Women's History Month Lecture

"Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America"

book jacketOn March 5, Dr., Jo Paoletti, associate professor of American Studies at University of Maryland, College Park, will discuss her latest book Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America. This lecture is in recognition of Women's History month. Pink and Blue details the history of gender differences in children's clothing.  Paoletti's research  examines the shift in attitudes toward color as a mark of gender in children's clothing. As a dress historian, Paoletti looked at advertising, catalogs, dolls, baby books, mommy blogs and discussion forums, and other popular media to examine the surprising shifts in attitudes toward color as a mark of gender in American children's clothing. She chronicles the decline of the white dress for both boys and girls, the introduction of rompers in the early 20th century, the gendering of pink and blue, the resurgence of unisex fashions, and the origins of today's highly gender-specific baby and toddler clothing.

Paoletti is an Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland. She has spent over 30 years researching and writing about children's clothing in America, particularly the development of gender differences. Pink and Blue is her first book; she is now working on two more: one on unisex trends in the 1970s and another on "age appropriate" styles for older women.

This lecture will take place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in the Social Sciences reading room, #220. For more information, please contact 202-727-1261.