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.
“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