No, it’s not an immutable law of nature. In the 1920s, retailers began encouraging pink (a strong color) for boys and blue (a dainty one) for girls, before the trend reversed after World War II. For centuries prior, both boys and girls wore white dresses.
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For centuries, children wore dainty white dresses up to age 6. “What was once a matter of practicality—you dress your baby in white dresses and diapers; white cotton can be bleached—became a matter of ‘Oh my God, if I dress my baby in the wrong thing, they’ll grow up perverted,’ ” Paoletti says.
The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out.