pink color, why we love pink

Thinking Beyond Pink – The Politics Of Color

Pink isn’t just a color, its an attitude.

Bold, sexy, feminine, — Pink is a shape-shifter. It can be cute and classy or gaudy and over the top, all based on how its used and its beholder. Pink is the color most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity, and the romantic.

I’ve always thought pink as a very proud color. Sure, some lighter shades can be girly, but it’s the bold Magenta shade that arouses my senses as an artist the most. Pink feels rich and velvety against a neutral earthy palette, yet when paired with bright blues, yellows, oranges, purples or black it takes on a wild edgy cool. This mercurial ability to be so many different things at the same time is — for me — at the heart of pink’s appeal. I heart pink with all my heart.

the color pink, pink gender politics,
Pink Is An Attitude

I accentuate with pink often. I’ll use a Mexican rose pink embroidered pillow, tall stalks of lavender pink lilies, a pink handbag, a pink fuzzy bag charm, a matte pink lip, fluorescent pink nails, a fuchsia stole or a shocking pink phone case. Indian skin tones look especially great in pink too. My ethnic indian wardrobe is always overflowing in Rani Pink. I just can’t seem to get enough of it. Growing up, my mum looked like a vision in her chiffon magenta sarees. I guess that must’ve stuck in my head.

I feel so tempted lately to imitate the Hollywood It girls stepping out with freshly dyed Manic Panic Hot Pink locks. Somebody stop me. I’ve turned up at work many times and whipped out a pink notebook, mobile phone and laptop case, all from a pink handbag only to look down and think, damn, everyone around my cubicle now thinks I’m a total girly girl.

I consider my attraction to pink – the brighter the better – a feminist failing, along with my love of Koffee With Karan and questionable hip hop. As a result, I’ve been on a personal mission to subvert the colour pink for many years. I’ve tried hard to make black – my “thing”. At the moment, I’m having a bit of a flirtation with blue. But inevitably I’ll drift back to pink.

Why does it matter? It’s not the color but what it signifies.

Pink needs so much thinking about because of the way it’s used to pigeonhole girls into softer, gentler beings. To be less adventurous, to sit quietly, like good little princesses. And while of course blue stigmatizes boys, the associations with blue tend to be much more positive, about exploring and engaging with the world in a challenging and inquisitive way.

What I despise about Pink is that it embodies that gender dichotomy of what it means to be a woman. At least colors must be left out of gender politics. Yet, pink continues to be synonymous with Barbie dolls, femininity, allure, seduction and mystery. The idea that boys shouldn’t wear pink is just ridiculous.

Let me paraphrase what Bob Marley said a long time ago, If you wear white and you’re wrong, then you’re wrong; if you wear pink and you’re wrong, you’re wrong. People are people. White, Black, Pink, Blue – God makes no rules about color; only society makes rules where people suffer.

The International Day of Pink also called the Pink Shirt Day is a day in April against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Transmisogyny across the world. The event started when two students saw another student, who was wearing a pink shirt, being bullied in their High School in Nova Scotia, Canada and decided to show support for the student by getting everyone at their school to wear pink the following day.

Even this funky 1997 song ‘Pink’ by Aersomith is highly suggestive, in that the origin of the fascination with pink stems from the admiration of a woman’s reproductive organs.

From an evolutionary perspective, Yazhu Ling, neuroscientist at Newcastle University Ling speculates that the pink color preference and women’s ability to better discriminate red from green could have evolved due to sex-specific divisions of labor: while men hunted, women gathered, and they had to be able to spot ripe berries and fruits. Another theory suggests that women, as caregivers who need to be particularly sensitive to, say, a child flushed with fever, have developed a sensitivity to reddish changes in skin color, a skill that enhances their abilities as the “empathizer.”

From the pink sunsets of Hawaii to the Pink city of Jaipur, this sweet cotton-candy Hello Kitty called pink is well worth worshipping.

Love Pink. Believe in miracles. Laugh often.

 

3 thoughts on “Thinking Beyond Pink – The Politics Of Color

  1. My favorite color too. Human beings love compartmentalizing everything. His/hers, first class/economy, curvy/petite, etc I think we just like all kinds of labels and stereotypes too because it makes it easy for our brains to process information.

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