The answer: far less than 2.5 years.
The question: how long before your soul is crushed and your kid's soul is stolen by the whole pink-blue steamroller?
Don't get me wrong, I still think it's worth resisting, and truth be told, we decided to let some pink into the kid's life early on, rather than burn 75% of the gifts she receives. It's a losing battle, but it's not like you can just stop fighting and turn your kid over to the Disney Princess-o-lizer.
The source of the frilly pink-for-girls hegemony in our culture is still a mystery, and frankly, the first couple of waves of feminism haven't really helped clear things up--or stem the tide, for that matter. My money's on, well, money. Somewhere behind and under and at the root of it all is gender-coded capitalism, with products and marketing and design that are designed to reinforce gender-specific roles, but only/really as a means to a sale-making end.
Or turned around, if people didn't buy more pink Pottery Barn kitchen toys, Pottery Barn wouldn't be making and flogging it. If Toys for Boys and Toys for Girls weren't a more profitable segmentation strategy, someone in the increasingly desperate toy industry would surely figure out a better way to separate you from your money.
And yet, it's not corporate consumer capitalism that taught my daughter her favorite color is purple [in your face, Pink!] or that brainwashed her into dressing herself like a tub of rainbow sherbet yesterday. So I'm stumped.
At one point, I would have looked to an eye-popping, historical analysis-cum-advertising scrapbook like Pink Think; Becoming A Woman In Many Uneasy Lessons for an answer, if not a solution, a way to save my perfect daughter from a future of Barbie-tinted, gender-coded obstacles. But now, after just two years of trying to get my kid to embrace black, blue, anything but, I just shrug it off. Still, the book sounds hella entertaining, that's for sure.
Buy Pink Think: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons [amazon via designobserver]
Previously: Pottery Barn
Kids Girls & Boys