Something has been bothering me recently and that something is the colour pink. Which is weird, because I love the colour pink. I normally wear at least one item of pink every day, be it the mere hint of lippy or, like right now as I sit here writing this, a pink pashmina and a hot pink manicure. And underneath my dress, a neon pink bra. Today, three things are pink.
Does this immediately make me a) not a feminist, and b) stupid? Those are the relations to pink which I am finding increasingly bothersome.
To tackle point a) well, no. I would consider myself a feminist. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start taking off said neon pink bra and burning it for all womankind. But fundamentally I believe that women and men are equal and deserve equal opportunities, therefore I am a feminist. Yet, pink is inherently associated with the girly girl, the ditzy blonde (I’m also peroxide blonde which, tied in with my infatuation of all things pink means I can be immediately labelled bimbo). But why is this? Before the 1940s, pink was gender neutral, but changed to become gender specific. So, in most of our lifetimes, pink means girl, blue means boy. I want to take a stand and say wearing pink is my choice, not something which society deems necessary simply because I’m female.
Does wearing pink instantly lower my IQ? I think many people would look at me, wearing pink, and assume yes. In reality, a piece of clothing can’t strip me of my degree and other academic accolades. Why does it outwardly do so? Who knows. Wearing pink is kind of the same as wearing a shorter hemline – women can’t fully express themselves this way if they want to be taken seriously, because stereotypically, it is the women emulating men who succeed.
Think of Margaret Thatcher – I could never have imagined her in a hot pink mini skirt. She was taken seriously because she dressed ‘masculine’. In a mixed sex workplace, I feel inferior if I look good. If I make an effort, wear something that flatters my figure, but god forbid I wear pink. There’s no chance of my opinions being heard, let alone validated, in the same way as if I didn’t wear pink. But a man in a pink shirt…
I know that this will seem like a feminist rant, but that isn’t what I’m trying to convey at all. It’s just infuriating that wearing my favourite a colour, a colour which suits my complexion and hair, a colour I love, because it somehow portrays me as an inferior person. I’m calling for a revolution ladies, put the black down. No more navy! Reach for the pink and wear it with pride.
By Jessica Moffatt-Owen