Archive | May 29, 2015

The terrors of growing up and being faced with the dreaded PINK!

When I was a kid I had very few tantrums in public. I can remember exactly two because I knew if I did I’d get a very public spanking so for me to throw one meant I had weighed the dangers carefully. One was my first haircut at Bullocks. I did not want any one touching my head that I didn’t know and I hated having my hair cut anyway. My Mom insisted on short hair and I hated every minute of it and had to wait until I was a senior in high school to start to grow it. I just plain hate having short hair.

The second meltdown was over having to go see Santa. That one I actually won because he terrified me and they figured it out pretty quick that it was not going to happen. They had put that Santa in the dept store window and it was a very small space and enclosed and I don’t know why that made it worse but it did but I got in there with him and freaked out.

But I have to say that if I was growing up now and Mom went to buy me clothes I would be having some very public meltdowns over the amount of pink on display. My mom made most of my clothes growing up because I was so small and skinny,( except during a rare growth spurt where I would shoot straight up and then stop for a year or two) I didn’t fit anything except from Bullocks and that was way too expensive. (Bullocks was very high end and it was a treat to go there and eat in the tearoom like a grownup back when dept stores had elegant tearooms) We got my Easter hats and gloves and my shoes there because they would but the braces on my shoes in the back of the shoe dept.)

Because mom made my clothes I had some say over colours which basically meant it had better be blue, red or green or sometimes yellow or there was no way she was going to get it on me. She could hand embroider the smocking on it and sometime manage to sneak some lace on it but there was going to be NO PINK. I really wanted to wear black even as a little kid but that was a no go from the start and I knew it.

There used to be a strict dress code when I was growing up at school. We had to wear dresses or get sent home. That didn’t change until my Senior year in high school and even then we weren’t supposed to wear jeans. They had to be nice pants. I ruined many a dress on the playground and lost or tore a lot of sashes since all the kid’s dresses had sashes with bows and petticoats in that ancient history. I was so jealous when my sister came along ten years after me and got to wear pants in elementary school. She could climb all over the jungle gym and not hear, “Teacher, Teacher, I declare, etc” when things showed that weren’t supposed to.

Since Star Wars came out when I was an adult and Star Trek really didn’t have any merchandizing then, that wasn’t an option for t shirts. If I could have gotten a t-shirt at that time the choices would have been Heckle and Jeckle, Mighty Mouse, Huckleberry Hound or Yogi Bear. I think I had Mickey Mouse shirts and I did have those and Donald Duck who I liked and probably had a resemblance to in personality at the time. There were no Disney princesses because the choices in those days were Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White, as a strawberry blond kid with thick glasses who was basically blind there wasn’t any attraction to dressing like a princess and that would have been a no go from the start. I would have worn a Maleficent shirt or one with Flora, Fauna or Meriwether on them because those were my favourite characters but they didn’t make them then. The first time we went to Disneyland when I was little I got the Donald Duck hat that had a bill that squeeked and not the ubiquitous Mickey ears that everyone else got there name embroidered on.

I think I’m glad I was born before mass marketing because to go to a store now is to be assaulted by the colour pink. My mom so wanted a girlie girl and didn’t get one with either of her daughters. Thanks heavens it was actually easier then to be gender non-conforming at least in my family. I got my microscope that I wanted and the Lincoln logs and erector set. I had all my How and Why science books and my Golden book bird, animal and flower identifying books. Now I think I would have to fight a lot more to get what I wanted to do and it wasn’t Betsey Wetsy, Barbie and an Easy Bake oven.

Guest Post: It’s Either Princess, Trainee Stripper, or ‘Boy’ Clothing for Little Girls

As a girl who threw tantrums about the hated pink back in the 50s and 60s, you go DAD!

Man vs. Pink

AJ Roberts is a fellow dad who’s frustrated about the limited options retailers offer for his soon to be born daughter. Unlike me, he’s also been a father for over two decades and has no interest in geek culture. This is a nice reminder (for me at least) that seeking greater retail choices for our girls isn’t all about superhero capes and lightsabers.

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I’m about to start my second go at a family 21 years after I first did it and later this year my partner and I will have a daughter. When my first daughter was born 17 years ago I was practically a child myself and missed so much of it due to trying to build a career.

Back then I let my (now ex-) wife do all the girly mum and daughter stuff and while she was never a full blown princess fantasist, our daughter still fell into…

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