Pink is for girls? Not anymore

Blog Interviews & Trends

I don’t know about you, but when I was young Barbie had a pink car and a pink wardrobe. GI Joe on the other hand had a selection of camouflage to choose from. My sister’s bedrooms were shades of pink and purple – depending on their age and I had to make do with white or blue. Duvet covers, 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.

The same could be said in later life where a man wouldn’t be caught dead with a pink beer or a pink wine (commonly known as rosé). In the 80’s even a pink tie was a bold statement. Before you know 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 that everyone was seemingly comfortable with 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 really bothered by all of this. Can I wear my pink shirt now, without being looked at strangely? Yes. Can I match my bright pink socks to my business suit? Well, 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. In an age of accessorising nothing beats a cool scarf, hat or tie to make a statement. The brighter the better?

What has been noticeable lately is how predominantly male (physical) sports have embraced the pink wave. Would you ever have associated a rugby player with a bright pink shirt? And would you dare comment on 15 muscle-bound individuals? Soccer has had a couple of teams with pink accents to their uniforms and most recent arguments have been about how dark or light the pink should be; not whether it has a place in sport. So I guess this means progress. Sneakers are now widely available with pink accents, if you like? Or mobile phone covers and hatchback cars? How far would you go? Did you know I carry my wife’s handbag when we’re at the market (that it frees her up to take photo’s sounds like a good excuse, but happens to be true) and it is bright purple and rather large. Am I bothered? Not much, 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. For camouflage I hear you say? Apparently it worked well, particularly at sunrise and sunset. And a team in the extreme offroading competitions in Europe painting their car bright pink? It could be viewed as quite a macho sport, with heavily modified vehicles, intense racing and deep swamps and bogs to be winched out of. Wouldn’t want to get any mud under your fingernails then?

Pink beer used to be for ladies only and Guinness was a man’s drink. Don’t be surprised if these days the order is 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. But having said that sometimes a discussion can still ensue on the relative desirability of pale rosé over a darker one. There’s no accounting for taste after all…

Marcel Koning
The author: Marcel Koning

Marcel Koning and his wife moved to Provence in 2014, trading a comfortable life in the Netherlands for a new French adventure (view their travel blog at Tours and Tales.com). Marcel happily helps out with the administration and logistics, DIY and heavy lifting where needed. When he's able to catch a moment with Stephen and Jeany, they make fun wine videos for Youtube.

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