Have You Heard of the Pink Tax?

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The Pink Tax causes women to pay more money for the same products as men.

pink tax laxative

We’re sharing what you need to know about the Pink Tax!

Whenever I go to the store to buy products, I always notice the way they’re categorized based on gender. Nothing says “feminine products” like pink and pastel colors along with some sparkles, while “masculine products” tend to have darker colors. In many instances, it’s the same product, but the color isn’t what stands out to me… it’s the price tag, known as the Pink Tax.

Currently, 27 states tax additional charges for menstrual products on the basis that they’re not considered necessities, despite half the population of this planet experiencing it.

To give you a better idea of this Pink Tax, imagine giving a tax exemption for chocolate bars, but having a tampon tax; that’s California. What about a tax exemption on chewing gum, but having a tampon tax? That’s West Virginia. How about having breakfast cereal tax-free, but taxing tampons? That’s Washington State! The list, categorized explicitly and individually by TaxFreePeriod.com, goes on, and the absurdity continues.

women's beauty products

The Pink Tax affects more than you think!

You may have thought the Pink Tax is exclusively applied to menstrual products, but the list goes on. From children’s toys to personal care products, pretty much anything aimed at females has been subject to being marked with a higher price than males, and you may be wondering…why?

There’s no exact reason for the Pink Tax, but it’s how females pay more for products that are marketed for them, as opposed to male products. I mean, the list is endless. They even sell pink laxatives (and if it wasn’t clear, they have the same active ingredients as the non-pink ones) but used to be sold at a higher price! They have since fixed this and we were excited to see that now the pink laxatives are the same price as the ones in the green packaging.

Health insurance companies got away with using the Pink Tax to charge women more than men for insurance due to women going to doctors more often, namely for reproductive purposes. Luckily, this was overturned with the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which prevents health insurers from routinely charging women more than men.

rolling laundry basket

Dry cleaning is another industry heavily impacted by the Pink Tax. In New York state, for example, it’s legal for a business to charge more for a service if it costs more to provide, but it’s up to the individual business to decide their own interpretation of this meaning. Dry cleaning uses this justification to get away with charging women significantly more than men, sometimes by three to five times, for a simple shirt. You may be wondering, how does it make sense for less fabric to generate a higher price tag? It doesn’t, but it’s happening across the world!

On a positive note, many retailers are feeling the heat from upset consumers over the glaring issues associated with the Pink Tax, so while this issue still remains relevant, there has been a slow shift to level out the price discrepancies we’ve seen in the past. While it clearly doesn’t apply to every product women need, there are some ways to get around the Pink Tax with everyday items.

Here are some ways to avoid the Pink Tax:

1. Avoid unnecessary scent options for women’s deodorant at a higher price and stick with classic scent men’s deodorant offers.

degree pink tax women deodorant

The price of women’s deodorant is a prominent result of the Pink Tax. Because of the range of scent options offered, brands tend to prioritize developing more scent options, not necessarily masking body odor.

Personally, I find that whenever I use women’s deodorant, I’m constantly reapplying throughout the day. Men’s deodorant focuses on higher active ingredients, causing it to last longer. It’s also normally cheaper by the ounce, so, if you’re not too picky about the scent of your deodorant, consider purchasing a men’s one.

men degree deodorant

2. This pink vs blue backpack will cost you almost a $5 difference.

woman wearing pink backpack

Sigh, yes, it’s true; the pink tax can affect items that are literally pink versus blue. Looking at this backpack, you’ll see it comes in two colors: Navy and Smokey Grape (Pink). Currently, the navy one is on sale for $4.50 less, but, if it’s the same backpack, why aren’t they both on sale? 🤔

I promise that the color of your backpack doesn’t define femininity, so, if you’re just looking for a reliable bag, consider the navy one.

