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Are you OK with pink being the new blue - for boys?

Pink stinks for girls, according to anti-princess campaigns, but a growing acceptance movement suggests many dads are cool with their sons wearing pink .


For impressionable little girls bombarded with Disney princesses, pink stinks, according to an online campaign for "real role models."

But it looks like pink is okay if it's on a boy, reports. The writer cites a Good Morning America segment in which dads talked about how they feel about their son wearing blush-coloured clothing.

The dudes on air had no doubt memorized the politically correct handbook. When the interviewer waved a frilly pink skirt and tiara in their faces, most of the dads said things like: "It's not really the point of what I like, it's what my child likes."

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One dad confessed, "I struggled with my own comfort level," but nevertheless agreed to let his son to wear a skirt to preschool. Rednecks on the panel were significant by their absence (ditto references to Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue).

Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests acceptance is growing for little boys who see the world through rose-coloured glasses.

Micro Mini Scooters in bubblegum pink are being marketed to both boys and girls, after a survey by the British company revealed that 88 per cent of parents are okay with boys playing with it, Good Morning America reports.

And in April, J. Crew clothing featured its creative director, Jenna Lyons, in its catalogue giving a pedicure to her four-year-old son Beckett. The caption read: "Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favourite colour is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."

New books also reflect the trend, from Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Slightly Effeminate, Possibly Gay, Totally Fabulous Son to My Princess Boy, which tells the story of a four-year-old boy who "happily expresses his authentic self by enjoying 'traditional girl' things."

"Parents want to be supportive and that's what is new," Arlene Istar Lev, a family therapist, told the New York Times.

Even so, boys who like pink are not necessarily dealing with gender issues - they may simply be yearning for historical accuracy. Pink wasn't for girls until the 1940s, notes the Smithsonian Magazine.

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A 1918 article from Earnshaw's Infants' Department declares that pink is for boys, blue is for girls. "The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."

And now that people make such a fuss over little girls in pink, it's no wonder little guys want some of the attention.

Would you let your son wear a skirt in public? For little boys, is pink the new blue?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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