The Straight Dope: Was Pink Originally the Color for Boys and Blue for Girls?

Yours truly helped do the research for this column for the Straight Dope – in fact I was the person who interviewed Professor Paoletti who is quoted in the column. I thought given the other article I posted tonight, this would be an interesting read. But before I direct you to it, let me tell you a story.

A very long time ago, I used only Equal, in the blue packet, to sweeten my drinks – coffee, tea, iced tea, etc. One day I was running really low on Equal, and decided to use up some old Sweet n’ Low which was in the cupboard. It tasted strange, and so I thought “what if I just mix the two together – use one Equal packet and one Sweet n’ Low packet? So I did, and found a very strange result – having the two packets mixed tasted better than either of them.

Fast forward a few years, and one day I was out with a client at dinner, and this client was addicted to iced tea, and he always used two Equal packets. I was having iced tea as well, and the client noted and asked why I always used “one pink and one blue packet.” After telling them it tasted better, he tentatively tried it in his iced tea, and he was stunned at the improvement in taste.

The next day we were out to dinner again, and I noticed he was back to his routine of two Equal packets and no Sweet n’ Low. So I asked him, “the taste didn’t work out for you?” He replied “no, it tastes better that way. It’s just…you know…if you start using the pink packets, then people will…you know…look at you funny.”

So I replied, intelligently, “Bwahuh?” And he said “I know it doesn’t matter, but people pay attention…you know…using the pink packets when you’re a guy just isn’t right.

So then I replied “well, I’ve always used the pink and blue packets, mixing them evenly. What does that say about me?”

And he looked at me and said simply “ummm…never mind.”

Anyhow, take a gander at the article below and note some of the strange history of pink and blue and gender.

The Straight Dope: Was pink originally the color for boys and blue for girls?.

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