple as "their color." Now he likes boy colors, but I think that his friends may have influenced. It's all good - kids are silly no matter what. It's ok for you to admit your favorite color. Mine is black. You know, the absence of actual color. Because I'm SOOOO dark and mysterious...

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    1. Purple can go either way, IMO. The LA Lakers and Minnesota Vikings both wear purple and they are pretty manly. But yes, kids are silly and sometimes their lack of rhyme or reason makes things fun.

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  22. When I was a little girl, I HATED the color pink because it was too "girly". I was not a girly-girl growing up. I wanted blue. In fact, blue was (and still is) my favorite color. Over the years, I've come to love the color pink.

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    1. You are versatile, Kathy. I guess pink was an acquired taste for you.

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  23. Both my boys like pink. Good for you for embracing it! Personally I hate it, but now that you mention both Pink Floyd and the Pink Panther and pink lemonade, I may have to reconsider.

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    1. There are some decent pink things out there, Jill. Check 'em out!

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  24. I have a 7 yr old son. His favorite colors are pink and purple, and his favorite Mario character is Princess Peach. Sigh...That's what he likes! Period. He even has a hot pink baseball bat, that he brings to the games! LOL So, yes. Real dudes wear pink, and they even hit home runs with hot pink bats!! :)

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    1. He could even use that bat as an intimidation factor against the pitcher. If 7-year olds are into that kind of thing :)

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  25. My son is almost 8 m/o and most of everything he owns is green... I hate the color blue. He'll probably grow up wanting everything to be blue just to spite me ;).

    Love that you got on board with the pink! Little Dude is very lucky to have such an open minded dad!


    Things that are pink: Cotton Candy, the sky at sunset, Flamingos!

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    1. Thanks, Karine. Green is the new neutral. Or so I learned when the Little Dude was born.

      Mmmmmm, cotton candy.

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  26. I love pink on boys. It's probably because I grew up in the 80s watching those movies you mentioned with the hunky guys wearing preppy pink but I still like pink for boys.

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    1. Did you prefer their collars folded down or popped up?

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  27. My mom tried to force pink on me - pink carpet, bedspread, bed, glasses, clothes, radio, desk, trashcan, etc. My brother was all blue. I TOTALLY love blue - everything I buy seems to be blue, and my brother doesn't really care but wears pink frequently.

    To me it is as random a choice post WWII as alcoholic beverages being aligned with certain genders. I have always liked dry red wine while my partner prefer mike's hard lemonade and fruity little drinks. And he is mean and scary and muscley :)

    I like pink grapefruit jelly beans

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    1. Just goes to show that there is often no rhyme or reason to these things :)

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  28. I can understand the dilemma here. It's just easier, i.e. since it's the norm in the States, if your son would prefer blue to pink. I do believe Little Dude is lucky to have a Big Dude that appreciates and permits his current pink fascination.
    For the record, at our house the flamingos at the zoo are one of our favorite pink things!

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    1. Thanks, Jackie. We also like the flamingos at our zoo, though not of their odor.

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  29. Meh - my 3yr old son loves to put on nail polish. Albeit bright green or a sort of atrocious blue. I think it's manly that he insists he do the painting himself.

    He also loves pink, along with blue, red, orange, green and pretty much every other color under the sun. I think you should keep being open to his color choices. It will likely change in a few months anyways, just to keep you on your toes ;)

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    1. The Little Dude loves tie-dye, so you could say that all colors are his favorite.

      He definitely keeps me on my (unpolished) toes :)

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  30. My daughter loves the color pink too (of course shes a girl so this is seen as "normal") but she also picks transformers over barbies and hotwheel cars over dolls; and every night shes asks me to tell her a story about spiderman!

    Kids like what they like and its awesome to see them make their own decisions especially if its not something you would have picked for them yourself!

    Great post! :)

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. You are right. They need to think for themselves and should like whatever or whoever they wish.

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  31. Pink is great! Let him be. Don't break out the animal pelts (LOL!)...He'll be changing "favorites" many times over the course of his childhood!

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    1. Thanks, YDW! I'll keep the hides stored in the shed for now. (J/K, I have neither any hides or a shed).

      I've already witnessed his ever-evolving tastes. Lots to look forward to...

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  32. My youngest loves sprinkles. When we had saved up enough "Culver's Points" or whatever they are called he wanted to get the t-shirt that says "Sprinkles Rock." When we went to get it the lady came back with a different shirt. She said, "those shirts only come in pink."

    "I know," I said. "Now can we have the Sprinkles Rock shirt."

    He loves that shirt.

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  33. My friend you consistently make me chuckle.

    Tough dudes wear pink.....It's all good!!!

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  34. When my son was 5 I bought him a shit that was pink. And on the front of it it says:
    5 reasons I wear pink:
    I make this color look goof
    My mom made me wear it
    Its a fashion statement
    Rock stars wear pink.
    and most of all...
    I'm tough enough to wear pink!

    He won't wear it because my brother and his dad teased him about it, but I for one love a guy (or little boy) that is confident enough to rock the pink. Means they are secure in who they are!

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