Also could be titled consumerism culture begins before birth. We learn this kind of mindless, useless consumerism.
JeongMee is a young photographer, a recent M.F.A grad student from NY, a curious observer and a mother who wants to understand what makes children so clearly opt for gender cuts. Pink or Blue?
It is of interest to note that in 1914, The Sunday Sentinel, an American newspaper, advised mothers to “use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention”.
Was it largely due to the economic boom in relation to the baby boom of the 50s? The South Korean photographer explores the world of little boys and little girls by entering their bedrooms and creating a set with all of their objects. It is plausible to associate the overabundance of possessions with a consumeristic society in which the young consumer is often directed. Clearly, at an age in which children are exploring their own sexuality and comparing gender differences, it is of outmost importance to proclaim self-identity by putting forward a defined category that is recognizable.
As JeongMee also noted in her ongoing project, there is a time span in which girls are obsessed with pink and boys tend to be attracted by blue-hued objects. Subliminal messages that have perhaps been transmitted to our anthropological evolution by ads, television, the toy industry (note Barbie or Hello Kitty), and have determined in which way we express our belonging to one category or the other.
At the sight of a baby dressed in blue raise your hand if you automatically think it’s a boy or aren’t a bit annoyed or weirded out to discover it’s a girl. We are forever shaken when the little cubicles we have been put in don’t match the widely accepted and acknowledged linguistic messages. Blue: it’s a boy. Pink: it’s a girl.
What does therefore define a girl or differentiate her from boys other than color? What clues can one find in a room? What is so drastically different or similar in comparison with other centuries? Are little girls still taught that cooking, nurturing, having babies and looking pretty make them fall into the so-called “normal” girls category? Are boys defined by their interest in cars, dinosaurs, robots? Can sex or sexual preferences be defined by messages we have been taught to use in our definitions?
Do we keep our children trapped into conclusions or consumed by materialistic messages excluding forever any chance for a total and absolute change in society?
Text by Acelya Yonac
Beijing exhibit at: parisbeijingphotogallery.com