Why I let my son like pink and play with “girl toys”

Why I let my son like pink and play with "girl toys." by Spit and Sparkles Blog #genderbias #pink

Dear strangers, I’m tired of the stares. I can see you secretly judging me. My son likes pink. He’s 1.5; get over it. But, even if he is five and still carrying around ‘Pink Monkey,’ get over it! If it were my daughter dressed like a boy, holding a football, I bet that’d be okay with you. {Click to tweet}

I’ve posted about Corbin’s love for all things pink before, especially his little pink monkey security blanket. Take away that doll, and he just doesn’t sleep as well. I let him take it with him out in public because it soothes him. Every toddler has a lovey, and he chose a pink one. But that isn’t the only pink thing he plays with. There’s the tea party set, toy purse, pink mirror, baby doll and most recently at Nanner and Gramp’s house, a tiny pink princess toy. He plays with more pink than his sister does, and I’m okay with it. But it seems that not everyone else is. I’ve been fortunate that no one has really said anything to me, but I know the thoughts are there. I can sense it, even among family members.

So let’s get real for a minute. Why is it such a big deal that he might grow up to like pink? Pink is color. Period. I think the bigger issue here is that pink is plastered over everything labeled a “girl toy,” and if my son plays with “girl toys” that must mean he’ll grow up to be gay, right? I don’t think so. But even if we do learn later down the road that he is gay, I won’t love him any less. {Click to tweet}

Why I let my son like pink and play with "girl toys." by Spit and Sparkles Blog #genderbias #pink

It is inevitable that my son will play with “girl toys” because he has a twin sister who he adores and follows around. That means that he will likely end up with makeup on his face or braids in his hair at some point, and maybe often. Am I supposed to tell them not to play together and possibly miss out on having some great bonding moments over “tea” in  a pink kettle and late night “spa parties” because that’s not appropriate for little boys to do? But it is appropriate for daddys to do it. In fact, it may just be the cutest thing in the world to see a little girl painting her dad’s fingernails or giving him a face full of clown makeup. It’s okay for little boys to do those things with their sisters too. Just as it is ok for little girls to play catch with their dads and play in the dirt with dump trucks.

I grew up in Southeast Texas right on the border of Louisiana. I know that the stigmas are still alive there and in many places about what a man’s role is and what a woman’s role is. And what is assumed about a boy who grows up playing with “girl toys.” If you’re afraid that my son might grow up to be gay because he sleeps with a pink monkey, you should probably spend your time worrying about something else. I certainly am not worried about it. In fact, I’m glad that he sleeps with a pink monkey, and I do hope that he doesn’t grow out of playing with “girl toys.” Here’s why:

1. I’m hoping this will teach him that pink is a color, and only a color. It doesn’t mean that you are categorized in any certain way, and that he shouldn’t judge others for their likes.

2. Hopefully, he will grow up to have an empathy toward others who do things out of the “norm.”

3. Most importantly, I’m hoping this exposition to pink and “girl toys” teaches him to respect his sister and all girls and women. To respect their likes, and to respect that we are different and should be treated with kindness. And that traditionally, men and women are seen in certain lights and do things certain ways, but it’s okay if a woman wants to be a plumber and a man wants to be a teacher.

One day, Corbin may become a father, and it may be to a daughter. He will certainly be playing with baby dolls and tea party sets then, so why is it such a big deal that he plays with them now? Lynley and I won’t always choose “girly” activities, but it just so happens that right now, they both really like dolls and pink! And to anyone whom I haven’t yet convinced that Corbin will be fine…. just know that he also really likes building blocks, toy balls and wooden cars. I’m raising a well-rounded child over here, and I’m darn proud of it!

What are your thoughts on boys playing with pink toys? Please share with me in the comments.



  1. says

    I can completely relate to this odd judgment that seems to come when a boy isn’t all things blue and harsh. My son is 3 and his sisters are 5 and 7 so they are naturally his built in playmates. They have dollies and doll house pink and purple. Yes we have his ‘boy toys’ but when he plays with them their toys seems to be the focus and that is fine with me. I too have seen the looks but guess what he is well rounded and a toy is just that a toy not an indication of who he will be. Great post Steffany 😀

  2. says

    Yes. Preach it, mama! :) I think that you are teaching a much more important lesson here than those frustrating roles society can steer people into are- that it is THE PERSON that is important and that you love value your son for who he is. My sister has boys and sometimes she would let them paint their nails when they were little for this very reason, haha!

  3. says

    You are a good mommy and I think you are right for not restricting him from liking a certain color. Who cares what other people think, because while they are judging him and wishing he was a different way, you get the precious blessing of getting to know your son for who he is! And he is perfect in God’s image!

  4. says

    You’re right. Pink is just a color and doesn’t define someone’s preferences. My youngest son loves those small Build-a-bear stuffed toys and I don’t see anything wrong with that. A toy is a toy and nothing more. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

  5. says

    He should be able to like whatever he likes. It’s great that you aren’t restricting his choices. Visiting from Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party!

  6. says

    Along these lines is the thought that it’s not ok for boys to have baby dolls, to feed them and such. Why not? They’re just mimicking behaviors they see their own dads doing? Why is it so bad to raise a boy who might be interested in being a father? :)

  7. says

    I just handed down my 6-year-old daughter’s baby dolls to my 1-year-old son because she says she’s done with them. Now he carries it around like a little daddy and it’s adorable! My daughter also loves cars and noisy trucks. 😉

  8. says

    I think its great to let kids be who they are! My son loves sleeping with a white bunny and when he was little I even got him a baby doll he was drawn to in the toy aisle. I see no reason to fret over things like this.