Not a Pink Girl | Teen Ink

Not a Pink Girl

February 9, 2015
By Evey4321 SILVER, Fiskdale, Massachusetts
Evey4321 SILVER, Fiskdale, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
― Marilyn Monroe

Let me start by saying, I had a great childhood.  My days consisted of jaunts in the forest, scraping my palms and knees climbing boulders, and shinnying up ice covered trees.  I was one of those outdoorsy kids that were shin deep in mucky pond water and scavenging for fish.  Granted, my parents were at least within the vicinity when I was having all of these adventures, but I still felt like I was on top of the world.  Like many children, I felt invincible and was fiercely independent.  So independent, in fact, that from the moment I could choose for myself, I refused to wear the color pink. 
           Every fall or winter my grandmother would buy winter jackets and coats from a great sale.  It was wonderful because every growth spurt, you could either borrow a cousin’s coat or get a brand new one for almost half the original price.  One year I completely grew out of a set of snow pants and coat so that I desperately needed new ones.  Of course my grandmother, being so sweet and caring, goes and buys the most incredibly fuchsia coat I have ever seen.  I hated that jacket.  However, one does not simply tell one's grandmother that one hates the hot pink jacket that she bought for you, so I took it on the chin and wore the darn thing.  I could almost feel the looks boring into my back as I raced down the ski slopes.  I felt scandalized.  I had broken my streak of not wearing pink and now my legacy had come to a close.  It had been years and yet, I was now the kind of girl who wore a pink coat.  I was now a pink girl, something I had dreaded being for so long. 
Luckily, I grew out of the jacket and only had to wear it for one season.
Most baby girls, when they are born, are swaddled in the comforting and cute color pink.  My own baby pictures reveal my blanket and onesie in pink as well.  And yet, at the ripe old age of five, I decided I wouldn’t wear pink. Why?  I have absolutely no idea.  Where did this decision come from? My rebellion with the color, my mother tells me, stemmed and originated from wanting to be different from every other girl.  I "didn’t want to be a girly girl,” she tells me.  I wanted to run around in my grass stained tee-shirt and play.  I didn’t want to conform to society’s rules and wear a color commonly affiliated with girls and femininity.  I never even painted my room pink.  Who knew a five year old could be so radical in her fashion choices?  All I can remember is that I had a rebellious streak to uphold and I didn’t want to be thought of as a girl who couldn’t rough-house a bit.  I noticed that the girls who wore pink did not play in the woods and since I enjoyed climbing trees, I avoided the color.  Looking back, with knowledge of the stereotype, I find myself wondering: Why did I believe that if I wore a certain color, I couldn’t be thought of as a grubby and rambunctious kid? 
I never understood why this color was associated with the innocent and little girls.  Why must girls be categorized pink and forced to wear it?  My younger self would have been aghast with the prospect.  Is this categorizing because all the other colors were taken and they thought, “Well, might as well give this one to the girls…”?  Or is it because the color looks like a girl color?  I don’t understand why as a society, we push girls into thinking they must act and dress a certain way in order to be normal.  Why can’t little girls run around red faced and sandy without someone nervously checking to make sure they are all right?  And, if a little boy wears pink, all hell breaks loose.  I just don’t understand why pink has been pigeonholed into the color of girlyness and princesses and all things feminine.  However if one does not wear pink, automatically peers and colleagues assume that one is not the ideal form of a perfect girl. These days I don’t dislike the color.  It is just the baggage that comes with it that I hate.
I realize now that the stereotypes that society shackles to women and girls are crippling.  A tomboy can’t wear a dress and a girly girl can’t go outside (lest she break a nail!).  The labels that color creates struck me as a child.  Depending on which color you wore, you were suddenly considered a different person.  If you wore pink, you were a normal, girly child, and if you didn’t, you were a different and left-handed little girl.  I guess I noticed these labels revolved around the color, and I decided which path I wanted to take.  I stared the color right in the eyes and told it, “No more”.  My favorite color was green.  It still is.
But for one ski season, I was a pink girl.  During that whole winter, I wore a jacket that was as bright and noticeable as an exotic baboon's behind.  While I wore that jacket, I didn't care what other skiers thought of me on the slopes.  I tore down the trails and hit powder just as hard as any other person out there.  Yes, I hated that jacket, but I didn't let my fears of what others thought of me control what I did.  I did not let my own internal stereotypes hold me back and keep me from one of my passions.  My hatred of pink even ebbed ever so slightly as the ski season progressed.  I still got rid of the coat as fast as I could by the end of the winter.

Hilariously, my avoidance and aversion to all things pink has been carried through the years and I still do not wear the color.  I turned away from pink as a child and haven't looked back.  I guess I just can't break tradition and maybe a small part of me still wants to rebel.  However, if I wasn’t as stubborn and if I didn’t have a traumatic experience with a horrifying coat, I might just truly become a pink girl.  Me in pink.  Ha, imagine that.

The author's comments:

Just some of my views on the world... :)

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