What is PinkStinks?

PinkStinks is a campaign and social enterprise that challenges the ‘culture of pink’ which invades every area of girls’ lives. We focus on providing real role models who will inspire and motivate girls to achieve great things based on ability and effort and not how you look.

PinkStinks t-shirts

PinkStinks t-shirts

47 responses to “What is PinkStinks?

  1. You can buy our t-shirts now – use the link on the left hand side and support our campaign.

  2. Guys, are you going to organise letter writing campaigns and “tell your friends” type activism, etc?

    • Hi there – yes we have a programme of work which we are currently putting together so please watch for updates on our blog and on our main site. We’ve just got our first piece of funding so things will be moving along as a result of that!

  3. Hi all,
    I heard an interview with one of you in the radio this morning (sorry didn;’t get your name). I suggest that you make this more about real role models and society trying to peg girls to a distorted self image than a campaign against the colour pink (some listeners text back and all they heard was that this was against the pink colour in toys. Concentrate more on the role models and the fight agains ‘pinkfication’ of girls than on colour of toys, it’s my view, and you’ll get a whole lot more people interested.
    Well done for the initiative.
    Another request, please put a link to Comments or Contact us in the home page 😉

    All the best

  4. Hi just caught the piece on channel 5 news about you campain and Im note sure if you were mis-repressented at all but as a father of hour young girls I have to tell that they do all seems ot like pink. This not becuase any of them a stupid, brain washed or pastic. I dont like Pink and would rather at least one of them liked trainsets but theyre not made that way. I appreactaite you campagin website makes some seroius and improtant points about poopr role modles and sterio types offered by media and pop culture for young girls but the pink stinks campaign is going to miss the point and trun it into a serficail argument about colour.
    I would also like to point out that contary to your t-shirts all little girls are princesses and have every right to be treated as one.

    Thank you for time.

  5. Hi,
    Whilst I agree with all the issues raised about gender stereotyping / toys/clothes and have spent a working lifetime challenging such assumptions I am very sorry you have chosen the strap line ‘Pink Stinks ‘as this is a negative. (Blue is Poo?)
    Choice is what all youngsters need and to understand that if given a real choice pink (or blue )is your favourite colour it does not have to define you.

    I would prefer a campaign to reclaim pink for assertive girls who know they can do anything!

  6. I worry that a campaign against gender roles will have the reverse affect. I am actually yelled at now for wanting to settle down and have a family instead of a career. In May I will graduate with a mechanical engineering degree, and have been told that wasting my talent is immature. I learned to use a circular saw when I was 6 years old. I know more about home repair and tools then most grown men, yet I more thoroughly enjoy sewing and scrapbooking. Evils of society, I think not. As women we have been blessed with things men don’t have, and to make me feel guilty for wanting to use my life to fulfill my dreams of being a family instead of making money to fulfill what a small group now want society to be. Its upsetting knowing that I can’t be pretty and smart at the time, and no man will say that to me, its women trying to beat the system who say that.

  7. Great! I have always hated pink because its relation to feminin role. I’ve never weared it since I have found out that it is a colour that fits me. And I have turned 50. I strongly belief that girls should not be educated as girls. Pink is a nice colour but girls look terrific in blue!

  8. Great site. I work part time with young people and it never ceases to amaze me how many young girls are decked out in pink. Like an army! Companies should take the bulk of the blame here as they want us to buy into their vision of what we should be. If anyone is interested there is a film called Mickey Mouse Monopoly which looks at Disneys role in this. here is the link
    http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/educational/watch/v15800022cezMt3D6

    Also check out Aldous Huxley’s film ‘ Brave New World’ which is a great film about manipulation.

  9. Hi, I ‘m a 19-year old girl from Milan.

    Have you heard what is happening in Italy right now? Just guess that our Minister for Gender Opportunities used to work as a showgirl…

    I do appreciate what you are doing!
    Go on! 🙂

  10. I haven’t heard the radio interview or seen any footage on TV, a colleague was talking about this issue and I have to say it has piqued my interest. I have a 5 year old son and we frequent toys r us quite often, the only evidence I see – in store – of ‘pinkification’ is the aisle for ‘girls only’ which is very, very pink. The rest of the store is non gender specific, children of both sexes can play with computer games, lego, figures, dolls (soft and pose-able) electronics, bikes, sports equipment etc etc etc. In a way the fact that the girls have their own aisle is MORE of an issue regarding sex and role models than anything else. It is NOT the responsibility of the store OR the manufacturer of the toys to create strong role models for the sexes, it is the parent.

