I find that pink elicits strong feelings in people. It’s the one colour I have heard women say emphatically that they do not wear. According to Wikipedia it is the second most disliked colour. Brown being the colour most often cited as a person’s least favourite. But I have never heard anyone say they don’t like brown with the hard edge they reserve for pink. People will often say of a colour, “It doesn’t suit me” or “I’m not keen on it”. But pink is singled out for harsher treatment. I have two boys. They both loved pink as toddlers and right on into grade school. But around the age of five or six they began to get the idea that they shouldn’t wear too much of it. “I will be teased” they said. “It’s a colour for girls” they said. Indeed it is the colour of femininity. It’s easy to see evidence of this if you go into any toy store that divides their toys according to gender. The girls’ aisle is clearly identified by its pinkness. When I had my daughter, within weeks I had a pink laundry load each week.This had never happened before. So what is it all about?
Pink is the colour of femininity, sexuality, gentleness, weakness and connection. Femininity includes receptivity, connection and vulnerability. You can’t have connection without vulnerability and I think this is where pink really hits a nerve. We fear vulnerability. If you are vulnerable it is to be at risk of being hurt. I think the two most rejected aspects of femininity are receptivity and vulnerability. We see these aspects as passive, weak and we want to be strong, tough. Don’t cry! Suck it up! Pick yourself up and get on with it! These are the battle cries of our culture. But do we need to be at battle? This is why pink is so rejected but also why it is the colour of the anti-bullying movement. My children’s school has a wear pink day and all students are encouraged to wear pink. Pink, the colour of weakness, of vulnerability. Because of course vulnerability is kryptonite to the bully. That is what a bully avoids at all costs. “I’ll get you before you get me” the bully thinks. But there is strength in vulnerability. Tears cleanse you, allow you to let go and embrace your experience. If you push that down you lose the soothing softness of an open heart. The only way to not be vulnerable is to armour yourself. But you can’t armour yourself against hate and not love. The smooth, hard edges that protect your heart also cut and bruise those closest to you.
So do you hate pink? If you do ask yourself, how do I feel about vulnerability? If you hate being vulnerable (I think most of us are at least uncomfortable with it) know that you cannot have connection without it. And connection is the most basic of human needs. After the things that keep us physically alive, connection is what we most need, most crave. So if you are blocking the vulnerability, you are also blocking connection. Pink. Who knew it held such deep truths?
I have always deep down been a lover of pink. As a child I truly adored it, and of course her sister purple. My father did house painting and for my room he mixed me a beautiful shade of pink and purple that we named “pinkle”. As I got older I felt the need to branch out from this cliché girly palette and incorporate more yellow, blue, red, green and orange. Now as a mother and a healer I have a broader awareness of colours and their spiritual, emotional significance. Pink represents love, sweetness and purity.
Some Sahdus and renunciates adorn a pink cloth upon entering the path of God. It embodies the sunset and sunrise, birth and death, the portal between time and beyond linear dimensions. My yoga and tantra teacher wears a range of colours from soft red, muted orange and all shades of pink, thus dwelling in the vibration of the heart, spreading teachings of unconditional love.
In Mother Nature pink is a miraculous gift showing up in the most beautiful flowers, sky-scapes, sea shells, baby animals and depending on the person, pink is a reminder of the birth canal. Warm mouths, full lips, flushed cheeks. I’ve been in a pink mood this last little while, and attuning to its beauty, warmth and sweetness has had a positive impact on me, my moods and my family.