Happy Friday friends! Here is Ida’s birth announcement. I wanted to share it all with you, too. I designed it while nursing Ida a few weeks ago–now that’s what I call multi-tasking! Not sure why I chose blue and yellow for the colors. Color has always been an instinctive thing for me–and for some reason, I just don’t feel like pinky pastels suit her! It’s funny because a surprising amount of people have asked us to dress her more ‘girly’–in more ‘pink’ with more little dresses and bows and things–and commented on the colors of the birth announcement. I didn’t realize so many people felt so strongly about colors for babies!
What do you think? Are most people still feeling baby blues for boys and pinky pastels for girls? Are you? Where did these gendered colors come from, anyway? Are these gendered colors cross-cultural? (do other cultures have different colors that they attribute to girls vs. boys? Please share! And if you are from a culture or country outside the U.S. can you share if there are certain colors attribted to baby girls and boys?
Have a super and colorful weekend!
Love the colours. Wouldn’t change a thing. Congrats. BTW, welcome to your new adventure!
Hi there! First of all CONGRATULATIONS to Ida Sky! I am an Ida, too, and I love you picked this name!
I live in Austria, Europe, and we have the same color schemata. Blue for the boys, pink for the girls, and many people still go for that. I wouldn’t, and my sister who has a 11 months old baby girl named Rosa, does not, too. I love that Rosa is sometimes dressed in green and white striped pants with a grey body, and not a sign of pink to be found (we’re not against pink, but there are so many other beautiful colors!!) :)
I wish you all the best!!
Justina Blakeney says
I love that you are also an Ida :D I’m not against pink either–just against anything that’s so stereotypical!
I like them a lot, but gender colours are in the western world pretty set in blue for boy’s and pink for girls. I’ve had serveral causes of wrong gender comments, but then again i refuse to dress her like a little princess. Far as i known in the seventeenhunderds it was vice versa for baby girls light blue and pink or red for boys. Btw greetings from Thorn, Netherlands
Justina Blakeney says
Ha! Me too! Someone called her a ‘hunk’ on instagram the other day. haha!
traditionally, especially when grandma’s were knitting for the babies they used to use yellow because it is believed to protect the baby against neonatal jaundice. pastel blues, pinks and whites are appreciated but i guess the real craze comes when the baby is a toddler, barbies, ben10s, all that disney commercial thing.
gorgeous! i think it’s just so difficult to dress baby girls in anything but pink or purple that people expect to see them in that. i know in getting clothes for my daughter (due nov 2nd!) that people went a little insane with pinks and reds, and my husband basically groaned at the amount of pink in her closet. haha! oh well, the bigger they get the easier it is to dress them in something else. i just wish they sold more cute neutrals. i don’t know how people who don’t find out the sex of their baby stockpile their little wardrobes.
Justina Blakeney says
congrats on your bundle!
paper and type says
your color intuition is always spot on j, & i love that you went with it. the brightness & positivity of yellow is so fitting for a baby (whether boy or girl), plus it carries over from your wedding so nicely! & with a name like ida sky, of course there’s gotta be some blue..!
Justina Blakeney says
indeed!! thanks for the love, V!
hi! well, first of all, the birth announcement is beautiful (and so is your little daughter) and just perfect. it suits the pictures and the name and everything.
second, i have spent far too much time thinking about colours for kids in the last few years. i’m a swede living on an island in the french caribbean, with one boy and one girl. in sweden people tend to stay away from baby pastels nowadays, i think. if you like soft colours you use grey or beige or brown etc, otherwise you go with really bold colours and patterns.any colours. where i live it’s very different though. boys have to be boys and girls have to be girls and that goes for colours, patterns, clothes, rooms, toys, hair, friends, games, attitudes, personality… everything basically. i don’t how many times i’ve been told that my boy has too girly things and my girl too boyish things. but i have to say that it gets even worse now that they’re a bit older and everything is supposed to be princessy for girls and “cool” for boys.
and if you ask them now about their favorite colours they will answer red. both of them ;).
Justina Blakeney says
Thanks so much! it is so interesting how these things vary so much cross-culturally.
Lindsay @ Darling Clementine says
Oh Color. Oh what a discussion.
I have a 3 year old daughter, who literally said when we asked what she wanted for her birthday was “pink” literally nothing specifically just the color. We tried our hardest to stay quite neutral with her when she was born, gorgeous blues, greys, chocolaty browns and pale pale yellows. Alas, pink worked it’s way into our lives as did the daily request for dresses and dresses alone. I happen to think she looks darling in dresses, and baggy cotton pants and slouchy tees all the same. She likes dresses because well, they twirl. And because when it’s Summer in NY I pretty much live in them myself to stay nice and cool.
One thing though… her preschool classmate “boyfriend” said this to her one day ” Juliette you look beautiful today” (heart bursting!) her response? “Why, I’m not wearing a dress!” Oh boy when the teacher told me this I almost broke into tears thinking of my sweet little 3 year old feeling not beautiful…. so we’ve been rotating the wardrobe as much as we can, in fact, we took her clothes shopping and let her pick out new pants & shirts in the hopes she’ll feel beautiful in other things than dresses and skirts.
