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February 26, 2005



I was surprised at how gender-conscious I became when I was pregnant. Before I got pregnant I thought "Oh, not gonna find out the sex, not me. And everything will be green and yellow." Well, that lasted until the first ultrasound, when the penis was found. And then all of a sudden everything had to be blue, with trucks and tractors and other "manly" things. Now, when people call our 7 month old son "she," I think, "Don't you see all of the MANLY BLUE THINGS surrounding this child?" But he has these big dark eyes with long lashes, so maybe that's why people get confused. In latin america and other cultures they pierce the girl's ears when she's born so people can tell the difference. I'm not sure how I'd feel about that if I had a girl. I'm not sure how I'd feel about pink either.


Great, well-written post. I absolutely loved reading it. I am the exact opposite. My bestfriend put on my shower invites to not buy pink because I hated it. I want a girl who plays flag football, field hockey, and can outshoot any man on the court. self-esteem is SOOOO important.

So even without the bows and ribbons, my Isabelle will be holding up the woman self-esteem banner on the other side :)


My daughter doesn't wear pink exclusively, but she has a fair amount of "girly" clothes at one year old. (We're very into animal prints, in addition to the frilly sparkly stuff). But your daughter's response about why she feels beautiful reminded me of a story about my niece from when she was about four.

Whenever Katie was unhappy, my brother would ask if she was sad. If she said yes, he would ask why she was sad. One day when she was bouncing off the walls, he asked "Are you happy?"
"Why are you happy?"
"Because I love myself!"

It took me more than 30 years to figure out that that's what makes you happy, and I still sometimes have trouble remembering it.


What a wonderful post, and it has given me so much to think about. My daughter just turned one, and I have so many hopes and dreams for her.

A story I want to share with her someday:

At my tenth high school reunion, I found myself talking to Penny, the girl who was the prettiest and most popular and the one whom I most envied. One day we were in the bathrooms together, and she went in the stall and didn't make any noise! I was blown away - almost literally, her shit didn't stink! As a self-conscious dork, I had just found one more area that I didn't measure up in. When, at the reunion with my hard won adult confidence and all those years behind us, I told her this story, she told me that she used to hold her pee in until the other person flushed because she was so shy of being heard. She admired people who could just do their thing! She remembered that I was artistic and creative and punk and funny and had always wished she had more freedom to be the person she wanted to be, instead of what everyone expected her to be.

I often think of her, because her perspective that day changed my memory of myself.


I was definitely the girl who disliked pink and disliked anything girly especially skirts and dresses. And wouldn't you know, now I truly enjoy pink. But perhaps that's because the Belly is going to be a girl. This was a great post --- it has me thinking of what I will tell my daughter and how I will encourage her. From my own memory, I remember feeling pretty and confident as a girl and then feeling awkward and shy as a teenager. But then when I went to college and found my first job and got married, I felt beautiful again. I think it's a natural kind of phase to go through those teenage years. But as long as family and friends are supportive, she will know deep down that someone loves her and thinks she is beautiful!

mary beth

What a wonderful article! My daughter's 14 going on 40 or 4 depending on the day. Sometimes it's so easy to be negative. I needed this reminder of how important it is to make her feel special and wonderful and beautiful.
Thank you Suzanne!


Sigh. All boys. But you know, I think one thing that is cool these days is that a girl can be a pink sparkly girly girl...or a denim and pearls...or denim and a flannel shirt.

Great comments regarding a young girl's self esteem. And I love your daughter's answer to what makes her feel beautiful.

Teresa H

What a beautiful article Suzanne! I only had a son so I missed out on the pretty pink glittery things, but I had a load of fun learning about sports...mainly football! *G*

Sylvia Day

This is a beautiful post, Suzanne. I also had two sons before having a daughter and I was desperate for all things pink, pretty, and sparkly. All of her outfits, blankets, accessories, EVERYTHING was pink. At 3 yrs old she still likes pink, pretty, princess-y things and I too pray that she will maintain her pure, natural confidence for the rest of her life. I try to help her with this by complimenting her on things other than her physical beauty (though like you, I don't hold back on that either). I tell her she's smart, funny, sweet, silly, a great singer and dancer, etc. She knows already that she's a complete package and not just a pretty exterior. :D


