While the stereotype of pink for girls and blue for boys really only took hold after World War II, it has proven to be a rather pervasive notion. In the face of the barrage, to what extent is it possible to break the associations of color with gender and role in society, not only for children, but for adults as well? Dutch design graduate Migl? Nevierait? has developed an app to concept stage that allows users to make minute adjustments to a character's clothing, accessories, toys and environment, to both test and illustrate the myriad ways we use color to make judgments surrounding gender.
As Nevierait? notes, “Entering a toy store reminds us that modern Western society is a binary one, with a strict split between girls and boys. There is a pink section for girls and a blue one for boys. The activities are divided accordingly: cooking toys on the pink side, construction sets for the blues. Should such a divide be imposed on children? How does this affect our sense of gender? This computer application lets users play around with gender assigning elements. Create your own gender by choosing masculine or feminine items, increase or reduce their feminine or masculine qualities, and explore the nuances.”
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The app works a little like dress ups: users start with an androgynous young character and then add clothing, toys, a name, background wallpaper and accessories. A lo-fi-style physical interface is included with sliders to “modify gender.” Users can opt for a “girly girl,” a “boyish boy,” or test out a full spectrum of in between. Nevierait? has helpfully provided 443 screenshots of possibilities here. While still only at concept stage, the designer does hope to take the app to commercial release for computers, iOS devices and Android.
Looking through the screenshots, it can be quite confronting to realize that sometimes all it takes is a feathered tiara in an otherwise gender-neutral scenario to tip one’s perception of the character over towards the feminine side of the spectrum. Nevierait? hopes that the app will help parents realize how ingrained their own gender stereotypes can be, and by extension then make them more aware of the messages that they are passing on to their children.
via Fast Company
Photos by Migle Design via Cargo Collective