The saying, “Pretty in Pink”, is loaded with undermining connotations. In a context where pink has been socialized as the colour of femininity, it irks me that our foremost association with pink, with femininity, is “pretty.” It insinuates that to be feminine is to simplify oneself to the pettiness of a pleasing appearance. But in truth, I’m not only pretty in pink; I’m passionate in pink, I’m petty in pink, perplexing in pink and boy, sometimes even pissed off in pink! I can embrace my femininity while remaining marvellously multifaceted.
In the past, pink has symbolized a naïve and innocent positivity. Unfortunately, femininity is often viewed in this same narrow light. When we women flaunt our femininity, we are seldom seen as strong or wise. Instead, we are faced with seemingly complimentary terms such as “pretty” which reduce women to superficial qualities synonymous with sweetness. Our feminine complexity is ignored. It is imperative to note that we can be peppy in pink and still be cognisant and critical. I am proud to say that I am often provocative in pink, I am puzzled in pink, periodically pessimistic in pink, but mostly poignant in pink.
We can change this stereotypical simplistic narrative by embracing femininity in its entirety. We certainly don’t need to stop wearing pink for our intricate identities to be acknowledged. There is no need to force ourselves into a hyper-masculine mould to be of worth. In fact, I am confident that my true female self adds value to the contribution I make to uplifting the planet. I am political in pink, pensive in pink, peculiar in pink, playful in pink, punctual in pink (who am I kidding) and purposeful in pink.
It’s no secret that we are facing a great deal of adversity. It pains me to say that we are patronized in pink. I know that we are persevering in pink and certainly persistent in pink. In order to sustain our femininity and recognize our cardinal virtue, we need to embrace all our qualities. I believe this is a challenge we will take on with open arms and let our joint femininity make waves.
We are Power in Pink.
Photography – Eric Miller (Bo-Kaap, Cape Town) and Roz Berzen (Joburg)