Deep thoughts about the color pink


There’s always a lot of talk about pink in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. To wear or not to wear comes up first and then bigger questions arise about the color in general. But really you may wonder, isn’t it just a color? Apparently not.

1. All pinks are not created equal. As Samantha in SATC once explained, hot pink is sexy, baby pink is not. Really, the name itself should be a tip off on that one.

2. I kid you not, while I was typing #1, an email from Pantone landed in my inbox with this subject: “New Color Intelligence Article: Pink – Tempering Passion with Purity”. This has become an oddly big topic.

3. I was not into pink until my 20’s and then I went a bit crazy for it…Manic Trout used to have a hot pink logo and my closet was filled with pink frocks in multiple hues. I realized a few weeks ago that I seem to evolved to red and most of the pink is now gone. Is this a normal progression with age and career growth? I read a quote recently that I loved that makes me think it does. Said by a female CFO: “I had to earn the right to wear red.”

4. One of my role models, Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, invented shocking pink in 1931, by mixing a little white with magenta. This was a new and more assertive pink and it became her signature color. Currently one of the best selling (and my favorite) lipsticks from Nars is named after her as well, Schiap.

5. Scientifically, the color pink does not exist. “Violet (at one end of the visible spectrum), is the fastest, while red (at the other end) takes its sweet time. The other colors in the spectrum, moving at their particular frequencies, are indigo, blue, green, yellow and orange. The color pink, not a part of this spectrum, does not have a particular frequency.”

6. Diana Vreeland once famously said that “pink is the navy blue of India.” This quote has stuck in my head so permanently that every time any one talks about the country, I utter it.

7. There is a plethora of articles written about if it’s ok to wear pink to work. The consensus seems to be that the more corporate your office, the less pink you should wear. And if you do work in a creative environment, keep the pink to an accent, never ever go head to toe. Also avoid doing that with yellow and orange btw, just in case you thought all the hate was for pink.

8. BUT…Pink is one of the adult world’s most hated colors. That is sad.

9. After one eats beets, their pee often turns pink. It scares me to death every time it happens until I remember what I ate and then I just enjoy having bright pink pee for a day.

10. Gender specific colors did not arise until the early 20th century. Interestingly, when it did just before the 1920’s, many guides deemed pink for boys and blue for girls. “The reason is that pink , being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” For some reason, in the 1940’s this all changed when clothing manufacturers began producing pink clothes for girls and blue for boys. This somehow stuck and gained considerable momentum and popularity over time until the 1960’s and 1970’s when the women’s lib movement brought a push for gender neutral clothes.

Lastly, if all this talk about pink made you want to instantly adorn yourself in pink jewelry, I can help you with that.

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