Man wearing blue backpack

3. Ditch the overpriced women’s razors for longer-lasting men’s razors.

Gillette Venus Razors pink tax

If I’m being honest, I only buy men’s razors. Not only because they’re significantly cheaper, but they usually focus on making the blade more effective to easily glide along any part of the body. Comparing Men’s Gillette razors to Women’s Venus (same manufacturer), the men’s razors are easier to use, last longer, are of greater quality, and are cheaper. 👏

man shaving face using gillette proglide razor

4. Save $30 by purchasing this charcoal color kitchen playset versus the pink one.

pink kids play kitchen set


Toys have been an industry greatly affected by the Pink Tax. A study conducted by the New York City Department of Affairs stated that toys for “girls” are up to 13% more expensive than the same toys for “boys” with the only difference being the color. This play kitchen for kids is almost identical aside from the pink one being significantly more expensive. It has no additional features; it’s just pink.

grey kids play kitchen set

5. Basics save you so much money when you buy them from the men’s section instead of the women’s.

target women vneck

Not every woman is going to find herself shopping in the men’s section often just to avoid the Pink Tax; however, it can be a great place to look for unisex pieces. Basics for women such as t-shirts and tank tops tend to be thinner and sometimes see-through. If this bothers you, look in the men’s section next time, which has similar pieces typically at a lower price.

men target vneck

6. Avoid the unnecessary $10 difference with this Push Car for toddlers.

pink kids push car

Whether it’s pretending to cook in a play kitchen or feeling like they’re driving on the highway, kids love having toys that make them feel like mini-adults. The Step2 Whisper Ride Cruiser Push Car is a great way to travel with your kiddo while entertaining them. It comes in two colors, pink and red, but, if your little one wants the pink one, be prepared to spend $10 extra.

red kids push car

7. Save your pockets from going too deep with women’s shaving gel by using men’s.

Women shaving products at Walmart

For me, I prefer using shaving gel instead of shaving cream since there’s a built-in moisturizing effect. Most women’s shaving gels are more expensive because they’re marketed simultaneously as being a body wash, but I find men’s shaving gel is just as effective and significantly cheaper.

Although the Venus shaving gel above has some different ingredients since it’s designed for pubic hair and skin, this is the only 2-in-1 shaving gel for sensitive skin Venus has compared to Gillette’s 2-in-1 shaving gel for sensitive skin, both manufactured by the same company.

Shaving gel gillette

8. Get around the additional charge for this infant toy by purchasing the blue option.

gloworm infant toy pink

Unfortunately, even your newborns can potentially feel the wrath of the Pink Tax. The Playskool Play Favorites Lullaby Gloworm Toy charges $2 to $3 more for the pink one compared to the blue one. Yes, it’s just a couple of dollars, but the doll isn’t even different; the color of the outfit remains the sole difference. Having a newborn is expensive as it is, so is it really necessary to spend extra just for a different color?

gloworm infant toy blue

hand holding a packet of hair masque

It all comes down to preference, and, if you prefer your “Pink” products and think it’s worth it, you do you! Even though there’s still a long way to go, you can take comfort in knowing that this rising issue of the Pink Tax is getting more awareness so here’s hoping we see these prices level out for everyone. 💕

Stay informed, and don’t fall for this Amazon Scam!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 50

  1. christen

    Very informative, thank you! 💗

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome, Christen!

  2. Lacey

    After reading your post I realized I have noticed the price difference in products that are pink especially toys.I always wondered why that was. Thanks for the info

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome!

  3. Dee.K

    I was browsing Amz for water playmat for my baby girl-the blue ones are priced $10 and pink $25 and up 😐

  4. It’s me

    Meanwhile other countries provide women products for free as they are necessities… I always stay away from girlie looking items because they are more money for no reason at all

  5. Lynette

    Sometimes your comparisons are not one to one–the shave gel for instance was not the Venus basic sensitive skin which is usually the same price. There are other times where I feel like neutral colored products on Amazon are more than the pink or olive green ones. Personally I think this is ridiculous. Of course health care for women is more expensive for an insurer so they should be able to charge more, even as auto insurers charge male drivers more because statistics say that they have more accidents. I guess sometimes level playing fields mean evereryone pays more, like with the “affordable care act” which has priced many people out of health insurance.

