Pretty in Pink?

There is this bizarre extreme feminist view that girls would tend to go for more typically masculine jobs and educational routes if they weren’t ‘forced’ into playing princesses, fairies, and with everything/anything that is pink. There have been numerous articles about this and campaigns, the most well known being PinkStinks.

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In my feminist view point,  pink products became popular because children like them and begged parents to buy them, thus driving up sales which drove companies to produce more pink products. The central problem is not pink and blue toys but major stores and corporations assigning gender to toys!

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I have always enjoyed Pink, in fact it is my favorite color. I grew-up playing pretend princesses and fairies as well as fireman and construction workers. I was always coming home covered in mud because I had been playing in the melting snow on a pretend amazing adventure.

Back then (the 1990s) my big brother and I shared a vast Lego collection. Overtime we discovered we played differently. I made villages and had the mini figures go on adventures. He would build architecture and robots. I was happy to play with anything I thought would enhance my stories, mixing in other toys like Barbie or Beanie Babies. He would want the best and unique Lego pieces to create mini figure scale towns, make a lamp for his bedroom, and to use Lego Mindstorms for his robots. He did not care if the color was pink, as long as it suited the needs of his latest creation. We played with what was available and what we enjoyed.

When we made our Christmas wish lists he would ask our parents to buy me my own Lego sets so I wouldn’t keep taking his favorite pieces. While I would ask for my size Barbie, the Swan Princess dolls, and the Little Mermaid vhs tape (because I worn out my first copy). I ended up with pink lego, so I could play princess and have adventures. I loved them. That’s not right for every child but it was right for me.

As an adult, I try to use my love of princesses to teach manners. My desire to be a fairy is now used teach about being courageous and strong because flying, hiding from humans is fun no matter what gender you identify as! As a childcare provider, teacher, and Girl Scout volunteer I’ve been able to turn these seemingly childish, girly fairytale and fables into a method of helping children learn and a grow.

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The same pink and items you perceived as ‘girly’ could help tell a story or enhance a child’s creative play regardless of their gender. As my favorite toy campaign says “Let Toys Be Toys!” Tailor your belongings to needs, not how a corporation has advertised.

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Stores may make us think there is a girl aisle and a boy aisle but we don’t have to shop that way. Our money is what makes a difference in the industry.

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Betsey Johnson for Capezio

I am so excited! One of my favorite designers is making dancing clothes for the world renounced dance wear company Capezio. Like most young dancers I grew up wearing Capezio ballet slippers. I stopped taking dance classes at fifteen but they still make my go to practice shoe (a leather split sole with a pink upper) and they have so many lines of greats of dance wear. The latest line is in partnership with fashion design Betsey Johnson. I absolutely love Betsey Johnson.

I studied fashion in a special sewing, fashion and design program in association with North Carolina State University while I was at Athens Drive High School. My final project was on Betsey Johnson. I made clothes inspired by her, wrote an essay and gave a presentation. Instead of a tri-fold presentation board I made a doll sized clothes full of miniatures of her line. This was just as her ready to wear line was coming to TJ Maxx and her jewelry was launching at Macy’s, so very few people in my high school knew about her, but they loved the presentation and the fluffy pink skirts and graphic deconstructed tee shirts I made enough to buy them, earning me a spot to design for a local boutique.  It was awesome, but as Betsey Johnson become more accessible and my love of fashion design gave way to other interests (politics, law, and of course writing).

Since then she’s had makeup, perfume (I wear it everyday), and accessories lines that have taken the ready to wear world by storm. Every major US department store and most TJ Maxx and Marshalls carry her designs. It’s a pink lovers dream. Despite this boom, numerous tributes to her, and her dancing appearance on Dancing with the Stars Betsey Johnson LLC declared bankruptcy in 2012 and has struggle through early 2016 with low first quarter earnings. But you cannot keep a girl down!

Earlier this week Capezio launched her new line of dance clothes with a smashing video featuring Larsen Thompson and featured the designs on their home page. We know Johnson loves to dance, as seen on Dancing with the stars and she end ends show with a cartwheel, so I’m sure this clothes will be functional as well as fashionable…plus with so many patterns and pinkness who could go wrong!

The line is available in Girl Sizes but has many cute accessories (although my favorite is the wrap skirt so hurry up and make this line a success so they make women’s clothes!) Shop the line at Capezio’s website.

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