  11. Mia madre non era una principessa, io non sono una principessa, mia figlia non sarà una principessa.

    Grazie per il vostro impegno!

  12. hi,
    personally I think you should be concentrating more on the type of clothes that are out there rather than the colour. I’ve seen mini skirts for 3 year olds and ridiculous low cut tops for primary school age children, and there’s plenty out there that isn’t pink. besides, if you look in the annals of history, pink was originally a boys colour, being a watered down version of red.

  13. What scientific basis is there that pink causes harm to young women?

    Am i missing something obvious?

  14. Gosh there are some really ignorant people commenting on this site e.g. ‘all little girls are princesses’ as if to prove the point. I really support your campaign. I don’t have a daughter but when pregnant, was really worried about having a daughter who would be immersed in this pink/princess/glitter fairy culture. The whole pink thing is a symptom of a more serious, deeper problem, and your website obviously recognises this. I hope that by the time I do have a little girl, things may have changed and she can feel normal if she wants to climb trees and make lego space ships like I did.

  15. Don’t ban pink! Celebrate more colours. If a girl doesn’t like pink thats fine they don’t have to. But a number of girls DO like pink! If you think the shops are to pink introduce more colours.

  16. I have four girls. I hate pink. I hate girly stuff. BUT these girls love pink. They love to dress up. They like to play with Barbies. Girls are like that. Get a clue. They also love baseball, video games, trains, and making gross jokes. Please don’t be overbalanced and degrade girls for being a different species than boys. I thought like you did until I walked many miles in the shoes…. Peace.

  17. Hi Ladies, I think you are onto something here. I have a son who’s 3 and a daughter who’s 15 months and we don’t have any ‘pink’ toys (actually coloured pink or styled for a girl) in the house (yet). My husband and I feel strongly that Artemis (our daughter) should be not be encouraged down the ‘princess route’ and I love that you have started to make a stand. I am writing a book called “MOTHERS WORK” which is a helpful guide to making going back to work, work. Like you, I want to encourage females to live and develop themselves in an ‘unlimited’ way. I’m off to buy the t-shirts now.

  18. I would like to get your newsletter but am not a member (and never will be) of Facebook. So how can I still get it?

  19. I do not understand what harm this is causing society. I feel there are many real social issues that need to be addressed, without inventing fictitious ones. Seems a little absurd if you ask me.

  20. There are more worrying things in this world for children than a COLOUR. There are children starving, child prostitution, pedophiles etc etc. Yes, children must be different. Pink is a colour not always personality and if they do like pink thats fine, why cant they? Is it harmful? No. Its a colour. I cant stress enough that its just a colour. Every one is different. Boycotting a colour is pathetic. Let’s be honest here. Pink isnt going to determine whether a child is going to be a money hungry vain tyrant. There is more to life, but if they can’t figure it out themselves then a website stating “pink stinks” isnt going to be much use.

  21. Way to miss the point. It’s not pink per se. If society’s official “girl colour” were orange or green or blue, it would be the exact same problem.

  22. Pink is just the tip of the iceberg, the whole sexualisation of children (boys and girls) is appalling. It is a reflection of society’s obsessions – beauty at all costs, chasing false dreams which are fuelled by the vacuous celebrity culture and all the selling opportunities this provides for companies. On my walk to school now I even have to walk past a bus shelter ad promoting Durex products – what kind of world is this for children to grow up in? What kind of messages are we giving our children?

    I’ll get off my soap box…

  23. I am so glad to hear about your campaign I thought I was on my own with this idea. What ever happened to red? I really feel that it is important our young children should decide for themselves on colour and not be brainwashed into thinking there are only 2 colours in existance. We also have tried to avoid plastic toys in the name of eco/space saving /and good design ethics and surprisingly you don’t find the pink and blue issue comes up so much! Good luck

  24. Fabíola Evelyn

    Boa Tarde pessoal! Chegou até no Brasil….
    Chega dessa coisinha de rosa, é como se essa cor tivesse monopolizando tudo e a todos. É incrivel como nos dias de hoje crianças são baseadas na cor rosa, sem contar com os preços subindo cada vez mais para essas pecinhas engraçadinhas.
    Eu sou super contra essa historia de que meninas tem a cor rosa como um simbolo.

    Abaixo o Rosa!!!

