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Have you a girly girl or a tomboy?

Do your children have clear colour preferences? Have you got girly girls or tomboys (and does it really matter)?!

Colour preference and gender has been a topic that has always interested us here at Baby Swimming Shop. Between us, we have a varied collection of sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, all with their own unique personalities, styles and colour preferences. Granted, some are little stranger than others i.e. the nephew who will only wear orange items (and long sleeves; even on the beach), and the niece who likes nothing better than wearing hoodies, jeans, trainers and getting muddy etc. as long as what she is wearing in 100% pink) but we encourage uniqueness!

Many of our young family members have changed their colour preferences over time and we like to embrace our children’s choices, especially now that they are growing up. Adults are a bit obsessed with knowing from day one, when a pregnancy is announced, ‘Is it a boy or girl’? Then follows a doormat full of pink or blue cards, balloons, banners etc.!

Many studies around gender and colour preference have shown that babies and toddlers, whether male or female are mainly attracted to primary colours, but it seems that even from the ripe old age of two, little girls are often drawn to the attraction of anything pink (and little boys to blue).

Various reports seem to suggest that cultural norms may shape colour preferences. In cultures where pink is considered the appropriate colour for a baby girl and blue for a baby boy, babies become accustomed from birth to spending time wearing and surrounded by, those colours. This makes it hard to know whether any preferences expressed later on are hard-wired. But a study from 2011 went deeper into whether children are hard wired to colour preference.

A group of one-year-old girls and boys were shown pairs of identical objects such as bracelets, plastic cups and picture frames, but with one object pink and another of a second colour, they were no more likely to choose pink over the other colours.
But when this study was done with children from two onwards, the girls started to like pink and, by four, boys firmly rejected pink. This is the precise time when toddlers start to become aware of their gender, to talk about it and even to look around them to see what defines a boy and what defines a girl. Just like adults, even very small children show biases towards their own group.

This group bias was also observed in another study where three-to-five-year-olds were given either red or blue t-shirts to wear to nursery school. For one group, the red and blue t-shirts were constantly referred to, and by the end of three weeks the children liked everything about their own colour group better!

It all changes back though, as adults! An article on the BBC website discusses that in 2007, a UK study into adult colour preference found that blue (and any shade of it) was the favourite colour of men and women.

At Baby Swimming Shop we’ve sourced swimwear to suit all tastes as we believe that parents and children should have as many choices as possible for what to wear. Our brands are some of the highest quality names in swimwear which are beautifully designed and offer many options for your son or daughter, whatever their personal style and colourful preference. For girls aged 18 months to 8, a striking and sporty product line is Platypus Australia Kaleidoscope. This well designed range includes swimsuits, boardies; rash vests; sun jackets and more.


The Kaleidoscope UPF50+ Short Sleeve Rash Vest with Boyleg Bikini


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