Girls Don’t Need To Wear Pink To Make You Feel Comfortable
Having boy-girl twins is a great way to get a first-hand view of how differently people treat children based on their gender. (It’s also a great way to work out an approach to explaining that no, your different-sex twins are not and cannot possibly be identical without making the person who asked feel like an idiot.) I’m always surprised by how many complete strangers at Target or the grocery store have something to say about my kids – and about how they’re dressed.
I’m not a person who wears a lot of pink, and the way I dress my daughter reflects that. She wears pink sometimes, of course, and purple, and also blue and green and red and orange. She wears lots of different colors of clothing, because she is a human person, and not a strawberry-flavored Popsicle. (She is a very small person, so I understand that there may be some confusion on this point.) This fact really bothers some people sometimes, though.
For example, when I dropped the kids off at the gym’s child watch a week ago, the worker who generally recognizes us by face greeted my daughter using my son’s name. When I corrected her, she did a double take, and said, “Oh – she’s wearing blue today?! Are you trying to confuse everyone?” Well, I was trying to dress my kids in something that wasn’t coated in applesauce from lunch, but okay. Or the people at Target who exclaimed over my adorable ‘twin boys’ and were shocked when I corrected them (which I usually don’t do, for pretty much this reason). Then they insisted I need to get my daughter some pink headbands and some other sparkly-poo accessories ‘so people can see how pretty she is’. I politely declined, because what they really meant was ‘so people can see what gender she is, which is the most important thing about a person, obviously’. Er, no.
It’s cool if you want to dress your own kids in pink – sometimes I like to do that, too! My daughter happens to look adorable in her pink-striped birthday outfit, as well as the pink sweater-dress she got as a gift from her grandma. She also, as it happens, looks adorable in her red-and-black plaid fleece and her blue Star Wars t-shirt. (I may be a little biased, but I think she looked adorable in, well, pretty much anything.) So if what’s inside my kids’ diapers is of such paramount concern to you, I have a better suggestion than ‘clearly demarcate their gender for strangers’. My idea is: if a little girl wearing green or a little boy wearing purple bothers you this much, maybe just stay home and order your groceries from Amazon.
As an adult woman with short hair and a tendency to go makeup-free, my black-and-blue winter jacket has gotten me called ‘sir’ more than once. If you don’t think I should be required to leave the house in an all-pink ensemble or with a big flowered headband embedded in my ‘do, then why does it matter whether or not my child is gendered for your convenience? (If you do think I should be required to conspicuously identify as female when in public, you may be a Duggar, in which case I don’t think I can help you.)
A couple weeks ago, I took the kids to Target for some diapers again. My son was wearing a pink cupcake onesie that I happen to adore (his pre-birth nickname was ‘Cupcake’ while his sister’s was ‘Muffin’; don’t judge me) – his sister, meanwhile, was wearing a green-and-brown monkey shirt. “What a sweet little thing!” said the person standing behind us in the checkout line, pointing at my son. “And who’s this big strong fella?” she asked my daughter. Thank you, random stranger. My thoughts exactly.