Ah, pink. This combination of purple and red feels as though it is firmly established as the color of femininity. We commonly associate pink with flowery, pretty, sweet things. People make a big deal when dudes wear pink and most folks would pass out if the neighbor down the street decided to paint his house in pink hues (no one loves John Cougar Mellencamp anymore). But, the story of pink isn’t as clear as all that. In fact, prior to World War II, pink was just a kid’s color – not necessarily girls either. Consider this:
Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department in June 1918 said: “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”
Thanks, Wikipedia! But, yes, as a “descendent” of red, pink would be considered more masculine. At least, for a while. However, this changed after the second world war. No one is exactly sure what led to the feminization of pink, but there were some pretty heavy things that happened with pink during the war. The most glaring of these was the use of pink by the Nazis to identify homosexual Jewish men. Instead of the infamous yellow Star of David, these men were required to wear pink inverted triangles (the pink triangle has since been flipped and made hot pink and is now used by the LGBT community with pride). And now we have “pink-collar workers” (yes, people participating in “women’s work” … sigh), the Pink Pistols (and gay gun rights organization), and pink bats in baseball to commemorate Mother’s Day.
Today, pink is assuredly feminine. Who can forget Molly Ringwold as anything other than “Pretty in Pink”? It is used as a color of triumph and courage (breast cancer awareness), empowerment (Pink, the musician), and …. itchiness (Owens Corning Insulation). Yay, pink! It’s EVERYWHERE.