A gender stereotype parody: Pretty in pink

I don’t believe in gender stereotypes.

Our oldest son, Isaac, was obsessed with all things pink between the ages of two and four.

His favourite item of clothing was a pink jumper. Whenever we took him to the hairdresser’s, he would have his nails done in pink at the same time. He even had a brief ballet phase when he watched Angelina Ballerina obsessively and could perform a mean demi-pointe.

He denies it all now, of course. But even so, he’s not what you would call ‘a boys’ boy’. (Whatever that actually is.) And that’s no bad thing. He is what he is: not particularly sporty or boisterous; thoughtful and sensitive; academic and geeky; immersed in a world of Minecraft.

During Isaac’s pink phase most of our friends were incredibly supportive, admiring his nails and buying him pink accessories for his birthday. But every now and then we’d hear a dismissive comment from someone (“oh, he’ll soon grow out of it”), something suitably disparaging about our parenting approach (“you shouldn’t encourage that sort of thing”) or some doom-laden warning that he might turn out to be gay.

To which my usual response would be that (a) he was only two/three years old, (b) we were neither encouraging nor discouraging him but allowing him to feel comfortable about exploring his own preferences and (c) so what if he turns out to be gay, you great bigoted oaf? (I may have expressed that last point slightly more politely in reality.)

Anyhow, seeing as last month’s parody Won’t You (Buy Something For Me) harked back to an Eighties Brat Pack film starring Molly Ringwald, I thought I’d do the same again this month with my version of the title track from Pretty in Pink, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

So here is my musical reflection on Isaac’s pink phase. The usual warnings about my less-than-perfect pitch still apply …

Pretty In Pink

Little Boy loves to dress up in pink clothes
And likes to watch Angelina
He’s comfortable with his feminine side
Means nothing to a three-year-old
He twirls himself round and he smiles and he laughs
Innocence and it’s all pure child’s play
He loses himself in his fun and his games
Doesn’t mean that he’s going to be gay

He’s pretty in pink
Isn’t he?
Pretty in pink
Isn’t he?

The other mothers all talk of the boy
The example that they’d never set
Red, blue or purple
Should he wear something not pink?
The ones who insist it’s okay, that it’s fine
Are the first to apportion the blame
He’s walking around showing off painted nails
They all smile but the frown’s the same

Pretty in pink
Isn’t he?
Pretty in pink
Isn’t he?

Little Boy comes home from preschool one day
He says, “Don’t like pink any more”
He tells us it’s for girls and now prefers blue
Those clothes dumped on the floor
He wears a Minecraft T-shirt
Now says that he never liked pink
It never occurred
He denies it all, it makes you think

Pretty in pink
Wasn’t he?
Pretty in pink
Wasn’t he?

And here is the video for the original Psychedelic Furs track.

Parenting parodies

Thatcham Rhapsody (to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody)

Toilet Trained (to the tune of Wonderwall)

Fairytale of Thatcham (to the tune of Fairytale of New York)

Kids in Cars (to the tune of Life on Mars)

Won’t You (Buy Something For Me) (to the tune of Don’t You (Forget About Me))


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