It’s tough, you want to dress your little ones as you please but trust me it gets tiring saying “oh no, she’s a girl” (or vice versa). It got to a point during year 1 that I didn’t correct folks, just smiled and kept walking. ha.
Ida is gorgeous from the top of her head to the tip of her toes no matter what color she’s wearing.
As I buy for my own shop, Darling Clementine, I strive to offer girls and boys clothes that stay away from color stereotypes as much as I can :)
ps. love the colors of the cards. Xx
Justina Blakeney says
I kinda want the color Pink for my birthday too :P sooo cute. It is amazing, though, how early these gender roles begin forming!!
I love her name, the announcement is just perfect! I live now in US but I’m from Buenos Aires where people, fortunately have tend to use every color for babies and kids. Im all for all of them including grays and even black backgrounds with colored spots. There was no solid baby blue for my now grown up boys :)Just go with your beautiful taste, at least until she starts picking herself :))
Justina Blakeney says
Thank you! I was lucky enough to visit Argentina a couple years back and I loved how colorful EVERYTHING was–so dreamy!
Ida is gorgeous, as is your announcement for her. :) So happy for you!
The color issue has really only become a ‘thing’ in the last 80 or so years, and from what I have read, mostly due to marketing and money to be made. At the turn of the century, all babies and young children wore the same clothes- but when you specify boy vs. girl, companies can sell to those genders (If your first child was a boy and you bought all blue, and then your second child was a girl you would have to reinvest in items instead of just relying on hand-me-downs). Thankfully it seems that people are wising up and a frugal, gender-neutral approach is becoming more common once again. :)
Beautiful announcements! And I always find the colors-for-genders-thing so odd and interesting. I can’t imagine the origin for the pink/blue institution we have in the U.S. but I can tell you that I teach refugees and immigrants from all over the world and my students do not recognize our aesthetics of gender whatsoever when it comes to color. Not only do they dress their boys in pink and girls in blue, they also do not always recognize our gender-dictated fashion aesthetic either. I often see men in my class wearing “obviously-womens” clothes. (I once had a man from Nepal in my class who wore a suit with a pretty Hello Kitty scarf!). I think it’s so interesting that people from other cultures do not “see” things like we do. It’s kind of great to be able to have my norms challenged when I see how they put themselves together! Great post, and many congrats on your sweet daughter! xo natalea
caitlin of wanderlustings says
no way, justina! you do what feels right. i hate when people use stereotypes. it only makes us try to be less like ourselves and try to fit some mold that we honestly never will. i think it’s especially important to teach this to our children.
free to be whatever you want not what everyone else expects.
thank you for this important reminder. ida is gorgeous and those invites are adorable! and you can personalize stamps?! awesome!
A friend told me the other day that her little boy, almost 4, likes pink and purple best of all. I think that’s great. It seems to me that people get more worked up about dressing little girls in pink all the time. My sister didn’t want to dress her daughter all in pink but it has proved hard to find other colors in girl’s clothes while boy’s things are available in a wide range of colors. I think we should un-gender colors.
Love it! Finally took shots of ours, getting ready to share…it is all ivory & grey. I enjoy unexpected colors for babies!
Congratulations, Justina. Ida is absolutely beautiful.
I have a son (Cayson-3) and a daughter (Nora-soon 2), and they get clothes of all colors. Nora’s room is light blue with a yellow crib, and Cayse regularly opts for pink toys, cups, etc.
Unfortunately, don’t be surprised when people put their two-cents in about many other gender-related choices you make. I’ve had to explain to family members that little boys most certainly wear toe nail polish and carry old purses around our house just as little girls play with tools, trucks, and mud. I want my kids to be kids, and limiting them, whether in their color choices or in their creativity, is simply not for me.
Enjoy watching your amazing miracle grow.
Enjoy picking out the colors you like for her while you can, Justina. The day will come soon enough when she will establish her own likes and dislikes in clothing, and you may have very little influence at all in that department! I have two daughters; the oldest was always OK with whatever I picked out, but it didn’t take long to figure out that the little one has a very distinctive taste and a simple rule, namely: whatever Mom likes I dislike, and if Mom despises it, I love it! Thankfully, she and I agree on major issues, so I am more than happy to concede the fashion battle. Wish you the best!
I am not a fan of the pink-for-girls/blue-for-boys divide, in fact I rote a post about it: http://mamalooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/pink-for-girls-blue-for-boys/
until the 1920s or so blue was associated with girls because the Virgin Mary wears a blue shawl/veil, which was considered to be very feminine. Pink was considered to be more masculine because it was a lighter shade of red, a very manly color showing virility and strength. Funny how that got swapped around!
A big congrats on being a mommy!
So interesting to read all the color views. I think the announcements are beautiful and would of never even thought twice about the color. I myself love color, all colors. I did not find out the gender with any of my three kids. I decorated and furnished things the way it suited me and based on gifts and hand me downs and keepsakes I was given. I had a boy first and since I was thrifty my following two daughters dressed in lots of boy clothes, mostly jammies and onesies but they also wore some jeans and overalls and such from my son. I thought they looked cute.
