As a child I really hated this colour, brought up as I was in a family that embraced the concept of feminism. When we grew up we were told we could do and be anything we wanted, I was a tomboy most of the time and I thought pink was for girls – and Barbie dolls, urghhh. Although Sindy was somehow a bit more gung- ho, mine had curly hair and most definitely did not have a pink wardrobe, or a boyfriend, let alone one called Ken. Independent and gutsy, pink was not for her.
As I’ve grown older and now have a daughter of my own I’ve finally been able to appreciate pink as a colour. It’s pretty, it’s uplifting and somehow simultaneously calming. It lights up the face and skin. My daughter was dressed in many colours as a baby, but never pink, but now she’s old enough to have a say, she regularly wears it from head to toe. I thought I would be horrified, but strangely I’m not.
Maybe that’s because I’ve managed to re-brand it in my head as Prison Pink – given it an edge, made it feel punk and cool. Now that I’ve managed to sell it to myself I love it. I first heard about prison pink a few years ago, and thought the concept was great – calm aggression with a spot of pastel décor, what a fantastic idea. And apparently it works, although small boys might baulk at the thought, those detained at her Madge’s pleasure don’t have a say, and they most definitely benefit from it as a result.
So does a necklace in prison pink have a calming effect? Could you wear it for exams? In interviews? On the plane? I’ve always thought most of the women I know are way too intellectual to wear pink – to want or need to be pretty rather than appear clever. We don’t need this colour, this badge of girliness. But it can also be so much more, as I explore colour theory, I find pink and other pastel colours too (Seriously? Pastels? Urghh!) speaking to me, calming and soothing me. They bring a strange feeling of peace and relaxation, that spreads across my chest from my hearstspace and gives me that internal “Ahhhhhhh”. Perhaps it’s not about the pretty, it’s about the feeling it gives, or maybe that’s what pretty was all along and I just missed the memo? Perhaps I’m just more comfortable in myself and I’ve outgrown the connotations that pink held in the past?
Who’d have thought it?
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