  6. Lissa C

    Unbelievable! I have never heard of this! I’m so glad you brought this to the attention of many, I will be on the lookout! Thank you!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You bet! Glad this was helpful!

  7. Kristen

    I will definitely be more aware now. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re most welcome, Kristen!

  8. GAmommyof4

    Meanwhile in Georgia we pay tax on everything! I guess we have “leveled the playing field.” No discounts on food or essentials here 😕

    • Lacey Biddy

      We are the same in Oklahoma but I didn’t realize the price difference for the same products, just different colors. Ridiculous!

  9. Rachel Pearson

    I feel like sometimes the pink items are more because they had to put the others on sale to actually sale them since so many do gravitate towards the pink. It’s very common for pink items to sale out and other colors to sit there while everyone waits for the pink to restock. Pink is a popular color.

    • Sheri Baby

      That was my thought as well. The law of supply and demand.

  10. silvgoddess

    Thanks for sharing these tips! It will make me even more aware of the pink tax.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome!

  11. KB

    Thanks for your work on this — you’ve provided a valuable public service by helping to educate us! I’ve been buying men’s deodorant and razors for years now.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for sharing that with us, KB!

  12. Melissa

    Yet another reason the new generations are trying to raise gender neutral children. I will be buying whatever color for my little girl and vise versa. A lil girl CAN have a blue glow worm ffs. She doesn’t need a bikini/bathing suit with her butr cheeks out at 1yrs old and can wear a tee shirt and shorts like a boy would.

    • Lacey Biddy

      Seriously.. nothing rubs me as wrong as a toddler in a bikini. Like wtf lol.. I know lots of moms who buy boy shorts bc the girls are booty shorts. I can’t even stand this discrepancy. I’ve had this discussion with my husband… why do men get sold these huge baggy swim shorts but I’m told to wear these tight fighting uncomfortable swimsuits? I’ve decided to go with board shorts and swim tops. I have this sexism they’ve sold forever in our country.

      • Mamamia

        Check out what’s going on with the Norwegian Olympic girls handball team!

  13. Ana

    Although the affordable care act, or Obamacare, completely took away our insurance. Now we basically have catastrophic insurance.
    So while it may have done a couple good things it did a lot of bad for working Americans.

    • Amy

      there’s always one.

      • Ana

        @amy, I guess we know now you’re one of the ones benefiting from this on the backs of those who pay hefty premiums 👍

        • BlueWaterGirl


    • Nancy

      I am genuinely curious as to how you lost your insurance. I have (almost) always had insurance through my employment. (At $240 a week right now for a family plan!)

      • Amber

        There are employers who don’t offer it…. And if you think $1000/month is feasible for some families to pay even through an employer…. 🤷‍♀️

        • Nancy

          I am a nurse and am thankfully paid well. I don’t know how the staff who are say in the housekeeping department can manage it. Would you think working in healthcare would help. But nope.

      • Ana

        I shouldn’t have said lost it, it changed due to the ACA.
        Yes, that’s exactly what they said in the meeting when it was change bc what we had previously was the Cadillac version and that only goes to those who are uninsured and pay nothing.

    • Emily

      And for those who didn’t lose coverage, the price skyrocketed.

  14. Bethany

    This makes me thankful to have a son 😢

  15. Sandra

    Great that you are raising awareness about this

  16. Barb

    Luckily I have ALL boys 🤣

  17. lisA

    Thankfully I’m in a state that has eliminated pink tax so the price is the same here. 14 states no longer participate.

    • Julianne916

      Which state? I know there has been legislation regarding tampons, but EVERYTHING else too?

