On Pink

Pink’s having a moment. So much so that New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology is hosting an exhibition on the color’s transformation.

In a piece published by “The New York Times” about the exhibit, its curator presents pink as the color of androgyny, a topic that’s been coming up repeatedly in my recent readings. Pink as the color of androgyny makes sense. Pink, in a male power structure, which the world undoubtedly is (read: Trump), is the color of otherness. Opposition to the political reality of white male dominance (read: Trump), has resulted in culturally explicit, and relevant, exaltations of otherness like no time before.

Zandra Rhodes, ensemble, 1978, England, museum purchase. 2017.7.1

Pink, particularly in its subtle-hued variations, is grounded in the feminine but also defiant of any attempts to reduce it to cuteness, to innocence, to frailty. There is nothing gentle about mauve. But there is nothing aggressive about it either. Pink pokes fun at power, without ever risking complicity. Pink protests with confidence, not desperation. 

Notions of beauty have changed before, and I believe they are changing again, right now, in North America, at least. The repurposing of pink as a powerful, pansexual color is part of this transformation. 

Excerpt above from “The New York Times’” “A Big Bold Show Wants You to Rethink Pink,” written by Ruth La Ferla.  Images taken from Museum at FIT’s website