September 19, 2008

Orange You Glad It's Not Pink Or Blue?

One of the biggest losses of my recent hard drive crash was the interview I did a while back with Pamela Paul about Parenting, Inc., her awesome and revealing book on the Baby Industrial Complex. See, rather than try to type as we went, I put my cellphone on speaker and recorded our conversation in Garageband using my laptop's built-in microphone. Needless to say, the only really interesting parts of the discussion, Paul's answers, were nearly inaudible. So I'd been trying to tweak the file enough to pick out at least some of Paul's more in-depth insights about her findings.

For a tantalizing glimpse of what we lost, just check out Paul's pullquote in Leslie Savan's highly expert, if somewhat quixotically exampled, design analysis of the modern baby market in the latest issue of Print magazine:

abyMod, then, is an adult aesthetic that favors color schemes like brown and baby-blue or brown and orange, Paul says. "Orange especially is a 'Fuck you' to decades of baby-blue and baby-pink hegemony. It's a way of saying, 'We're having children, but we're still us.' " The impulse, she says, is "to try to stave off the inevitable takeover by a kiddie culture of Elmo backpacks and Pokémon T-shirts."
Yeah, I'm quoted in the article, but who cares? I must bow in the presence of the master.

update: dt reader Liz reminds us that sometimes, it's not baby-blue, but Ikea blue that needs at least a "screw you" now and then. Here's her kid's Gulliver crib painted orange. Bigger links to flickr in the comments.

orange_gulliver_lcondon.jpg

Million Dollar Babies [printmag]
Buy Parenting, Inc. without regret [amazon]

3 Comments

Some of us kids of the seventies also like orange because it's what we grew up with.

I bought a lot of white clothes for my kids when they were babies, and then I dyed them bright colors.

A long time ago I was supposed to send you a picture of my son's orange Ikea Gulliver crib. Here are a couple pictures from when he was still in the crib. The pictures are really more 'Screw you' than 'Fuck you'...
I'm now realizing how few pictures I have of this crib. Oh well, you get the idea...
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1018/1362531956_868d9528be_b.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1102/1361638831_dfc08a32e3_b.jpg

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