I don’t know about you, but when I was young Barbie had a pink car and a pink wardrobe and GI Joe had a selection of camouflage to choose from. My sister’s bedrooms were shades of pink and purple whereas I had to make do with white or blue. Dresses, hats and swimwear were clearly defined by colour. There was no way a teenage boy would leave the house wearing pink socks, let alone pink shoes. From a young age, pink became a no-go area for a boy.
The same could be said in later life where a man wouldn’t be caught dead with a glass of pink wine. In the ’80s even a pink tie was a bold statement. Before you knew it pink had been reserved for the sole use of the female population. Bright pink, dark pink, pink with glitter and lipgloss in seventy-five shades…
But times have changed
That clearly defined line has blurred. These days it appears that gender-neutrality is ever more prevalent with less emphasis on stereotypes.
Which is good news for those of us who are not bothered by all of this. Can I wear my pink shirt? Yes. Can I match my bright pink socks to my business suit? Yes. I believe a certain Peter Jones has contributed to this being perceived as cool, rather than a subject of derision. Fashion has obviously led the way, helped largely by pop artists, movie stars and celebrities. The brighter the better?
What has been noticeable is how predominantly male (physical) sports have embraced the pink wave. Would you ever have associated a rugby player with a bright pink shirt or dare comment on 15 muscle-bound individuals? Soccer has had evermore teams with pink accents to their uniforms. Recent discussion has been about how dark or light the pink should be; not whether it has a place in the sport.
So I guess this means progress. Sneakers are now widely available with pink accents, much like mobile phone covers and hatchback cars. How far would you go? I carry my wife’s handbag when we’re at the market and it is bright purple and rather large (that it frees her up to take photo’s sounds like a good excuse, but happens to be true). Am I bothered? No. I don’t notice and it seems that everyone around me doesn’t either. Times change…
Would you believe the SAS Mobility Troop stationed in north Africa painted their Land Rovers pink as camouflage? Apparently, it worked rather well, particularly at sunrise and sunset. And a team in the extreme offroading competitions in Europe painting their car bright pink? Wouldn’t want to get any mud under your fingernails then?
Guinness was a man’s drink and pink beer was for ladies. These days the order may be reversed when it arrives at your table. Similarly the pale shades of rosé are less likely to be associated with a lady’s drink but has connotations of sunshine, blue skies and relaxing on a summer afternoon. I suppose it is the refreshment and versatility with a meal that appeals more than the colour. However, a discussion can still ensue on the relative desirability of pale rosé over a darker one. There’s no accounting for taste after all…