Think pink

Spires of Mordor - H
‘Spires of Mordor – H’ by Erik Stensland. Reprinted by permission.


What do you think of the color pink? What does it bring to mind? Does it remind you of anything in particular? Good things or bad things?

Somehow I got onto this train of thought this morning, perhaps when I grabbed a pink patterned shirt from the closet. I have several pink shirts, purchased because I needed a shirt, I liked the style, and no better color was available at the time. But I never don one of them without thinking negative thoughts about pink being for either little girls or stereotypical grandmothers — and I am neither. Worse, if I’m wearing denim or chambray shorts or pants, I’ve got the baby blue and pink thing going on. Yuck.

Yet pink is a good color. A nice color. A friendly, happy color. Babies and little girls are pink. Flowers are pink. Blushes are pink. Puppy noses are pink. Some of them, anyway. Healthy skin is pink. Cherry blossoms are pink, and redbuds, Oklahoma’s state tree. And my granddaughter is so, so pink. Pink room, pink blankets, pink ribbons, pink soccer balls.

Pink is said to flatter every complexion, and despite their protestations, men look great in pink. My son has dark hair and eyes and looks wonderful in a certain pink shirt he has — although I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that it is coral, not pink.

Let’s face it, pink has been stereotyped, probably forever, as the feminine color. Oddly enough, “blue is for boys” doesn’t seem to be as strict a rule. Not sure how that happened, but I don’t see it changing any time soon.

Pink is said to be a calming color, which is why prison cells are sometimes painted pink. But that’s probably not the reason Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio issues pink underwear to his prisoners.

Pink reminds me of my sisters who, when we were kids, had bedrooms decorated in pink. One sister had tiny pink rosebud wallpaper. Four walls full of pink rosebuds! Along with pink carpet. The other opted for a pink patterned border around the top of her walls, a border she could and did change easily and often. Both sisters were definitely pink in those days. No girly pink for me. Nope, three walls in my room were mauve, a purplish brownish not-pink reminiscent of Western stone and deserts — the background color for all the little horses that ran wild on the fourth wall. Rosebuds are pink. Horses are just horses.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation has made pink the signature color for its annual (more like year round) campaign against breast cancer. But Komen doesn’t have an exclusive on pink. Planned Parenthood uses pink. And Code Pink, obviously. We get politically pinked everywhere.

What about pink Cadillacs? Elvis Presley had a pink Cadillac, and there was a song “Pink Cadillac.” Top Avon sales reps were (are?) given “Pepto pink” Cadillacs. I think I’d have considered that punishment, not a reward.

There’s some celebrity named Pink. A singer, I think. Can you tell I care? The color pink also has some very rude connotations, but I’ll skip those here.

My favorite pinks will always be those I see in the mountains and skies, when the sun is rising or setting and atmospheric conditions are just right and suddenly, for a few minutes, everything is bathed in a glorious, heavenly pink.

10 thoughts on “Think pink

  1. I have never really thought that much about it; the first thing to pop was for breast cancer awareness. I wear pink, but prefer burgundy. Once i used a pink halter on my mare… she rolled & got it all muddy, so guess she wasn’t a pink girl, either. Love Erik S’s work– this of the Keyboard is incredible; without the Diamond showing, it does conjure Mordor, perhaps. Thanks for illustrating your post with it! 🙂

    1. Stensland has been my favorite RMNP photographer since I came across his work a few years ago. I have featured it occasionally. I keep swearing to visit his gallery the next time I’m in Estes, but the park always wins.

      It’s nice knowing someone else who appreciates his work and the places he shoots, like the Keyboard.

  2. Pink is a color that I only like in certain tones and not too much of it. Used to be my favorite color as a little girl. But then what little girl in my generation didnt like pink?

    1. I like hot pink, fuchsia, magenta, all the deep jewel tones leaning into the purples. Then through purples into blues and blue-greens. I like all the cool colors.

  3. I agree that pink has been far too stereotyped PT, and though I agree it can look good on a man, I was never quite “socially flamboyant” enough to wear that color much myself, especially growing up in an environment where such flamboyance was associated with gays and pimps. These days, hopefully, with black being all the rage with the goth and vamp crowds, perhaps the negativity associated with it may just take some of the pressure off guys who dare to wear pink… Or should I say Coral? 😀

    1. Coral, yes. I was about to correct you. When I was growing up, lavender/purple was the “gay” color. You couldn’t wear those colors to school without provoking comment. Yet somehow I forgot or got over that stereotype. One of the combinations I liked best on my ex was a lavender shirt with a navy blazer, and a striped tie with both colors.

  4. Pink wasn’t a favored color of mine when I was a kid. That was probably due to stereotyping and my strong desire to individuate. As I developer as an artist I came view pink in a different light and how to use it effectively in paintings. Gradually a few pink colored pieces of clothing appeared in my closet in college. Goth is yesterday where I live. I don’t have much pink at all on my closet now and I deliberately avoid wearing black.

    1. I think black can be very chic (I’m too old to have been in on Goth), but I own only one or two black items. Impossible to keep black clothes looking good unless I leave the house immediately. Otherwise, I pick up dog and cat hair (both light colored) like a magnet.

  5. Me too, PT. The pinks of the skies never fail to be breathtaking. I shall never forget when the Icelandic volcano was erupting, the skies here were filled with all sorts of shades of pink. It is a much undervalued colour.

... and that's my two cents