Pink is for mums as well as daughters

// 16 March 2012

pink roses mothers day.jpg

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom. My local paper is filled with promotions for people who want to treat their mums to Sunday lunch or a spa treatment. But it was only last night when shopping for groceries with my own mother that it hit me how wrong the commercialisation of this day had become.

One of the items on the shopping list was a bunch of flowers for my mum’s friend. The plant section of the supermarket had been taken over by bouquets for mothers in various shades of pink, purple and white wrapped in pink cellophane. My mother struggled to find a nice bunch and even moaned about how limited and “mumsy” the choice was. The traditional in season tulips and daffodils were lying neglected in a corner. I didn’t realise that the only colours now available to mothers are muted shades of pink and purple. Feminists regularly complain that pink is the only choice on offer girls, but now it seems that the same is happening to their mothers.

If your mother doesn’t like flowers, there was a whole aisle filled with gifts. How about some pink champagne, a pink cake stand or an edible handbag made out of white chocolate and pink icing? Apparently in some shops there are pink diamante studded dust pans and brushs and pink washing-up gloves with “Best Mum” written on them. Whilst some mothers like pink (like mine) it should not be the only colour for presents. There were announcements over the speaker system informing shoppers that they could buy a pre-prepared tray especially for a Mothering Sunday breakfast in bed. Obviously aimed at the dad who never goes into the kitchen.

It is not just the selection of presents that annoy me, it is the advice to give mum a day off and treat her by making breakfast. As if she spends her days cooking and cleaning because a mother’s place is in the home looking after her children while her husband goes out to work. I’m never told to give my dad a day off on Father’s Day.

Last year I made a cake, put together a mix CD and cut a few daffodils from the garden. It seemed to make my mum happy so I’ll do that again this year. I’m sure that she will prefer it to an edible handbag or washing-up gloves.

Photo of pink roses by emerson12, used under a Creative Commons License

Comments From You

Rachel Nelson // Posted 16 March 2012 at 4:08 pm

Really pisses me off all this pink targeting women. It’s not just limited to girls and mums it is all female products. I wrote a blog post on it not too long ago. From a design point of view pink is supposed to be calming but it sends me into a major ranting mood. It’s like the default setting for advertising to women.

My mum likes green.

Laura // Posted 16 March 2012 at 4:58 pm

According to my local card shop, mothers like pink, flowers, cake and diamante. NOTHING else.

Jackie // Posted 16 March 2012 at 8:06 pm

I had pretty much these exact same thoughts when I was searching for a card and some flowers for my mum earlier. EVERYTHING in the shop was pink. All the cards available were pink (except a couple that were black…with pink!) and this was in a very large supermarket. Wish I had got a card from Paperchase earlier, as at least their selection is varied, and doesn’t assume everyone wants something pink and flowery!

Laura Baker // Posted 16 March 2012 at 8:40 pm

My mum loves the typical chocolate and flower combo for mother’s day, but I never have and never will buy anything remotely suggestive of her only role in life being a housewife. If anything, I’d rather buy my mother something she could use at work! When supermarkets and card shops promote such crap it just discourages me from shopping there.

Mr. Rude Word // Posted 17 March 2012 at 2:23 am

I think you’ll find that Fathers Day cards tend to depict images of sport/beer, etc. on their cards.

Of course fathers ( they’re those men who once played a role in bringing up children btw ) are obsessed by sport & beer, whereas women are utterly repulsed by the colour pink.

Justine Ossum // Posted 17 March 2012 at 11:38 am

I was pleased to see Wonder Woman branded gift items in Sainbury’s the other day. Until I sw that the range included and apron.

Mr. Rude Word, your comment is a bit of a non sequitur, but nonetheless. My Dad hasn’t drunk much of any alcohol since 1955 (when he found it impeded his ability to play chess) and tends to leave the room when Mum put the rugby on. Irks me every Father’s Day. Which is in June, I believe?

Mr. Rude Word // Posted 17 March 2012 at 2:19 pm

Two more non sequiturs for you-

“Obviously aimed at the dad who never goes into the kitchen.”

“I’m never told to give my dad a day off on Father’s Day.”

shatterboxx // Posted 18 March 2012 at 9:14 am

“Obviously aimed at the dad who never goes into the kitchen.”

When I read about the prepared food trays, I immediately thought they were for kids who would obviously have a lack of cooking skills, not fathers.

“I’m never told to give my dad a day off on Father’s Day.”

This is a good point, though – the whole Mother’s Day thing is centred around giving Mum time to relax by doing the cooking/cleaning/etc. Father’s Day doesn’t have much of a message at all. Except beer! sporting equipment! pictures of slippers! other generic dad-type things! … it’s weird.

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