Why is Blue for Boys?

Growing up, I played with Barbies and wore dresses and played with makeup, like most girls do. But I also loved wearing overalls, playing in the mud, and playing my Hotwheels computer game. And my favorite color was — and still is — blue. No one ever said anything to me about liking “boy activities” or things. Most people commented on how cute it was that I was a little tomboy.

On the flip side, I subscribe to a blog called “Raising My Rainbow”, another WordPress blog. It is written by a mother with two sons — the oldest is what we would think of as a “typical” boy, the youngest is what his mother refers to as “gender creative.” She does not give the real names of any of her family members on the site, but refers to her youngest son as CJ. CJ absolutely loves pink. And glitter. And tutus. He watched the Oscars with his mother and grandmother and commented on everyone’s dresses, and was amazed when the director of the animated film Brave, Mark Andrews, accepted his Oscar in a kilt.

Some say he wore a kilt because of his movie, but maybe he just likes the feeling of it!

Although CJ is a wonderful and enthusiastic gender-creative child at home, and his family does not make him conform to any type of label for his gender (he is six years old), his classmates and parents of the children do not always feel the same. CJ has faced times when he wants to dress in “boy clothes” so he doesn’t stand out from the other boys in his class, and he has seemed miserable about it. The parent of one of his closest friends wouldn’t let her daughter attend his birthday party once CJ’s mother informed the other mom about his love of skirts and all things pink.

I would like to know who ever decided that blue was for boys and pink was for girls. That girls played with Barbies and liked skirts and boys couldn’t cry and had to wear pants. And I would really like to know why it is okay for girls to dress and act like boys but not the other way around. My last post was about strength that women needed to break the stereotypes set for them by the media. But sometimes I feel like men have it just as hard and that their stereotypes go way back.


I want to see what all of you think about this issue. Or if anyone knows why blue is the standard color set for boys. I think children like CJ should be supported and fully allowed to express themselves, just like every other “normal” child out there.

I think the writer Domenick Scudera said it best in his article “Kilt It.” He wrote, “Hey, if it makes me happy, why not? I do not have to look like everyone else. I choose to be different, and I do not have to justify my attire to anyone.” Exactly, Domenick. You are exactly right.

Kaitlin Schuler

Hey all! I'm a 20 year old female from the southern suburbs of Chicago. I've been in love with books since I was a babe in swaddling clothes, and that has been the one constant relationship in my life. I also love hot chocolate, hockey, hot dogs, and hoe-downs. Well...maybe not the last one. Though I've never been, so that could change! Keep up with my posts and learn more about this hockey-loving, hot chocolate-drinking girl.

2 thoughts to “Why is Blue for Boys?”

  1. I can’t tell you why blue is now for boys and pink is now for girls, but I can tell you that this switch happened at about the 1920s. Before this, pink was considered a boy’s color – it was a light shade of red, and red was a manly color.
    I find it really interesting that you pointed out that it was okay for you to be tomboyish, but not for CJ to like “girly” things. Why are things that way? I wish I had an answer to this, but I honestly don’t know. All we really know is that people are stifled and can’t be who they want to be.
    I’m reminded of a video that went viral a few months back where a little girl is ranting about why all the girl toys are princesses and why all the boy toys are superheroes. One of the things she said is that some girls want to play with superheroes, and some boys want to play with princesses. We get socialized to gender very early on, and we definitely notice it. I’m pretty sure I noticed it when I was younger, but I don’t think I ever commented on it.
    Also, useless trivia: Mark Andrews is very proud of his Scottish heritage. During production of Brave, he proclaimed every Friday to be “kilt Friday,” so all the animators came in kilts.

  2. I will need to find this video, I’m really interested.

    Also, everywhere should have “kilt Friday.” I like this guy more and more as time goes on.

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