Monday, September 21, 2009

Pink Things

By Ian Tyrrell

In the last few years, there has been a new colour invading high fashion and personal accessories: the colour pink. Pink lovers are finding new ways to incorporate their favourite colour, using pink as a fashion statement that seems to represent a whole outlook on life, even become an obsession. How did this trend start?

The History of Pink - Pink has been used as a colour in fashion and make-up for centuries. However, it was only after the second World War that pink became associated with femininity. Before World War II, baby boys were often dressed in pink, as red was viewed as a masculine colour, and pink was just a "watered down" red. (By contrast, baby girls were typically dressed in blue.) However, after World War II, pink began to be associated with traditional womanhood.

The 1950s saw the rise of pink as a feminine symbol, as women returned from working in factories to working in the home. The booming post-war economy led to a rise in make-up sales and a corresponding association of the colour pink with women. Pink crept into high fashion: there was an "all pink" sequence in the Audrey Hepburn film "Funny Face." The phrase "Think pink" appeared in a musical number in the film and began to be used as a marketing phrase in magazines. The decade also saw the growing popularity of Barbie dolls, who were often dressed in the colour pink. The 1960s added to the trend with the "Pink Panther" films, which gave an ironic, cheeky twist to the colour. The 1980s gave us the song "Pink Cadillac" and films like "Pretty in Pink." The 2000s saw the rise of the musician Pink, who started her career with a shocking pink hair.

The Current Pink Trend - However, the current trend probably dates to the 2001 film "Legally Blond," in which Reese Witherspoon plays a law student who overcomes every obstacle with the help of pink handbags and a tiny Chihuahua dressed in pink. The film represents a view of womanhood in which being tough and smart go hand in hand with being feminine and sexy. Women and style mavens everywhere began to take notice.

Pink Home Accessories - As pink's popularity has risen, a wide range of products for home decor are now available in the colour pink. Pink lovers can now use pink not only as an accent colour but as the colour scheme for entire rooms. Home decorators can now find pink sheets and blankets for the bedroom, and pink toothbrushes and shower curtains to create a bathroom that resembles a spa. Pink kitchen accessories are growing in popularity, too. There are now pink kettles and toasters for cooking, and even a pink microwave oven on the market.

Pink Travelling - Pink extends far beyond the home, however. There are not only pink cars but also pink car accessories, such as flashlights, key chains, and even mats for seats and floors. Foreign travellers can also look into purchasing entire luggage systems that are decorated in pink. These not only coordinate with other pink items, but are also easy to spot at the airport.

The True Pink Lover - There is even a nickname for the true pink lover: a "pink princess." Pink princesses are women who like to enjoy an entire array of pink stuff. For these women, pink can be a whole identity, even a personal statement. These women embrace the two sides of the colour pink: on the one hand, softness, flirtation, and beauty, and on the other hand, elegance and high fashion. Colour psychologists even claim that pink can be a soothing colour. Some studies have shown that violent criminals may behave less violently if they are surrounded by pink walls.

The current obsession with pink may be a short-term trend, but it is also possible that it is part of a rising new view of life. Pink lovers are trying to "see the world through rose-colored glasses," to surround themselves with one more tool for happiness.

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