You probably noticed this with your younger relatives, or even in your own closet as a kid. Gender stereotypes have been dictated by our consumerist society for as long as we can remember and South Korean photographer JeongMee Yoon explores this in her ongoing Pink & Blue Project.
Triggered by her own five-year-old daughter’s obsession with the color pink (SeoWoo Yoon only wanted to wear pink clothes, play with pink toys, or use pink objects), JeongMee Yoon started The Pink Project in 2005. She laid out all of her daughter’s pink belongings in her pink room and took the pervasively pink photos.
She started asking other parents if she could photograph their daughters and the rose-colored things they loved too, an ongoing endeavor which has prompted a counterpart for the opposite sex aptly called The Blue Project.
This visual exploration of the trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children (and their parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization and identity is now collectively known as The Pink & Blue Project.
The work also examines other issues like the relationship between gender and consumerism, urbanization, the globalization of consumerism and the new capitalism.
Just look at your siblings’, cousins’ or nephews’ and nieces’ rooms. Surely you’ll find Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Dora the Explorer in there somewhere, as well as Superman, Thomas the Train, and Cookie Monster.
Yoon has captured some of her subjects progressively, such as Lauren and Carolyn (above) circa 2006 and 2009. Besides the series of photographs, Yoon presents related literature to edify her body of work.
“As girls grow older, their taste for pink changes. Until about 2nd grade, they are very obsessed with the color pink, but around 3rd or 4th grade, they do not obsess with pink as much anymore,” writes Yoon. “Usually, their tastes change to purple. Later, there is another shift. However, the original association with the color-code often remains.”
Read more about JeonMee Yoon’s The Pink & Blue Project.
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