When a pink shirt is just a shirt.

By February 26, 2019Community, Jen Robbins

There are a number of “days” that we pay tribute to, pink shirt being one of them.  Several corporations have sort of claimed pink shirt day, which started back in 2007 after two boys in Nova Scotia organized to wear pink shirts after a boy was bullied for wearing pink.

10+ years later, it has become an ingrained tradition.  Each year, moms around BC clamor to find the pink shirt that will fit their child.  Many stores sell out and I see people asking questions like:

  • “Does it have to be the pink shirt from London Drugs or can my child wear any pink shirt?”
  • “My child doesn’t want to wear pink, can they wear red?”
  • “If we don’t have a pink shirt, can she wear a pink headband?”

The answer to all of the above is, it doesn’t matter. The idea is acceptance, and actually, thinking outside the box.  Sometimes I think the messaging around being kind is excessive, and the actual meaning is lost.  We need to celebrate kindness, but we also really need to demonstrate and model kindness more than anything. Wearing a pink shirt or a pink stating kindness is cool is great.  But it’s almost like we are on auto pilot, where we are just putting on the pink shirt because we are “supposed” to.  Or telling stories about what kindness is but then talking about someone behind their back, or cutting someone off in traffic… or worse.

I may be jaded… I don’t want to knock any celebrations of kindness, love and acceptance, but it feels like just another thing to panic about, buy something, and pay lip service to.  One friend tells me, “One year my son refused to participate because his bully was not being dealt with. He found it quite hilarious when the boy that was bullying him came to school in full on anti-bully gear!”

We’ll chat about this tomorrow on #PulseMornings with Neil & Leah.


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