The Color Pink

What do you think about pink?

It gets mixed reviews. Some regard it as sickeningly sweet and associated with Pepto Bismol, princesses, ballerinas, and Barbie dolls. On the other hand, it’s bright, playful, and upbeat. Too much could drive a person mad, while the right amount makes us smile. Maybe it’s all about proportion.

I’m feeling quite fond of pink these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. Pink crept back into my life, one happy shade at a time.

Pink is unique. If you add white to any other color, you get a lighter version of that color. Light blue. Light green. Light yellow. But if you add white to red, you don’t get light red, you get pink. In fact pink isn’t officially on the color wheel. Take a look.

In painting, light red is more of an orange.

Let’s face it, pink is a happy color. Other hues can be boring, like sappy blue or REI green. Yellow can go terribly wrong and turn acidic if you’re not careful. Red is a power house. In grad school we had an expression, “either make it big or make it red.”  The problem is red easily overwhelms all else.

Pink, on the other hand, arrives like a puff of air.

Admittedly, living in Thailand has been an influence. In the western world, pink is relegated to the feminine-with the occasional exception. Here, it’s everywhere. There are entire buildings painted pink, as well as billboards, buses, taxis, water trucks, and plumbing.

“What’s your favorite color? Being an artist, I am often asked, but can’t possibly pick just one. I have several and my list changes all the time. Currently Pink holds favor.

postscript:
“Amazingly enough, the strict girl-pink boy-blue divide only dates from the mid-twentieth century. Just a few scant generations ago the situation was completely different. In an article on baby clothes in the New York Times in 1893 the rule stated was that you should ‘always give pink to a boy and blue to a girl.’ In 1918 a trade publication affirmed that this was the ‘generally accepted rule’ because pink was the ‘more decided and stronger color,’ while blue was ‘more delicate and dainty.”
From The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair 2016

A few more…

11 thoughts on “The Color Pink

  1. Helen

    Amy, thanks for putting pink in a more positive light. I am one of those people who are not fond of pastels and pink heads my list of don’t like. I will try to rethink that

    Reply
  2. Vanessa

    I love this post! Pink is a charged colour for sure and we imbue it with so much meaning. When I think of pink I think of blushing with embarrassment (because my ears turn pink when I get embarrassed). It is also a feminine colour, but men’s fashion has reclaimed pink recently. I love your pictures of Thailand showing all the every day items they paint pink. This was a great post!

    Reply
  3. Rita Moffitt

    I like pink, it is a sweet color
    My former boss purchased a pink sweater and his wife was aghast that he would wear it to the office, but he looked great and everyone liked it.
    I’m thinking your coffee table book on color talked about it being a masculine shade when first introduced, a version of red, and blue was for girls (Virgin Mary) but I could be mistaken. (loved that book by the way)
    so my vote is that we should embrace this misunderstood color!
    great blog, I love how you write

    Reply
  4. Joseph Gorman

    Pinkadelic Thailand! And I love Pink Floyd. Pink is the nickname of a main character in my favorite movie, Dazed and Confused. And now I’m confused. But I’m loving your writing, Amy, as well as your perfect art. Please keep posting. Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Mary Lou Adams

    Pink is one of my favorite colors. All my Bridesmaids wore pink gowns in my wedding. As a Artist,I love painting the sun down in the early morning hours at the seashore. You can see reflections of pink in the sky and water. Pink is a soothing color.

    Reply
  6. Denny Fechner

    Really enjoyed your analysis of the color PINK. I have liked it myself from time to time and ever wore a pink dress shirt when I was in my late teens. Also loved the photos which showed many different shades of pink taken in Thailand. In Baja, where, I have spent a lot of time, you see pink “the happy color” painted on buildings etc.

    Reply
  7. Sandra Wright

    AND, in Thialand men wear pink routinely.
    I always thought of pink as a sissy, girlish, gushy color so I like this. Power to Pink!

    Reply

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