There is an interesting article in Times 2 today, really as a result of the birth of our new Princess, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Diana. It is all about the stereotyping of boys and girls and I do so totally agree with every word of it, so I am going to attempt to give you my views. It will be difficult not just to paraphrase the article, but I will do my best.
For the last couple of decades or so little girls seem to have been conditioned to wear pink. Now that we have a new princess I have no doubt at all that within a week or so all the shops selling clothes for babies and little girls will be absolutely choked with pinkness. Look at how when the Duchess of Cambridge wears an 'off the peg' dress rather than a designer number, the shops sell out of that particular number within a couple of hours. There is absolutely no accounting for the daftness of women sometimes.
So it is to be hoped that they will resist the temptation to dress her in that girly pink. Yesterday in the ice cream parlour I noticed a little girl of around six or seven in a bright pink and white spotted
dress, which could only be described as a party dress. She was wearing it with silver shoes and her hair was tied up with bright pink ribbons. I am sure she had deliberately chosen to wear that outfit (I tried to imagine my own mother giving in to my desires to wear anything other than what had been put out for me to wear on a specific day!!). To add to that her finger nails were already pink-polished.
I just don't remember anything like this when I was a child. Clothes-rationing and lack of money contributed largely to what we all wore. School uniform came first, then the new best frock for the Sunday School Anniversary and then a new Winter coat (I would always have grown out of last year's). My mother had, as it happens, a hatred of pink, so my best dress was never pink, and never pretty and frilly(which I always wanted). I particularly remember one green and white striped linen dress with a detachable white collar, which I wore with white shoes and with a straw boater hat with a green ribbon. (oh, how I longed for a straw bonnet, such as was fashionable in those days - one with flowers round the brim). She always told me I was not a bonnet kind of girl - I suppose she was right, or I was conditioned to believe it, because I have never worn those kinds of clothes since.
Baby Charlotte will be brought up as a country child at their new home on the Sandringham estate. Hopefully she will be brought up in dungarees and wellies and mixing with horses and dogs. if the young couple follow that line then hopefully the fascination with pink for a girl and with silly girly clothes will fade for ever. Princess Anne managed it with her daughter Zara; let's hope that the young couple follow suit.