I Hated Pink

Pink or blue. Girl or boy. Before we are born, our own baby showers are filled with these colors, already predetermining how we will be treated and looked at during our lifetime. It doesn’t seem like much, it's just two colors, but growing up with the gender roles that then become associated with these colors, is where the problems lie. Just looking at these colors, you probably already know which color “belongs” to which sex. Pink for girls, blue for boys. We all understand these colors and associate them to the sex we think they belong to because society has taught us and assigned that pink is feminine and delicate, whereas blue is masculine and strong.  

Makeup brushes Photo by Hazel Olayres from Unsplash One of the main reasons that pink is associated with womxn is merely due to it being close to red, which is the color of love, and therefore, also connected to being more emotional. But what’s crazy is that it wasn’t always like this. Blue used to be associated with girls and boys with pink because blue was once seen as more delicate than pink, pink being seen as a “stronger” color. Girls were later reassigned to pink due to the reason of the closeness to red and has stuck ever since. Now, you must be thinking, why is this such a big deal? They are just colors, but behind them hides sexism and a stem of internalized misogyny.

Knowing that with each color, there is an associated way of acting determines how the rest of society expects you to act. Pink is delicate and feminine, therefore womxn must be the same. They must fulfill the role that they were assigned by doing the gender roles that are expected of them, and while it doesn’t seem like much, assigning these colors to a sex already starts the cycle of needing to fufill those gender roles

silver alarm clock on a pink and blue background Photo by Icons8 Team from Unsplash The issue of what happens if you don’t even like the color pink? You are an outcast and called a tomboy, you are not a “traditional female” because you don’t like pink and you don't like playing with dolls like the other girls. You receive an entirely new label for yourself just because you don’t like what society has determined you to be. This is how I had felt like when I was younger. 

Back then I despised the idea of acting “feminine” because what I associated with femininity were words like delicate, fragile, soft, and emotional. I didn’t like to, nor wanted to, be labeled as such. I declared everywhere I went that I did not like the color pink at all, because as a child, my understanding of gender roles and stereotypes only went that far. I was labeled a tomboy and would hang out with my male peers because I was no longer seen as a full girl, but rather a girl who “acted” like a boy. 

Looking back now, it's so apparent that this was already the beginnings of internalized misogyny that I would come to understand now that I am much older. I practically forced my younger self to dislike a color merely because of what I was told girls should like and act like, which I had disagreed with. I hated anything girly and I didn’t want to be considered soft or fragile, rather I wanted to be strong “like the boys” because who wants to be treated like they are breakable. 

woman in white shirt and blue leggings Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels But as society has come to understand much better, gender is a social construct that was created in order to keep womxn and men seperated by their sex organs, as well as to establish power and social dynamics. Clothes, colors, names, and actions do not have a gender or a sex. They should not be limited to a specific gender because society thought it would make sense for it to be that way, so if you want to be a man who likes pink, enjoy the color for yourself and only yourself. Likewise, if you are a womxn and you genuinely like the color pink, you are not contributing to society’s definition of gender. Don’t force yourself to hate something you enjoy because that would be following the status quo. Let yourself enjoy or like whatever you want because gender shouldn’t hold you back from anything, just like how now I really love the color pink.