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Should men wear pink?



By Simran Bawa

Hollywood actor Paul Dano says, “My favourite colour is blue and my secret favourite colour is pink.” Sounds hilarious in the first instance, but if you think about it carefully, it is such a pity.

For those who say pink is girlish, let me tell you something. Men have been proudly wearing pink in wars ever since the 19th century. Pink was a symbol of pride and bravery on the battlefield. Cut to the 21st century, do men still wear pink? Not so much. After all these years, the colour has not been able to make space for itself in a men’s wardrobe or life.

This gradual change was a result of decades of gender and cultural stereotyping that attached an essence of femininity to this colour. Where women can pull off an entire ensemble in pink, the thinking is different when it comes to men wearing a pink shirt. Nobody is to blame for this because gender colour coding is naturally learnt by our brains. Let us see how:

The inception of this gender colour coding begins even before the birth of a child. You might have come across some videos or posts published online. People keep coming up with new ideas to reveal gender, but still use the same old stereotype colours. ‘Blue’ for a baby boy and ‘Pink’ for a baby girl.

Now, the question arises, why and how did males develop such deep-rooted hatred towards pink colour? It was the 1960s, and with the advent of hippy culture, gays started to wear pink and other fluorescent colours. Ever since then men started to avoid pink, and just the sight of the colour pink triggers their insecurities.

The psychology of colours has an answer to all these insecurities. Research studies highlight colours that can influence our emotions. Too much pink colour drains one’s energy and results in a lack of power. Hence, men always feel the need to avoid pink to save their energy. Besides, popular opinion plays a critically important role in building a person’s preferences.

When we talk of popular opinion, marketing plays a crucial role. The pink-blue strategy was introduced by MNCs to sell more products. They started manufacturing a wide range of products in various shades of pink and blue for girls and boys respectively. As per reports, the baby care product market that advocates this pink-blue strategy is worth 73.83 US billion dollars. This strategy has strengthened the notion that boys should not wear pink.

In the end, I would simply like to say that if we have accepted girls wearing blue shirts, jeans and sneakers, then why can’t we accept men wearing pink?