  18. Nancy

    My 9 year old daughter brought this topic up just this morning! Of course our biggest male vs female issues is the lack of POCKETS!! A couple of years ago I shopped in the boys section for shorts for her that had pockets and were not daisy duke length! They didn’t look good on her however. Sigh. Maybe some day companies will make non skin tight pants with pockets for little girls

  19. Guru

    I think that part of the Pink Tax exists because they can ie what if everyone decides to but the cheapest color. But people won’t – there are often items where the Pink color is expensive as is the Neutral one – the odd non selling colors like Yellow etc are the ones on sale then.

  20. Melissa

    Thank you so much for the information! 💛 This makes me so sad.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome!

  21. CommandoBrando13

    I have been saying this for years and never knew there was a name for it! What has always bothered me is that manufacturer’s make “Women’s” products lower quality but with a higher price tag because they know that if we need something we will generally pay extra, even if it is for inferior products. *Example: Socks – Men’s socks are less expensive and waaaaay more comfy. While Women’s are thin and not. I have been buying Men’s socks for years and I will never go back!!

  22. Tricia

    This is interesting but I have found the opposite to be true on some items. I have two boys but our baby swing is pink because it was on sale for $7.50 while the blue one was $24! And we have a pink Leap Reader thing because it was half the price of the green. I buy what makes financial sense, especially when no one has an actual color preference. Definitely be aware on identical products packaged differently, like the Dulcolax, and pay attention to the pricing!

    • Ally

      I have found some things in this post very useful and some not true comparisons. The tampons thing is very interesting to me, the healthcare thing is also interesting. Very educating how some gendered items are unfairly priced. But, I think it truly just varies by item.

      But, I will say the deodorant is not the same. I buy that deodorant all the time & the men’s with the same features of “no white marks” & “motion sense” costs the same. The one your comparing it to doesn’t have these features. I know because I always look for deodorant that doesn’t leave white marks & I do about the same regardless of which gender one I buy. I actually do better buying my husband the women’s clinical deodorant than the men’s clinical usually. But, the laxative thing is mind blowing.

      Also, I have actually found the same opposite toy thing by me. We have a LOT of pink stuff because the pink one was cheaper: pink Nintendo DS, pink leap frog reader, unicorn rocking horse, tons of pink toddler learning things, sippy cups, baby rocker, ect. I don’t care if our son uses the pink one if its a lot less expensive and makes sense. He’s rocking the pink my little pony sippy cups right now.

      But, I think that this should just be an eye opener to that items for different genders can be different prices for the same item. Thus, you might want to see if the boy/girl one is cheaper.

  23. Liza

    Great article! Thank you for raising awareness on this topic.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You bet! Thanks a bunch for the feedback, Liza!

  24. Lea

    Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention! I love this site!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Aww, You’re SO very welcome, Lea! Thank YOU for the sweet comment! 🤗

  25. JK

    The idea of the Pink Tax isn’t new to me. I’ve heard that used before – but I’ve always felt like it’s because they know that we shop more?! It just makes good financial sense to those trying to make money to charge more to the gender that typically does more shopping. I’m not saying it’s a great thing that there’s a price difference – but if it wasn’t working, they wouldn’t do it. That’s how a free market works. So, of course, we change it by speaking with our dollars – not by crying out that we are being abused and starting social movements. Money talks to those who are trying to make money.

  26. Bernice

    We pay tax on everything except food. And I think the charcoal kitchen is cheaper because they always seem to mark down things that don’t sell as well. I have three boys and none of them ever wanted or asked for a kitchen, but my nieces on the other hand all wanted a kitchen. And would’ve picked pink. Makes sense that they would mark down the one that doesn’t sell as well. I’ve never noticed a “pink tax” on anything and I feel like maybe this article is just put out there to stir the pot and get people worked up unnecessarily.
    Maybe stick to the deals and Lina’s cooking. Thanks!

    • Melissa

      I agree, it feels pot stirring to me too! My state taxes on everything but food (Washington), so in the first part of the post when you say Washington does tax on sugary cereal, but they do on tampons, that is factual, but we’re not charged tax on any food – healthy or not.

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