I’ll come right out and say it; I’ve never been a fan of pink. It’s a sissy-yucky-tacky-girly colour, and perhaps because I have no desire to be a walking stereotype, I’ve made a concerted effort to stay away from any related hue or shade. To me pink has always not been dissimilar to a fart in public – any hint of it and I’d gingerly, but discreetly, step away – eager not to be associated with either.
For years, the only pink in my life was Japanese pickled ginger, the cover of a favourite Garbage CD (you know the one, right?), and the memory of my first girlfriend’s panties (yes, I had a girlfriend once). To be blunt, it’s always been a ‘gross’ colour – not at all pleasing on the eye – loud, garish, camp and over the top. Pink was the colour of little giggling girls, juvenile cartoons, imposing drag queens and people with bad taste in both dÃ©cor and clothing.
But things change. A couple of years ago, my boyfriend at the time – a trend-soothsayer of note – started hinting at the impending fashionability of pink. I scoffed at first; convinced that his unnatural ability to pick out from the ether what was soon to be ‘in’ had finally failed. But sure enough my perception of the damned colour began to subtly change. Thanks to the, at first, trickle and then deluge of pink in adverts, fashion shoots and all manner of media, pink became increasingly palatable – perhaps even sexy.
In fact, it was downright ‘hot’ to see a good-looking masculine guy wearing pink – there was a hint of the taboo, a certain daring and a rebellious subversion of social norms to it all. Perhaps pink wasn’t really so bad and not completely beyond the pale; especially in a winking, self-aware ironic context. (Anything after all is bearable when served with a little irony).
When a (male) friend returned from a trip to the States wearing sexy pink (male) underwear, and I found myself desperate to own a pair, I knew that I’d fallen hook, line and sinker for the sneaky colour. It was time to finally give in and buy something pink. But while walking through the mall clutching my eager wallet, what I saw deeply troubled me.
Pink was now everywhere; in every shop display, in every clothing store, on every man. Pink had gone from being an unwanted pariah – the ugly sister, the black sheep – to the biggest tart in town: throwing herself at every other man with abandon. Gay, straight or confused, pink was on the back of men who, but mere months ago, would have scoffed at the very idea. From big hairy middle-aged men who drive pick-up trucks to small geeky guys who can’t get laid. Faster than the change from Apartheid to Democracy, everyone had shockingly become a reformed hater of pink. It was the dawn of a new era.
At first walking, and then running, through the mall in panic, I was overwhelmed by the cackle of innumerable shades and hues of pink taunting me from shop windows for all those years of rejection. Like some Hollywood alien invasion Pink had stealthy snuck into our lives and was now poised to take over; expect pink vegetables to inhabit our fridges, pink gourmet food to be served in posh restaurant and pink condoms to brighten up our sex lives. And believe me, pink cars, houses and yachts are not far off. Not unlike some apocalyptic crusade, every other colour will be methodically painted over, replaced and erased…
Soon we will all be pink. Resistance is futile.