When I was a young girl, from the age of about seven onwards, I was asked the following question seemingly endlessly by adults:
“What’s your favorite color?”
I was stumped, baffled, speechless. I thought it was such a peculiar question to ask a child. My mind mulled over the terrifying amount of implications I would be making in definitely stating what my favorite color was. Would I be restricting my wardrobe, my future artworks, my social groups? Would I be restricting myself to just having the one favorite, would I be able to change my mind, would I be defined by my choice? “Oh that’s Falon, her favorite color is pink.” Would all future gifts I received from my parents be pink? Would I be implying my gender, playing into the role of girlhood?
I’m fascinated by the questions that adults ask children; from seeing interactions between the two, I see that many of the questions are repetitive and in my thinking, restrictive. We’re asked early on to make definitive, seemingly innocent and non-implicative, choices about who we are. The way that we’ve invoked these questions into the stage of childhood plays into the linguistic rhetoric of the real-world, in the way that we use speech to limit our world views and in the way that we use favorites to distort our attentions. It can diminish our capacity to see beyond preference.