I pretty much grew up - and still am - the dictionary definition of a tomboy. My hair has not grown beyond three inches in years, dresses are absent from my closet, and the only "make-up" that touches my face is chapstick.
Like most young girls, though, my parents dressed me in pink. I even had a pink tutu during a brief stint of ballet lessons. But entering elementary school, when I began to develop a sense of autonomy, I realized that although girls were "supposed" to wear pink, they were not granted any respect for it. Girly things were mocked, viewed as a sign of weakness. Fed on a diet of Ramona Quimby and Roald Dahl's Matilda, I didn't care for that notion. Thus, I shunned all things pink, wrapping my life in dark blue and black.
However, over the last two years, I have developed a strange attachment to the color. It started with choosing the pink Nintendo DS over the black and white versions, and later acquiring a pink cell phone and pink laptop case. Pink shoes and clothing have snuck into my stark wardrobe. Just recently, I purchased a light pink luggage set.
So what's with the sudden turn of heart? The Design Benign project obviously has had some influence, diving into the world of Hello Kitty and cute electronics all in the name of research. Over the course of time I've realized that not all cute, pink stuff is "bad."
Of course, pink is still seen in the West as a feminine color. Cell phones and gaming devices make half-hearted attempts to market to women by offering pink versions of their products. The trademark soft shade of pink of breast cancer awareness adorns everything from travel mugs to coffee makers. But as I explored in an [earlier post], pink - particularly the ironic eighties-inspired hot pink - is treading where pink was previously absent. And I have adopted it into my personal style.
My fashion style is a cross between stereotypical designer and British school boy- lots of black and grey and navy. However, I also like bright colors, and a splash of pink goes nicely with most of my clothes. Combining that with my usually masculine attire creates a nice contrast. I still enjoy the looks my parents and peers give me when they see me in pink, after expressing disgust with the color for most of my life.
But I have a practical reason for liking pink, too. After frequently losing my cell phone in my apartment, its pink case acts like a beacon, allowing me to find it easily. This is also the thought behind my new pink luggage set. Set among black and navy suitcases on an airport carousel, I would be able to spot it from the other end of the terminal.
Though I do complain about the lazy practice of marketing electronics to women by making them pink, I'm tired of white and black being the standard colors for computers, phones and gaming systems, and will try to find alternative colors, even if it's just pink.
So, while I doubt I will reach Elle Woods-levels of pinkdom anytime soon, I've realized that pink is a fun, useful color, and one that I will continue to adopt and explore in the future.