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Pink & Blue: Gender and Children

Inspired by her own daughter’s obsession with the color pink, photographer and academic JeongMee Yoon decided to embark on the “Pink & Blue Project.” The ongoing exhibition, now in its fifth year, documents children and their toys. Most subjects are located in South Korea and the US although the children spanned many ethnic backgrounds. What the girls and boys had in common was an overwhelming affinity to their respective colors, pink and blue.

If you’ve ever tried to purchase toys and clothing for a toddler in America, it’s exceedingly difficult to find something that isn’t highly gendered. For some reason toy manufacturers insist on blue/green for boys, pink/yellow for girls. Apparently in South Korea it’s equally as difficult.

JeongMee explains: “Perhaps it is the influence of pervasive commercial advertisements aimed at little girls and their parents, such as the universally popular Barbie and Hello Kitty merchandise that has developed into a modern trend. Girls train subconsciously and unconsciously to wear the color pink in order to look feminine.”

Also interesting is the sheer amount of toys these kids possess. In JeongMee’s photographs it seems like a remarkable amount of “stuff” to the point where the kids seem spoiled. However if you were to scrounge through the house of any American toddler, under the sofa, behind the fridge, in the planters, you’d probably find just as many toys in various states of disrepair. Images copyright JeongMee Yoon

Images copyright JeongMee Yoon

Images copyright JeongMee Yoon

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