    De: Fabíola Evelyn Santana, Brasil- Bauru ( SP )

  25. What is wrong with girls growing up with the ideal that they will marry a prince? My daughter deserves a man who knows how to be chivalrous and would fight a dragon for her love. To me that is the type of love I hope she finds in life, and I want her to want that for herself and not settle for some idiot who treats her badly (as so many women do) or feel that she needs to step outside of her own comfort level to win he approval of a man…there are no princesses who do that. She should know how a lady is suppose to be treated by a gentleman. To me, watching princesses is great for her. I was into princesses as well and I did marry my prince who treats me better than I could have dreamed — how many women can say that? This has nothing to do with being her own person and an independent woman. Why do people assume that girls who like princesses are one dimensional?

    Feminism needs to get a grip. There is nothing wrong with a lady being treated like a lady. I also have a son who I would also like to watch the princess movies and to learn how girls deserve to be treated so he can be a strong and brave man and treat his own wife like a princess one day.

  26. Alexandra Riboni

    A Haiku for you…

    Pink Stinks!
    Blue is Poo…too.
    Green was always my favorite Colour!

    Love,
    Alex (Alexandra as in a girl!)

  27. I collaborate regularly with this Italian news website: http://sintesi.us

    Your blog is always a nice source of inspiration and a breath of fresh air 🙂

  28. I agree with Jo. It’s not about the colour it’s about the style. We need all the colours of the rainbow. Many girls like the idea of princesses because they may have been read fairy-tales. There is nothing wrong with little girls liking princesses. It’s a sweet phase they go through. What I don’t like is when they miss the point of princesses by turning the princesses into spoilt brat. Princesses are supposed to be brave, true and great leaders. Not to mention kind and adventurous. Pink is a beautiful colour. Have you ever heard of breast cancer awareness??? Or perhaps flowers and love hearts.

  29. Jo’s right pink did actually used to be a boys colour. It’s just a pale red.

  30. The title pinkstinks sounds a bit immature. It also makes other people judge your campaign by the name.

  31. Dear Kat (similar name, TOTALLY different outlook),

    it’s a shame you are missing the point so completely. Yup, flowers!!! Darn,why hadn’t I thought of this symbol of feminine uselessness?! can’t move can’t defend itself, smells nice. FACEPALM.

    • yeah, i was just a kid when i wrote that. didn’t know much about the campaign, just going by what I’d heard from other people

  32. Hi. Poor pink! Being picked on for being mixed – half red, half white!! As a designer who, heaven forbid, wears pink lipgloss and sometimes uses pink in, gasps, glossy marketing material, I think pink is much maligned. It is a key base colour in skin tone for a great proportion of the population and quite a popular colour choice for inside of mouths/tonsils, bodily organs etc. So I think it has its uses. Your name is a bit misleading and I agree that you can be a powerful, creative, dynamic female – and let’s say it – still like wearing lipstick, girly clothes and pink underwear. But I agree, clothing is extremely provocative – but just don’t buy it.

    • It never fails to surprise me how people are so offended by our name! It’s done us proud so we like it. And guess what. Sometimes I wear pink too! SHOCK HORROR Whatever next?!

  33. I have two girls who are both a bit pink here and there. I have a few godsons and a nephew who run around turning everything into a hand grenade or machine gun and then killing anything in sight.
    Is it because of the shops that girls and boys do this? Or is it a natural biological tendency? Very hard to tell in this day and age. Look at the adverts on Milkshake? They couldn’t be more gender specific if they tried. Looking at the comments above I swing from agreeing to every comment to disagreeing to every comment! Every one has a valid opinion – free choice – love pink if you love pink! don’t sexualise the kids! sort the designers out! don’t stereotype clothing and toys! girls ARE princesses! boys ARE mini-soldiers! etc etc- I most definitely think that PinkStinks has many valid points though and I agree with their philosophy of trying to balance out and calm down the marketing mania has which swallowed the joy of childhood development and mystery… I think just raising awareness about the possible overloading is so important – for all parents out there, however brilliant they may be!

  34. Hi.

    I have just stumbled upon your website, because guess what, I was looking for – a pink globe for my daughter’s 4th birthday! Thanks for the link to ELC by the way.

    Now I am the Mother of a daughter who has so many ‘tom boy’ tendencies, but who in turn loves the colour pink. Imogen will spend her time digging in the garden, building trainsets, making castles and then happily settle down to put her birthday wish list together with a ‘pink globe’ as number 1 item!!! She loves the princes in movies as much as the princesses and would happily dress up as a pirate (be it space or sea) or Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet (there is a good role model for you, no pinkness in sight) as readily as putting on pretend make-up and a frilly skirt out of her dressing up box.

