Are Dads Cool With Their Sons Wearing Pink? An ‘Investigation’

by Whitney Jefferson

Good Morning America has gone ahead and created a non-issue out of a few Dads feeling weird about their sons wearing pink. We know how much GMA loves their panels, so they gathered a group of fathers and a separate group of little dudes to get some opinions on the non-matter. The series of questioning involved the interviewer raising a tiara in her hand and asking, gravely, “What would you say if your son wanted to wear this to school?” Dum-dum-DUM!

Luckily, some of the dads had some pretty respectable answers for such queries, like “I follow my child’s lead” and “It’s not really the point of what I like, it’s what my child likes.” There were, of course, there two fathers who really hoped that their sons would rather wear a blue shirt instead of a pink skirt, but is that even surprising?

The panel of boys aged 6-8, however, were much less divided and seemed totally cool with the color pink. GMA tested the boys’ color-preferences by offering up scooters in an array of neon colors and setting up a rack of different-colored clothing and to see what they would choose. Two of them chose both the pink scooter and pink shirts, going so far as to fist-bump over their mutual love of pink items. The kids were questioned about said “color war,” and every single one said they wouldn’t mind wearing pink. Just so long as the clothes don’t say “princess” on them or anything.

Originally published on Jezebel. Republished WITH PERMISSION MOTHERF*CKERS.

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  1. I saw an example of this IRL a few days ago: I work as a cashier at a grocery store, and we offer balloons to the kids who come in with their parents. A little boy was with his father, and when I presented the bag of balloons to him, there was a whole bunch of colors, & the little boy chose blue. Immediately his dad let out a groan and a couple of berating comments (“Are you suuure you want pink? Not pink!”)… The kid could not care less. He stuck with the pink balloon and I resisted the urge to punch the father in the face.

  2. A member of my bf’s family rejected a yellow tshirt gifted to his two year old son because “real men don’t wear yellow”. Chauvinists need to grow the fuck up, and it pleases me that the kids themselves don’t care about pink. It’ll be nice to see what the future holds for the ‘gender war’.

  3. Pink used to be a guy’s color.

    Everyone should take a page out of my brother’s book, who enjoys pink shirts, as well as hot pink penguin boxers*. And he’s a pretty macho guy.

    *I know it’s weird that I know what boxers my brother wears, shut up.

  4. I saw this on the “news” when it aired and KNEW that autostraddle would write an article about it! This just shows how narrow minded people are to be concerned about this “issue”. I starred at the tv thinking “is this REALLLY on the news right now?”

  5. yeah it’s definitely the “adults” who have color issues. kids couldn’t give two shits about colors, what they pick is out of personal preference, but when you have a parent that tells them those are girl colors and these are boy colors it changes everything.

      • that’s horrible!!!! i used to be a teacher (kindergarten so there’s always 2) and we always told our kids colors are for everyone and they got it. we only had one issue with a boy teasing another for picking a pink picture fame (mother’s day) and he told us “well my mom said girls are the only ones allowed to pick pink, boys aren’t supposed to like pink so he needs another color.” he was really confused as to why his mom would say that. we didn’t push it any farther and just told him that in the classroom anyone is allowed to pick any color they like.

  6. In some countries, pink is a manly/ alpha colour. Look at some of the fighters who aren’t afraid to sport pink Muay Thai skirts in the rings, would you want to mess with that?

  7. Blue has been the colour of women (through, amongst other symbols, the representation of the Virgin Mary) for centuries. Red and pink has traditionally been the colour of men. People are historically illiterate and this change from one social paradigm to another should be proof enough that no gender is genetically primed to prefer either/any colour.

    • Although I think the reason red and pink were traditionally men’s colors is that they show strength, powerfulness, in nature it’s a dangerous color, that is also vibrant and attractive.

      Blue is… what adjectives describe blue? peaceful? I don’t know

      In any case, I think the reason it has changed socially to what it seems to be now, boys blue and girls pink, is that that’s what the opposite gender would be attracted to. A boy would be attracted to the pink shirt, the pink scooter, and thus the girl wearing the pink shirt and riding the pink scooter. The girl would then be attracted to the blue shirt and blue scooter.

      Socially it’s more acceptable to be a girl and want to be like a guy than the other way around and that’s why no one freaks when a girl chooses the blue shirt (with the cute pink accent on it, maybe) but they make some ridiculous “news” report if it’s the other way around.

