Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine

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Any expectant mother or father these days is doubtless aware that items designed for baby girls are commonly pink, and those meant for baby boys are blue. But it wasn’t always this way.

As recently as the early 1900s, pink was seen by many as a color that went better with boys, and blue as a color that went better with girls. Newspapers like The Sunday Sentinel in 1914 offered tips to new parents such as, “If you like the color note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.”

Above: Which is more manly?

Another paper, the Ladies Home Journal in 1918 wrote, “There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” It’s also said that since pink is closer to red, it was more appropriate for boys because red is a “fierce” color, whereas blue was associated with girls since the Virgin Mary is customarily dressed in blue.

Regardless of the original connotations of the two colors, it’s clear that they’ve now reversed their earlier meanings and that pink is much more associated with girls now, and vice versa for blue. There have been some studies that suggest that women just “naturally” like pink better, and that blue is a color that men prefer innately. Others suggest that the now current color consensus, which appears to have materialized in the 1950s, came from the Nazis branding gays with pink triangles in their concentration camps.

Whatever the reason, the two colors associations may not be set in stone. In fact, there are some indications that pink is making a comeback as a manly color, so stay tuned.

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10 comments on “Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine”

  1. tiffany says:

    pink is a color that came from red which in the color code is alkaline which makes it a masculine color blue is a girl color bc its soft and feminine however over time the world has flipped so much that color is also one of them; so next time u decide to dress ur baby boy in blue well he’s wearing girl colors and vice versa

  2. Christine says:

    It depends. For example, my father – old Finnish man – avoids red because some Finnish people (like me) think it is feminine color.

  3. L........ says:

    I am a man and like to wear pink twin sets.

  4. michelle says:

    well according to my research blue is and has always been a feminine colour, water is feminine and its blue, mother earth is feminine, and shes got alot of blue, blue is also a calming colour which is yin ( feminine) so yes all thise boys out there ate wearing feminine colours, and yes pink is a bright flamboyant colour, its masculine no doubt its yang (masculine) as its so bright and an energetic watered down red which is a fierce colour. so they were right in the old days to give blue to girls and pink to boys.

  5. maria says:

    There have been some studies that suggest that women just “naturally” like pink better, and that blue is a color that men prefer innately.

    makes sense then for girls to wear blue and guys to wear pink if trying to attract the opposite sex

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