To make "The Pink and Blue Project" images, I visit the child's room, where I display and rearrange his/her colored accessories. I ask my models to pose for me with their pink or blue objects, in an effort to show the viewer the extent to which children and their parents, knowingly or unknowingly, are influenced by advertising and popular culture. I first lay out the larger items, blankets or coats, and then spread smaller articles on top of the clothes. This method references objects that are displayed in a museum collection. In some pictures, the children even look like dolls.Via Andrew Sullivan, who calls the kids "children who would only wear and buy gender specific clothes and toys." Do the kids deserve that? I see a pink shovel and a blue vacuum cleaner. To have a favorite color -- the color the culture assigns to your sex -- is not necessarily to want only sex-typed toys and clothes. Are these children stereotypes or are we adults stereotypers?
Consider the possibility that children have powerful aesthetic principles, that they love color as color, and that they perceive order in monochrome.
Of course, there is nothing inherently masculine about blue or feminine about pink:
[F]or centuries, all European children were dressed in blue because the color was associated with the Virgin Mary. The use of pink and blue emerged at the turn of the century, the rule being pink for boys, blue for girls. Since pink was a stronger color it was best suited for boys; blue was more delicate and dainty and best for girls. And in 1921, the Women's Institute for Domestic Science in Pennsylvania endorsed pink for boys, blue for girls.There's a W.C. Fields movie -- maybe "The Bank Dick" -- where a woman annoys him -- women annoy him in every movie -- by fretting over whether pink is for boys and blue for girls or the other way around. That would have been around 1940.
Surely, there are children who latch onto colors other than blue or pink. I remember my mother deciding that orange was the right color for me, and I believed that for a while.