  8. I was at a birthday party for a friend’s cousin’s 4-year-old daughter a few days ago and she had a bunch of bubble wands for the kids. Two of the girls grabbed orange and blue, and the boy went for the pink one without seeming to care, and then someone said “Uh oh, are you sure you want the pink one?” and he stopped and did the “Ew no I hate pink!” thing. It seems like kids seriously don’t give a rat’s ass about colors until someone else (usually someone older) starts telling them they should care.
    That was the most depressing kid’s party I’ve ever been to. Some of her grandparents gave this 4-year-old makeup. She’s freaking 4! Don’t give her lipstick and fake eyeshadow, give her a stuffed animal or something!
    /personal rant

  9. I love that my 8 year old brother loves dolls as much as cars, and even though my dad isn’t great at being accepting about that I tend to try and balance it out and support him. At least if he asks for the ‘girl’ toys at mcdonalds my parents go with it and let him.

  10. Since when has this become an issue? I thought pink was trendy for guys right now.

    Also, I like how ABC picks some random kids and tries to present it as truth. It’s unscientific, therefore should not be used to draw conclusions from.

    Alsoalso, no. one. cares.

  11. i thought this was decided years ago when guys were wearing those “real men wear pink” shirts. i dont even think they were for breast cancer or anything. dudes just liked being “real men”, whatever that is. idk. i don’t wear pink much so i guess i’m not much of a real man? the entire idea behind those shirts are confusing me now.

    • youre not much of a real man, i hope you’re okay with that.

      but seriously thanks for bringing this up, i totally remember those shirts – what were they even trying to say? at the time i thought it was sort of an “its fine to defy gender stereotypes” sort of thing but the use of the words “real men” makes me think again…

  12. The vid was interesting, but the title is kind of odd. This clearly isn’t specifically about pink, it’s about things that are gendered for boys and girls. Some of their examples, like the pink toenails and the tutu or the boy who dressed up as daphne are obviously about crossing a gender barrier, and not just a color barrier. It is nice to see kids are growing in flexibility when it comes to the blue/pink divide though.

  13. I read somewhere the other day that up until the 40s, pink was originally a boys’ colour because it was closer to red, and red was associated with all kinds of he-man traits like strength and sexuality and anger etc. Whereas blue was meant for girls because it was a lot softer.

    Back when I used to date guys, I dated a cop with a penchant for HOT PINK and he would tear anyone a new one if they criticised his neon polo shirts. A+ for the gender-neutrality at least…

  14. Never mind the fact that the questions she’s asking are totally leading.

    “Do you feel that pink is a girl color?”
    As opposed to something neutral like
    “What do you think about the color pink?”

    This is such a waste of time. Must have been a super slow morning in America.

  15. Man, I remember I used to be obsessed with the color pink, probably because of Disney princesses and whatnot, but I knew and still know girls who absolutely have always hated the color pink. People just need to let kids be themselves and not let their outdated prejudices get in the way. I have a little cousin who’s 5 years old, who I’ve painted nails with and heard him say “there’s no such thing as boy colors and girl colors”. He’s awesome.

  16. I was at a house dinner the other month and one of my parents friends’ kids was running around wearing a pink cowboy hat belonging to his little sister. When he and another child came into the room to ask a question, the boy’s father yelled “Take that off, you poof (derogatory term for gay man in Australia) and then another father said to him “Your kid’s a fag.” and I, along with the other lesbian there, wanted to just be like WTF?

  17. So is this guys don’t wear pink an American thing? I live in England and I’ve known and seen tons of guys wearing pink, most of them straight as anything.
    People should just be allowed to wear whatever they want regardless of it’s colour.

  18. Is anyone on this site really surprised by this? It’s not like we’re genetically predisposed to like or dislike certain colors. It’s not part of our sex, it’s part of our gender.

    Pink is a schnazzy color that I’ve learned to like with age. As a “tomboy” (yeah, I hate that word) growing up, I was often opposed to pink, again, because of what society told me. I didn’t want to like pink or wear “girly clothes”, because I didn’t like the person that society told me that that type of girl was. As I grew older, I realized that I could still keep my mentality and like “girly” clothes as well as “boyish” clothes. I think it’s also that realization of how much is society’s doing that made me identify (in addition to identifying as lesbian) as genderqueer. Yeah…I should probably stop now, before I rant for a whole page, lol.

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