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Ask Flipped: My Daughter Wants to Paint Her Room Pink, But I Want to Cover It With Photos of Hockey Legend Bobby Orr

I'm not comfortable with enforcing gender roles, and also I love Bobby Orr

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Dear Flipped,

I told my seven-year-old daughter that we could paint her bedroom any color she wanted and immediately demanded pink. When I asked why she wants a pink bedroom she said, "Because pink is for girls." I certainly don't want to tell her she can't have a pink bedroom (I don't see that ending well for me, even if I do) but I also want to make it clear to her that she doesn't need to adhere to traditional gender roles. Maybe this is just a phase she'll grow out of, or maybe she's being influenced by her peers, or maybe she really will grow up to be the kind of woman who likes everything she owns to be pink—I don't know. But my concern is that living in a pink room could begin to affect the way she sees herself, like it could become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm completely stuck.

Also, now that I've spent all this time thinking about bedrooms, I've realized that I kind of want to just cover all the walls with photos of Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr.

I do think that it's important to respect my daughter's choices for herself. And I don't fool myself into thinking that I can just dictate her tastes, or her self-perception. But I also recognize that part of my role as a parent is to provide guidance, and I can't shake the feeling that painting her bedroom pink "Because pink is for girls" would be irresponsible parenting on my part.

Bobby Orr is the coolest hockey player of all time. He played on defense but he scored a whole bunch of goals. He is the only defenceman to ever lead the NHL in scoring and he did it twice. He also won two Stanley Cups for the Bruins and he scored the game winning goal in the last game of both of them. I love Bobby Orr.

I think that maybe I could make the argument for decorating my daughter's room with lots and lots of pictures of Bobby Orr on the basis that hockey, and sports in general, are seen traditionally as masculine pursuits, so confronting her with imagery of—

Ah, who am I kidding? I just really want to print out dozens of pictures of Bobby Orr and line a room with them.

I think I'm going to do it.

Never Mind,

No Longer Confused in Colorado


Dear NLCC,

Glad to help.


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