Little Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits primly on a stool, his white skirt spread smoothly over his lap, his hands clasping a hat trimmed with a marabou feather. Shoulder-length hair and patent leather party shoes complete the ensemble.

We find the look unsettling today, yet social convention of 1884, when FDR was photographed at age 2 1/2, dictated that boys wore dresses until age 6 or 7, also the time of their first haircut. Franklin’s outfit was considered gender-neutral.

But nowadays people just have to know the sex of a baby or young child at first glance, says Jo B. Paoletti, a historian at the University of Maryland and author of Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America, to be published later this year. Thus we see, for example, a pink headband encircling the bald head of an infant girl.

Why have young children’s clothing styles changed so dramatically? How did we end up with two “teams”—boys in blue and girls in pink?

Read more:

This is utterly fascinating. <3

on Dec 1, 4:56pm
#boys in dresses #clothing #clothing and gender #franklin d. roosevelt #gender #gender dichotomy #gender roles #gender-neutral #gender-neutral clothing #history of gender and clothing #pink and blue #victorian #victorian boys #vintage #smithsonian #fashion #fashion and gender 
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    Before the industrialization of medicine in the 50s, children had a much higher mortality rate. There wasn’t a clear...
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    This is really fascinating
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    This is so, so fascinating.
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    When my goddaughter was born, her mum and I went crazy baby clothes shopping. First baby in our group of friends, you...
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