The colors of your announcements and the fact that baby Ida is a girl never even crossed my mind but I can see how other people want the traditional gender colors. I registered for quite a few items before I knew the sex of our baby and most of it was black, gray and a bit of green and orange. I am not a fan of baby blue and even less a fan of what I call “baby girl pink”. Alas, I received a ton of baby blue blankets and clothing at my shower. They just can’t help themselves, lol. I say dress your little one how you want to. She will being to express herself soon enough and she may end up being traditionally girly. Or not. Whatevs!
Jackie McCullough says
I’m from New Zealand and pink makes me vomit. Your colours are awesome. I have three boys and when I am doing craft stuff for/about them I will often challenge myself to add some more “feminine” accents to mix it up a little and break those stupid stereotypes. I used to dress them in red a lot when they were babies and they were often mistaken for girls. Oh well. I much prefer the non-traditional approach and if there was any way to remove pink from this world I would be :)
Briana Anabtawi says
Hi Justina, I love the birth announcement card, very sweet, little Ida is a beauty. I’m a relatively new mum to a little girl Eden, and am returning to work tomorrow after 11 glorious months off with our doll, such a special time. I’m currently living in the UK and EVERYTHING is either pink or blue. Very boring! I am steering clear of the typical as much as possible as I figure she has plenty of time to choose pink all by herself. My favourite colour is yellow so of course her wardrobe and toys reflect this. Such a happy joyous colour though. And as all her toys are a unisex colour it’s no problem if we have another bubba in future who happens to be a boy. A good sharing colour! Enjoy this special time. x
Your daughter is beautiful!! She would look gorgeous in any color. But I must say I get tired of seeing little girls in all-pink, too. It seems unimaginative. However I should bite my tongue… I just decorated for a party for my two-month-old for my niece, using a shades-of-pink color scheme… oh well at least I threw in some vibrant orange for contrast!
The gender-assignment and assumption/stereotyping stuff does slip in early. I went to a friends house to visit with her and her ten-month-old baby boy, and she commented that her son loved his trucks and a basketball-backboard toy he had been given, it must be a in-built masculine trait! I said I didn’t know about that, but that I couldn’t think of any girl-babies of my acquaintance who had been given sport-related or car-related toys, it was mainly all dolls and non-gender-specific noisemakers. She laughed and agreed it would be hard for her son to play with dolls he didn’t have.
You know I love to comment on these types of posts because you always ask such interesting questions and I always seem to have so much to say~ I’m sure someone has covered what I’m saying, but I thought I’d give my insight here, not only as a Fine Arts major but as a Visual Anthropology major! Color assignment to a child is a social construct. This is obvious to you and me, but apparently it’s not obvious to some people, because I’ve spent hours not only explaining that men wear pink in other cultures (SHOCK!), but that there is a difference between sex and gender (double SHOCK!!!). Anyway, I’ve read/learned that an older tradition was for boys to wear pink, and girls to wear blue, because pink is a derivative of red and a more powerful color (and therefore more masculine), and blue is a more “angelic” and “pure” color, an attribute people seem to enjoy ascribing to girls. But, for the most part, girls and boys dressed the same until they were older children. These facts are what bothered me so much about the outrage people had for that family that decided not to engender their children! However, I don’t worry much about engendering or not engendering my daughter. I enjoy buying her fun clothes and giving her “girly” things, but she also has cars and tools and if she wanted to wear something with a football on it, I wouldn’t think twice, and I will do the same if/when I have a boy. I will, however, have a really hard time graciously accepting any gift with the word “princess” on it. For the most part, I just don’t over think it. Just go with your gut, like your color combos!
Silvia Peña says
Hola Justina! Que hermosa tu beba y me encanto su nombre Ida Sky, ya tiene 2 meses. También me gusta mucho tu blog y la deco de tu hogar. Beso grande desdeMontevideo Uruguay. Silvia
Kate Ball says
Pink.. pink.. pink. It drives me crazy. I recently read this article by Sue Palmer. Fascinating speaker on how materialistic marketing infiltrates from the day the little ones emerge into the world. Gorgeous pictures and gorgeous articles as always. Thanks :-) http://www.suepalmer.co.uk/modern_childhood_articles_why_pink.php
Jesyca Ball says
I love your birth announcements, and Ida is precious! I love yellow for either girls or boys, and the blue is a pretty almost gray color…it doesn’t scream boy [or girl for that matter]. Gray and yellow is a favorite color combination of mine :) I love your work and your photos, keep the pretty coming!
I read somewhere recently that before the 18th century Pink was for boys and Blue for girls. Would be an interesting study.
Just found you and loving what you do. I am from Australia and the blue/pink deal is the popular theme here too. I have just given some handmade goodies to some friends with new babies and they loved the fact that i steered clear of the traditional colours. Stick to your guns and use the colours that inspire you and suit your sweetie. Louise :)
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