This piece of folklore is something that is widely known across the country, if not the entire world. My informant is a pregnant woman, and works and lives in the Los Angeles area. When asking her about folk practices that she takes part in regarding her baby during pregnancy, she said that she is waiting to find out whether it is a boy or a girl so she can find out whether to paint the baby’s room pink or blue, get it pink or blue blankets, or get it pink or blue clothing.
When I asked my informant where she got this notion of baby boys being ‘blue’ and baby girls being ‘pink’, she simply said “it’s everywhere”. We all have grown up in a society where that’s just how it is. Popular culture, magazines, movies, and more all exhibit that this is just how it is and how it’s always been.
“The other day”, she said “I was watching the sequel to Father of the Bride”, and they were creating the baby’s room. She was going to be a girl, and they showed the room and it was “all pink, pink walls, pink furniture, pink stuffed animals, pink everything!” she said. It got her thinking about it, and solidified the fact that she would have to do this for her child if she wanted it to have a ‘normal upbringing’.
When I asked her how she believed that this notion and tradition started, she just said that it’s probably in human nature. Blue looks like a more masculine color, and obviously, pink is feminine she said. When I asked her why blue and pink rather than any other colors, she said that she wasn’t sure. “Maybe they’re just the most inherently masculine and feminine colors” she said.
I believe that this tradition started because, like my informant said, blue and pink are the most inherently masculine and feminine colors there are. I remember reading of a study saying that men are more naturally attracted to blue, while women are more attracted to pink. I believe that this tradition stuck on, and is now a big part of our popular culture and traditions of a baby.
Annotation: Father of The Bride Part II (1995), Movie.