Hello colour lover!
This month we’re going to be looking at some of the fun facts about the colour pink. Here I share my top 5 favourite facts about this wonderful hue!
1. How Pink got its name
I just love learning how colours get their name and I especially love how pink got it’s name.
Researching into this, the word pink as a colour term came into existence in the English language in the early 1600s and meant a pale rose colour. Originally used as a verb, ‘to pink’ dates back to the fourteenth century and means ‘to decorate with a perforated or punching pattern’; this is where we got the name for the zig-zag scissors we call ‘pinking shears’. Pink is the name of a genus of flowers called Dianthus, and so named because its zig-zag petals look as though they have been cut with pinking shears. Isn’t that a lovely story.
2. The many names for Pink
There are so many tints, tones and shades of pink, no wonder we have many ways to describe them. Common names like warm baby pinks, blush pinks and nude pinks; and the cool pinks, rose pink, dusty pink, magenta and bubblegum . . . to name just a few.
The tone and intensity of pink can affect us differently. Soft, warm pinks, like baby pink, are physically soothing because of the low intensity of the colour. These tones suit the gentle energy of babies and young children.
Strong, cool pinks, like magenta, are physically stimulating because of the high intensity of the colour. It could even appear to be quite feminist and feisty. I’ve had women tell me they see it as the grown-up version of pink, and it’s increasing in popularity as women move away from masculine red and towards greater femininity, but without what many fear would be appearing ‘girly’ or ‘weak’ by wearing the softer pinks. I have noticed these intense pinks are frequently used by women who once used to wear a lot of red and often it’s their first foray into pink.
3. Using Pink as a tactic
In the early 1980s, a famous football coach at the University of Iowa decided to paint the visitors’ locker rooms pink as a tactic to undermine psychologically the opposing team and stop them playing well by making them feel as if they were losing their physical strength. When, in 2005, Iowa rebuilt its Kinnick Stadium, it not only kept the pink lockers, but painted the urinals, sinks and showers in the visitors’ locker room all pink too – to the outrage of many, who said it was in violation of the federal law that requires employers to treat its employees equally and schools to treat their students equally. It is, however, still pink to this day.
4. Colour in culture Pink
In China, pink was unknown until recently, the symbol for pink means ‘foreign colour’. It is the colour of Tuesday in Thailand, and it denotes trust in Korea.
Pink has become the colour for little girls in English-speaking countries. We have seen this repeated so often that it has come to seem natural, as though we are biologically made this way. But the assigning of gender symbolism to pink for girls (and blue for boys) is a relatively recent phenomenon. Put it down to great marketing!
5. The psychology of Pink
We saw in a previous blog that red is physically stimulating, but a soft, light red, i.e. pink, is physically soothing and comforting.
Pink is the colour for an expression of a nurturing, caring and empathetic love.
As you can see, it is a very different kind of love from that which is associated with the physically stimulating red, but it is not the exclusive domain of little girls or women. Empathetic love is just as much for boys as it is for girls, and is just as easily expressed by men as it is by women. If cuddles were a colour, they would be pink!
Want to learn more?
Extracts from The Little Book of Colour.
Head over to buy The Little Book of Colour where you can find out How to Use the Psychology of Colour to Transform your Life.
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Wishing you a colourful day!
Pink title photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash
Pink Dianthus photo via Pinterest
Tones of pink – Karen Haller
Pink toilet phone by Curology on Unsplash
Pink booties Photo by Mon Petit Chou Photography on Unsplash
Pink quote – Karen Haller