We need to talk about pink. There is a problem with pink and it’s not that little girls love it. It’s that too many adults hate it. Part of the problem with pink, and it’s not pink’s problem but our problem, is that we have been conditioned to believe it only represents the feminine. Not only that, but specific kinds of femininity.
Sartorially speaking, it has been the signature colour for many strong women. The vigilante Gulabi Gang of Uttar Pradesh wear magenta sarees, a colour they say represents power and respect. For them it was the obvious choice to wear whilst fighting violence against women. Mexican artist and iconoclast, Frida Kahlo, also donned the shade. In one of my favourite portraits, she’s wearing a bright fuchsia shawl and matching flowers in her hair. First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, adored the colour. Her most notable outfits were a silk shantung gown and a Chanel suit. Pink is eye catching and commands a room. Ask any man who wears it. Even the SAS drive flamingo Land Rovers in the desert. They have been aptly named Pink Panthers.
Bankers and barristers have been long time fans of blush shirts. Most City Boys have at least one in their wardrobe. When I used to see high-powered businessmen wearing soft shades of marshmallow, I thought perhaps they were using it as a diversionary tactic. Like wolves in sheep’s clothing, it’s easier to attack if no one suspects you. Then I realised pink is the wolf’s clothing, though it is also the innocent’s.
Holy man, Meher Baba, wore a rose silk coat, which makes perfect sense when you consider the healing effect of rose quartz. The colour is said to be the aura of healers, poets, writers, and lovers. It is the shade of higher consciousness.
Pink is a flavour. It cleanses the palate like that bite of ginger after a mouthful of eel. It’s also vanilla ice cream stained with squirls of strawberry sauce or the pleasantly sharp ruby grapefruit in your cocktail. Pink is a feeling and a mood. It’s poolside at The Beverly Hills Hotel and seaside at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki. It’s the beaches in Barbuda and the buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s California sunsets and sculpted sandstone in the Southwest. It’s cherry blossoms and cactus roses and the roses in your cheeks. Pink is good. Pink is versatile. Pink is not just for little girls; it is for everyone. So embrace it.
Misti Traya is an award winning writer and actress.
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