    Do you not think that it is up to parents to give a measured reality to children. Imogen has no issue with colour, gender, disabilities, because I am doing my best to just bring up a rounded, peaceful, caring, sharing individual. I am sure I have and will make many mistakes along the way, but it is my responsibility to purchase toys for my daughter, be they pink, green, blue, gender specific or not. As for blaming the advertising and merchandising, how about freedom of choice? We don’t have to buy it, but I don’t think we need to boycot it. And as for fighting it, I think that also suggests a desire to control as strong as you percieve of those you are against.

    These are my initial thoughts on a brief look at the website, I have no intention of offending, as I am sure in other areas you are working for the greater good.

    Kind regards

  35. Jeremy Davies

    What some of your correspondents seem not to be getting is the extent to which consumer culture has taken us over…and the extent to which parents, as a result, no longer have the ability to protect their children against whatever the marketers want to flog.

    Of course it’s up to parents to do what they can to give their children a sensible ‘take’ on gender, fashion, consumerism etc, as it always been…but this stuff is becoming all-pervasive!

    Your campaign is really important and brilliantly conceived. LOVING it!

  36. Hi, I’m a 16 year-old girl, and I’d just like to say a massive thank you for all the work you’re doing here.
    I’ve always disliked the colour pink and always used to avoid wearing it. The number of people I could name in my school who do their best to fit the stereotypes to get boys; doing their makeup instead of listening in English. I’ve even known girls bring their straighteners into school so they can do their hair in the back of class.
    It’s high time the rest of us girls stood up for ourselves. I personally have never had a boyfriend, and I couldn’t care less, and I enjoy working at school and don’t dress up for it. But for some reasons people look down on me for these very reasons. I don’t wear makeup or shave my legs or have a perfect complexion or flirt with boys at every chance, so I’m a freak.
    I know that, because guys are how they are, their advertising works, so it’ll be hard to discourage, but we have to keep at it!
    So again, a massive thank you to all the work you’re doing, and please keep it up.

  37. Newly discoverd PinkStinks – my 8 year old daughter would certainly agree with you – she hates it not because it is a crap colour (it isn’t) but she says it’s because she doesn’t like to be expected to choose it, wear it, have it shoeved in her face in every shop to the exclusion of all other colours and designs, try finding a pack of girls’ pants without a sign of pink or frill – very hard. Her argument is that she thought she was supposed to wear pink until a year ago and when she realised this wasn’t reality and that she was free to wear whatever she wanted – she immediately dropped pink and girly and went for boys clothes – which as her little brother says are less ‘show-offy’ ! As a liberal woman who rarely wears ‘show-offy’ clothes I was really surprised that she had got this message so loud and clear without any support from me – shocked. Pinkstinks is a great starting point for consciousness raising, keep up the great work and if you need a 8 year old viewpoint let me know!!

  38. Pingback: Another Example of Constructing Gender « Nicole M LaVoi.com

  39. I’ve had a similar experience to Kay Reid. Even worse still, there are girls who say that men are superior to women. The scary thing is, they actually mean it! When asked for an explaination, the best they can come up with is “Men can do more jobs than women.” T-T

    Women’s liberation, anyone?

    And I talk to boys, so I must be flirting with them…

    No, just no

    Sorry for the rant

  40. Hello, as I have my daughter already “infected” with the Pink virus, even if my wife and I have been careful given her choice in wide range of toys and clothes, I support your campaign. All that pink influence came from school and also all the old stupid fairy tales about princess; mostly poor in money or relationship (best is both) saved by a charming prince, sometimes disguise in kind of animal. As a man I’m also concern about boy’s conditioning as well. I think children should not be sexualise by any kind and have choices. What is your point of view about?
    Good luck
    Herve

  41. Hi Emma and Abi

    Just thought you might be interested in this: a word-cloud breakdown of words used in advertising boys’ and girls’ toys.

    A visually arresting contrast, predictably.

    http://www.achilleseffect.com/2011/03/word-cloud-how-toy-ad-vocabulary-reinforces-gender-stereotypes/

  42. I have really enjoyed reading the work you have done. Well done. I recently wrote on thechatterjis.wordpress.com about Lelli Kelly advertising make up for children on Channel 5’s milkshake slot. I was horrified. However, on our blog, many of our readers do not share my concerns around children wearing make-up. I have just promoted your campaign on our site too.
    I think there is also a naivety about the harm that cosmetics can do. People think it is harmless fun but the social implications are really stark.
    I look forward to reading more of your work.
    Bunty Chatterji

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