There’s a lot of power in pink, don’t you think?
I used to hate the colour pink and everything it represented: pathetic, flimsy, weak, feminine.
It seemed ridiculous that all girls were expected (by society) to love it and because I wasn’t in the habit of doing what was expected of me, I chose to hate it. I reflect now with a smile because I was such a good kid, I think this was my little rebellion.
Pink was the assigned colour for girls, at least when I was in my teens, and I rejected any association with it. It was vulgar and I wanted nothing to do with something so weak. Seems a little extreme, right?
Like many teens, I wanted to fit in but I knew I was different. I couldn’t explain it, I couldn’t shake the feeling but I knew I was not like my friends. Being like anyone else didn’t appeal either. I didn’t want to be what people expected so when girls liked pink, I declared blue my favourite colour. When big gold earrings were the latest trend, I loudly declared silver my favourite. Do you see where I’m going with this?
I was stubborn and desperate to stand out from the rest. When I became a mother, I didn’t want my daughter to be a pink princess. I didn’t like the idea of a princess needing saving and I didn’t like the message that women should wait for a knight in shining armour instead of saving themselves. Enter *rolled eyes* here.
Yes, I am a feminist and yes, those views impacted how I wanted to raise my children. But in a way, it was my perspective of feminism and of feminity that was the problem.
Feminism opened my eyes. The values had always been there, but when I found the word and read the definition, I felt like I’d finally arrived. It happened by accident, because I applied for a job at a women’s organisation. The website proudly declared the charity’s feminist values, and I wanted to know more. A quick Google search turned into lengthy research and fascination with a belief system that felt right to me. I was always a feminist but I never had terminolgy to identify it as that, or access to anyone who did.
Feminism helped me realise the limitations that come from a gender dictated society. But I overindulged in that message and mistook feminity for weakness.
I stepped aside from femininity as though I was made of something else entirely. Masculine energy was at the forefront of everything I did, but I’ll tell you the truth now: I felt lonely, cold and disconnected.
Things are very different now. I’m a decade into motherhood and I think that’s been a catalyst. I’m now a big fan of defining feminity on your own terms. Whether it’s pink, purple or royal blue, or not a colour at all, our power lies in the informed choices we make.
Rejecting the colour pink never protected me from sexism, sexual harrassment or rape. It never gave me confidence or helped me love myself. I was so concerned with not being who others expected me to be, that I forgot to be myself.
So yeah, I am still a feminist. Absolutely. Without a doubt. But I define what that looks like to me. I also love pink, make-up and sparkly things. I teach my daughters that boys and girls can like blue and pink. My children know they can be anything at all and I demonstrate exactly that by striving for greatness, while wearing bright red lipstick. Hello baby.
I’m open to defining femininity for myself and what exploring what pink represents to me. But there are still people who can’t seperate fact from fiction, and it’s not my job to force them to see different. That’s up to them. In an era of technology and readily available information at our finger tips, such ignorance is a shame.
As pink and fabulous as I am, I have extensive life experience and condidence and don’t need permission for my life choices.
You can think what you want, but I find power in how I choose to express myself, how I experience the world as a woman, how I perceive and display femininity.
And right now, my power is in the colour pink.
What does pink do for you?