Boys can like pink too

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

“Why do I have to dress in green and blue and grey, when I love red and pink and purple?” These are the words from 9 year old Ace, son of UK TV presenter Emma Willis.

Emma admits on national TV she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the reaction to her son wearing pink – ‘He’s just my son in a pink top.’

Stereotyping pink

We have this cultural belief that pink is for girls and blue for boys which isn’t helped by manufacturers and marketers ingraining this belief into us by creating everything imaginable pink for baby girls and blue for baby boys.

So let’s clear something up. There is no such thing as gender colours. This is a myth – just clever marketing. And while we’re at it, there’s no such thing as gender neutral colours either.

Over the years I’ve had many people come to me saying their son likes pink and should they be worried. I ask them one simple question – if they hug and cuddle their son? They say of course! My reply is always – when you hug and cuddle your son, if that was a colour, it would be pink.

Psychology of pink

When we look at the positive psychological traits of pink, it’s the colour that expresses compassion, nurturing, caring and empathetic love. This is not the exclusive domain of little girls or women. Empathetic love is just as much for boys as it is for girls, and is just as easily expressed by men as it is by women.

So here we are in 2021, more boys are embracing pink which is great and yet parents, like Emma, are finding themselves having to explain their son’s colour choice.

It seems the moment a boy wears pink, it’s as if a colour crime has been committed.

I’ve long been a supporter of pink for everyone even in those ‘pink stinks’ campaign days when the colour was absolutely vilified. Yes, you could say I’m ‘seeing red’ about how pink is still seen as a no go colour for boys.

Colour is emotion. It’s something we feel.

We are emotional beings and colour helps connect us to our emotions. We can express how we are feeling through colour without having to say a word. Children love colour, just watch them paint, draw, colouring in, they love to experiment, explore and have fun. Telling a child their colour choices are wrong is telling them to not trust their own instincts and their own decisions.

I just love that Emma lets her son express himself through colour. She sums it up beautifully ‘For me that’s normality. He loves colour, he’s always had long hair, he’s a free and able-minded boy.”

It’s time for a major overhaul in the attitudes of those aiming pink exclusively at girls and letting the boys in.

So yes, Boys can like pink and if Acer is anything to go by, they love it!

What are your thoughts on pink? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Extracts from The Little Book of Colour

Source article:

Emma supports My Boy Can project, a great initiative which aims to support boys towards a positive male gender.

Other pink related articles
Pink used as pawn in ‘aggressive gender segregation’
Why women need to reclaim their relationship with pink
Who ignited our love affair of pink?
Embrace the feel good power of pink

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

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