Pink Skirts, Blue Shorts

I initially wasn’t going to publish this onto the blog. Thank you, Carsen, for giving me the courage to do so, even though I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t going to publish anymore work onto this. Especially after regretting it last time I published a major piece onto this. Thank you.


Giving a gender to clothing has been ingrained into our culture since the beginning of time. Cute pink blouses with inspiring, feminine quotes for girls; adventurous blue t-shirts for boys. Clothing shouldn’t be separated into different aisles based on what gender should wear them.

We shouldn’t enforce gender stereotypes and social norms upon people, children in particular. People can like whatever they like, and don’t need to receive the criticism of others because of it. Who are we to decide what someone should and shouldn’t wear? We shouldn’t judge a boy for liking to paint his nails, or a girl for liking to wear suits. You can’t change who someone is.

This is especially an issue for non-binary people. They have to worry about whether they’ll be seen as a girl if they wear a feminine shirt one day, or if they’ll be seen as a guy if they wear a masculine shirt the next. This is an issue I personally have. My wardrobe is mostly full of androgynous/masculine T-shirts, but I have a few shirts I like that are more feminine than the others. If I go out in public wearing any of them, a label is stuck to my forehead: Girl. That hurts.

There’s one solution to this problem as a whole, one that some (possibly even many) may not agree with: to stop labeling all clothing as either for boys or for girls. Get rid of the store aisles separating clothing into the two groups. Any piece of clothing can be for anyone.

If people are concerned about not being able to determine someone’s gender by just looking at them, then we can start a new type of introduction: first name [last name], preferred pronouns. For example: Baile Apar, he/them. That’ll solve the problem. Another solution, we could just ask what someone’s pronouns are. We should already be doing that. With the rise of people identifying out of the gender binary, and some of them solely presenting traditionally femininely or masculinely, you don’t know who’s cis/trans and who’s non-binary. Someone presenting in a feminine/masculine manner may be non-binary, and you wouldn’t know it.

Yet what complicates this is that this doesn’t affect most individuals. Many are content with wearing the clothing assigned to their sex. They don’t have to worry about it. But what about those who do? It’s a matter of empathy. Put yourself in their shoes – in our shoes – for a minute. Imagine being non-binary. Having gender dysphoria. How would you feel if you weren’t able to relieve yourself of the pain of being misgendered constantly; just because of being judged for wearing a certain style of clothing?

Think about it.

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9 thoughts on “Pink Skirts, Blue Shorts

  1. Emily, this was a really amazing piece of writing that you should be proud of. I could tell that this was very heartfelt and that is what made it truly amazing. I love the hidden repetitive theme of ending each paragraph with how it feels to be stuck with these outdated labels. And I loved the questions beautifully weaved into this piece that made me think and feel and I didn’t even notice. Never be afraid to post excellent writing like this.

  2. Emily,
    I enjoyed reading about this topic. You wrote very clearly and straight to the point. You brought out the point of this being for all people. Whoever they are. I loved how you repeated, again and again, the theme of no labels.I also respect your ending as a question. I often like to end my essays that way and it leaves a burning question in everyone’s mind. I also admire that you are using testimonial evidence instead of physical evidence. It brings a certain emotional quality to this editorial. Lastly, You should be proud of your writing. You did an amazing job.
    Alex Weiss

  3. Emily,
    This was very well written. i really like the way you voiced your opinion and the way that the words just flowed onto the page. Your editorial had a lot of emotion that made it heartfelt. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to show something this well written on to the blog. Well done Emily.

  4. Em,
    First off: yes. I loved the piece and how you obviously really put your heart into it. I really enjoyed reading it. Everything flowed very well, as Lillian said, and honestly it’s a really really good piece overall. I enjoyed reading this and good job having the courage to post this. Proud a ya.

  5. Emily,
    This was a great piece of writing, and it’s great that you addressed this topic. It’s a problem that isn’t typically addressed, and it’s a big issue. We should not be enforcing gender stereotypes on young people, because that could possibly harm them. Its good that this was addressed by someone for this project. You should be proud to post a good piece of writing like this to the blog.
    Duncan C.Martin

  6. Emily, I thought this piece was very well written. I can tell it comes from the heart and was wrote with a lot of passion which just makes the piece that much better. The call to action and opinion were both very clear and from my opinion made a lot of sense. I like how you had the reader put themselves in your shoes because it gave the writing an element of emotion and that is a great way to help the readers somewhat understand where you are coming from.

  7. Emily, this was an amazing piece of art. It was so empowering and heartfelt. You did a really good job, you should be proud of this.

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