Friday, November 4, 2011

Color Theory: Pink


Let's face it, there's nothing controversial about navy blue. Even if it's not your favorite color, you probably don't harbor any ill will toward the shade.

But, for this second edition of Color Theory, I wanted to spice things up a bit by choosing a color that's bound to get some people all worked up.


As girls we are bombarded with the message that we should love pink. God knows why. The girls toy aisle is a sea of the stuff, and you can't buy anything for a little girl--from a bicycle to a pair of sneakers--that's not pink.

Perhaps that's why so many grown women hate it so much. There's nothing inherently in the shade not to like--objectively, it's a pleasing color--but, when anything is forced upon us as children, it's hard not to hate it later in life.

Then, there's the flip side. Little boys are often discouraged from liking pink. When my brother was a toddler, it was his favorite color (hot pink to be exact), and luckily my parents didn't discourage him, but still, for most men, pink represents a whole world of things they aren't supposed to like.

That's an awful lot of baggage for one little color.

Pink is, of course, also highly associated with breast cancer, especially in October. I'm sure that, like me, you saw all the pink merchandise last month. People were encouraged to buy everything from keychains to microwaves, all in that signature Susan G. Komen shade of pastel pink.

I always have mixed feelings about all that pink showing up in the midst of October's lovely copers, mustards, and pumpkins. Of course I think it's great that breast cancer awareness is spreading, but I know several people with breast cancer that don't like seeing so much pink everywhere because it puts a happy face on an ugly illness.

And all that merch sometimes makes me feel that we're celebrating capitalism more than spreading cancer awareness. After all, wouldn't it be better to just give a donation straight to the cause rather than buying a pink bagel so that 10 cents of the profit will be donated.

Oh, pink. What a complicated color you are.

* * *

And yet there is still something soothingly simple and beautiful about pink for me.

It reminds me of pink lemonade and cotton candy and the joys of being a girl. And, of course, it's strongly associated with love, possibly because of the pink flush on a woman's cheeks and lips after she's been -- how shall I put this -- treated well in bed.

In fact, did you know that blush and lipstick were invented to simulate that appearance? That's why makeup used to be seen as scandelous: something only a "woman of the night" would wear.

For me, pink is the color I trot out when I'm feeling girly and romantic. It also feels quite celebratory, which is why I wore it on my last birthday.

Here are some of the other ways I've worn it . . .

Pretty in Pink by Dresden Dolls on Grooveshark

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1 comment:

  1. We were doing media studies in school and something about the colour pink came up, I told my teacher about reading this post and she was pretty impressed with your analysis!