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>Color My World

>Via Andrew Sullivan, an exhibition of photographs of children by Jeongmee Yoon displaying their obsessions with gendered colors. I see pink-bedecked and -accessorized little girls all the time but are there enough boys who feel similarly about blue to make the comparison meaningful? When I was a lad, the only rule was not-pink.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >I’ve read that pink for girls is a fairly recent construct; and that pink for boys was traditional during the late 1800s/early 1900s.

    Google it; there are some interesting articles–not sure how authoritative they are.

  2. >Can’t speak to the research about this, but I can say after going to the circus the other day, where there were these “magic wand” things that lit up and spun around when you pushed a button (ideal for preschoolers wanting to annoy their parents in the car), the ONLY one he wanted was the pink one, with feathers, and sparkly stars. He did NOT want the blue one, with the elephant on it.

    Of course we bought him the pink one.

  3. >What strikes me most about these photographs is not the quality (color) of the “things” (though the plethora of pink is quite striking) but the sheer QUANTITY. I am left wondering how quality and quantity are interconnected.

    If a similar photo shoot was done with children whose families actively avoid/deny gender construct would the QUANTITY of possessions in each picture be noticeably different? Or not?

    Does buying into or enforcing a gendered color code always go hand-in-hand with rampant materialism? (When my sister was younger she loved the color yellow… but I don’t recall her half of our room looking like Big Bird threw up in there…)

  4. Roger Sutton says:

    >I don’t know how to move a comment from one post to another but Douglas Florian says . . .

    Hi Roger,
    Thinking of pink…
    see my recent (Nov.24th) blog entry about boys and pink and publishing:
    douglas florian

  5. >Thank you so much for bringing this exhibit to my attention. I can’t wait to go see it.

    Going to read Douglas Florian’s blog entry now.

    My post about Jeongmee Yoon will be coming soon.

    Thanks again.

    Leah Klein
    Gender examiner–Best-choices-for-childrens-books

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