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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Stop prioritizing modern aesthetics over children’s development

Alex Kendall

During my childhood, vibrant colors painted every corner of my world. From the array of toys scattered around my bedroom to the pristine aisles in the grocery store, everything was a symphony of eye-catching colors.

Now, in an age where desaturated palettes have taken over, there is an enormous lack of color to make room for modern aesthetics. It’s depressing and makes our world boring. Color plays a crucial role in shaping our perceptions, emotions and experiences, especially when we’re young.

When did the world decide to embrace this fad? This modern style has taken over interior design, advertising and even parenting — it’s draining the color out of our lives and we don’t even realize.

“Sad beige babies” are children whose parents opt for neutrals when choosing color palettes for their child’s clothes, toys and bedroom decor. Author Hayley DeRoche coined the term in a TikTok while mocking the luxurious children’s furniture brand Gathre. 

The company’s website features overpriced, minimalistic toys that are different shades of beige and gray, allowing no room for imagination.

Even if parents aren’t purchasing from companies like Gathre, they find a way to adhere to their ideal style.

All over social media, I see parents painting their children’s toys to match the aesthetic of their home. Mother and TikTok influencer Nattie Jo Powell posted a video in December of her painting her child’s Christmas toys, changing the bright colors to muted hues. In the clip, she even mentioned the negative comments she would receive after doing this.

This decision to prioritize aesthetic of their homes over the developmental needs of children shows that some parents have misplaced their priorities. If anything, children should be encouraged to explore things that spark their imagination, not forced to play with toys that have no visual appeal.

When I was a kid, I was certainly attracted to the most colorful toys on the shelf and I doubt children today are any different. It’s enraging that some parents are so selfish that they are willing to put their own interests above the well-being and development of their children.

There’s an argument circulating online within the “sad beige” community that earthy tones are calming and create a serene environment for children to unwind. While I somewhat agree with this, bright hues are especially interesting and better for development. 

Contrasting colors and patterns are easier for babies to see and process compared to muted tones, according to The Bump. There needs to be a balance between relaxing spaces and providing children with sensory stimulation.

Homes are not the only spaces for children that are taking up this trend.

All over online platforms like TikTok, teachers in early education classrooms are starting to opt for the desaturated look. If I was still a child and my classroom was dull, I would be unfocused and drowsy because my brain isn’t being stimulated by radiant colors. Teachers should make students excited to learn in a place that triggers their imaginations.

Moreover, lively colors foster a sense of joy and excitement, which are essential for healthy psychological growth. On the other hand, soft colors like gray, brown and beige are linked to feelings of sadness, hence the terms “sad beige babies” and “sad beige parents.”

If “sad beige parents” are willing to put aside their obsessions with visually appealing homes and incorporate a variety of textures, patterns and colors into their child’s surroundings, it will help create a dynamic and enriching space to support creativity.

Nowadays, it feels like parents are using their children as an accessory, dressing them in neutral-colored clothes and buying them the dullest toys the world has to offer. This trend reflects a certain cultural preference, but it certainly shouldn’t overshadow the importance of providing children with visually stimulating environments.

It’s time for parents to reassess and bring back colorful toys and decor for the sake of their kids.

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About the Contributor
Gina Lorusso, Associate Arts & Life Editor

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