A Not Entirely Unfair Rejection
As I continue to interrogate my feelings about pink, I am struck once again with how the complexity of my profession always allows me to appreciate the transaction between a person and their environment. As we learn more about the brain, we also now know that these transactions can actually change the architecture of our brain in ways that can facilitate, as well as hinder, our development. The power of signs, whether embedded in an article of clothing or in a color, are powerful and remain in our memory and in our DNA.
As I read the article I asked all of you to read, I was struck again by the rigid age and gender assignment (and association with the color pink) that was part of the social context when I entered the world. My feelings about pink signify my inherent rejection of the roles I observed assigned to my mother and the limits thus imposed. Interestingly, the alternative model of femininity I was exposed to at the time were nuns who had permission to be educated, intellectual, caring and could wear black. Although celibacy is a pretty steep price to pay.
On continued reflection I remember that I never bought my daughter one item of pink clothing, preferring jewel tones and bright primary colors for her to move through the the world in. This also fits with the historical timeline laid out in the article and this exercise is renewing my belief in social construction. For me these associations to pink are exceptionally hard to shake and I feel it firmly lodged in a remote part of my brain. The only pink I ever buy my granddaughter is clothing that contains images of a rude and empowered little girl pig named Peppa who she seems to adore.
I also associate the color pink wth Pepto-Bismol and breast cancer which in and of themselves are associated with a range of unpleasant occurrences. Yet on the other hand, and in again in the spirit of transacting with our environment, the article on Pink in Fashion History in my weekend bibliography mentions research that suggests the color pink, “has a marked effect on lowering the heart rate, pulse and respiration as compared to other colors”. The author goes on to suggest, given the uncertainty of our current context, the calming effect on our physiology may be a better explanation for the return in fashion to the color pink. I must confess that perhaps due to the texture of the sweater as well as the color, it did make me move a little slower and to feel more feminine which some days is just what I need to feel. When I took this selfie, again wearing pink, I feel myself softening up. So now when I come upon a garment that is pink I will know why I immediately reject it, take a breath and perhaps have a second look.
To see the reflections of others in fashion on the color pink I invite you to click below.
Please continue to share yours.