27 Jul 2019

Pink for girls? 'Every Little Thing'

From The Podcast Hour, 12:50 pm on 27 July 2019
Every Little Thing logo (Supplied)

Every Little Thing logo (Supplied) Photo: Supplied

It's a common experience for new parents: a stranger mistakes your precious little girl bundle for a boy bundle, totally overlooking the fact they're quite clearly wearing bootees with a subtle pink trim! 

But where did the idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls actually come from? It's a question listener Elle Ve left on the 'Every Little Thing' helpline and it sends host Flora Lichtmann down a rabbit hole of discovery.

As ELT does every episode it tries to answer a listener question; recent shows have looked at the origins of cheerleading, forks, duct tape, trousers and what that distinctive smell in op shops really is. Meanwhile, the show's also been running a campaign to have the flamingo adopted as the mascot of a professional sports team!

Back to pink and blue, and it turns out it's actually a fairly recent thing. For a long time, until the 1890s or thereabouts, boys and girls both wore white dresses, looked identical, and were described using gender neutral pronouns like Baby or It.

We play some of an episode of 'Every Little Thing' from Gimlet Media called 'Pink for Girls, Blue for Boys - Why?', and the show is hosted by Flora Lichtmann and also made by Annette Heist, and Phoebe Flanigan.