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Pink Stinks is an non-profit organisation started by Abi and Emma Moore, advocating the ending of stereotyping in toys, clothes, media and games marketed to girls. Its slogan, "There's more than one way to be a girl" speaks to the ways in which commodities marketed to girls reinforce the idea that they should be pretty, passive and obsessed with shopping, fashion and make-up. Pink Stinks argues that the universality of pink as a girl's colour discourages the development of diverse notions of what it means to be a girl.
Pink as a girl's colour
The history of pink as a gender stereotypical girl's colour is quite an interesting one. Despite the current consensus being "pink for girls, blue for boys", boys traditionally wore pink in Europe, and the "pinkification" of girls has been a recent phenomenon.
Right up until 1927, when Princess Astrid of Belgium decorated her baby's room pink, only to find (shock horror!) that she had actually given birth to a girl, and that she should have decorated her baby's room blue. And in 1921, the Women's Institute for Domestic Science in Pennsylvania endorsed pink for boys, blue for girls. Part of the reason that blue was associated with girls may have been due to the Virgin Mary being seen traditionally in blue, but there are a variety of theories as to why historically, blue has been considered a girl's colour, and pink a boy's colour.
One common stereotype for gay men is that they are all effeminate. This has been offered as a reason as to why gay men were given a pink triangle to wear in the Holocaust. Although nobody knows why the switchover occurred, it does appear to have been after the Second World War.
Campaign against ELC
In Christmas 2009, Abi and Emma Moore "denounce[ed] the oceans of pink on show at the Early Learning Centre", to a mixed reception. This led the Pink Stinks campaign to catapult into popularity. As The Grauniad put it: "...all hell broke loose. PinkStinks has since featured in hundreds of television and newspaper reports, in 22 countries around the world, from Argentina to South Africa – and not always in a good way. In Britain, one paper derided the Moore sisters as "dour and humourless feminists". Another was considerably ruder. Sky News had presenter Nina Myskow dress entirely in pink to interview them and even the BBC World Service, says Abi, wanted to put them up against Zandra Rhodes."
- The power of pink. The Guardian. 12 December 2009.
- Pink Stinks - About Us.
- Although that doesn't really matter, as "boys" were originally called "knave girls", and girls called "gay girls" (not to be confused with modern lesbians) – "boy" historically was a term designated for waiters, like garçon. From QI
- When Blue Meant Yellow. pp. 20 -21, quoted here
- Colormatters - Pink