Lillianna and I will shop with you and your daughter any day of the week.
I do let Lillianna wear clear lip gloss when she asks but that's as far as I go with make-up outside the home.She is only 7.
As for pink,I am typing this while wearing a pink shirt,rose quartz earrings and a matching rose quartz ring. I LOVE PINK!! At 42,I am still a pink girly girl.
Lillianna is a girly girl and although she wears a lot of pink,I buy her a lot of purple/lavender because that is my very favorite color. She likes it too!!
A while back I wrote about Lillianna wanting pink sparkle shoes when we went to the shoe store and I bought them cuz you're only young once!!!! If they had them in my size I would've bought myself a pair!!
This was an awesome post,Suzanne and the moms of pink sparkly girls salute you!!


Great entry Suzanne! In one of Sarah Ban Breathnach's books, she recommends that women place a picture of themselves at age 10 where they'll see it every day. Because that's before, for many of us, all the self-esteem issues begin, and it's a way to remember/honor ourselves as we were then. Ever since I've had a frame on my dresser that holds three photos of myself taken in a photo booth at a local amusement park when I was 8. I'm so glad I pulled it out and gave it a special place.


Suzanne, I don't have children but was deeply touched by what you wrote. Self-esteem in women, especially those growing up in today's world, is a hot topic with me. Powerful article. Powerful message. Thank you for sharing.


What a beautiful, touching post. I grew up wanting daughters, I couldn't WAIT to have daughters, I write about women in my novels, and finally, finally, I was blessed with three wonderful girls of my own. And I dressed them all in pink ... mostly because they never had any hair and I wanted everyone to know they were girls, LOL!


I love looking in the girls' clothing section at the store because I don't have a girl. I love buying girl gifts for my friends' daughters because I LOVE girl stuff, even though I was a total tomboy growing up. If I had a girl, she'd have all kinds of fun, girly, pinky, princess stuff. And if she ended up wanting to play with trucks and wear boy clothes, then that's okay, too. Dressing her like a girl until she's old enough to decide for herself certainly isn't going to hurt anything! :)

Great post, Suzanne!


I don't have any kids, but if I did have a girl she'd have to inherit my love of pink. I love, love, love pink! (And lavender.) I've always loved girly colors. (Even when my mom dressed me in red and green, I wanted PINK!!!!)


My daughter is ten months old and she is currently wearing purple with pink flowers. She is a real go-getter, and I have a feeling that whether she's wearing pink sparklies or blue denim, she'll get whatever she wants. It's fun to have a girl and share the girly things. I look forward to the day when we can go dress shopping for homecoming, Prom, you name it. And the first day she tries on make-up.

But no matter what she wears or how she looks, she'll always be beautiful to me.


This is an excellent take on parenting a girl, and written with such insight. It made me think! And it also made me feel, and it was fun to read. What more could a person ask for?


Since Miss Pink (yes, that is her nom de blog) is only four months old, I can't answer your question, but it's one that weighs upon me an awful lot. My husband and I are really dedicated to raising a confident, self-assured girl and I hope that we are able to succeed. In the meantime, it's pink and sparkly all the way!


Great article, Suzanne. Love it!!!

No daughters here :sigh: I do love my boys, but there's just something about little girls in pink frilly dresses and ribbons in their hair ...

As for building self-esteem, all we can do is to ensure our children, boys and girls, know they are SPECIAL, that they are capable of doing anything their hearts desire, and that they are LOVED unconditionally.


This article touched my heart - Right now I have four little girls between the ages of 2 and 10 within arms reach of me. One is mine, three are much beloved nieces who are spending the weekend. They are all girly-girls, pink and pretty and sparkly and wonderful.
The biggest thing, I've always felt, is to let each of my kids, girls, boys, nieces, whatever, know that I am thrilled out of my gourd they are in my life, that I am so lucky to have the opportunity to know them and that I love them madly with no reservations.

Knowing someone thinks you can do anything, who supports you and thinks you are marvelous gives a solid base from which to launch. What better can you do?


Love it, love it! IF I had ever had a girl it would have looked like somebody had thrown Pepto Bismal all over their room! And pass me some sparklies, please...

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