When we think of ‘PINK’, we usually think of bows, berries, babies and of course the pink puffy pastry girly look, don’t we? Like it’s an epitome of femininity. Albeit, what do we think when we hear “men & pink”? Voila! Femininity again! The most irrational stereotype in fashion is most probably “Boys don’t wear pink!” Why not? Let’s find out.
This stereotype dates back to the roots of fashion and its commercialization. While history completely contradicts the belief of pink and its non-masculinity, it was twisted along the way.
In the 1800s, pink was the colour associated with masculinity. While most children simply wore white clothes at the time, it was quite common for boys to be dressed in pink. In 1927, Times magazine released a chart that highlighted gender appropriate colours according to Times’ leading US retailers such as Best & Co., Halles and Marshall Field, etc. The chart advised parents to dress the boys in pink. However, despite all its history, pink is now considered to be a feminine color. This was once again due the trends set by the fashion brands themselves.
Pink and blue were previously never gender-specific colors until parents started to determine a child’s sex at an early stage of pregnancy. The companies capitalized this and introduced gender specific clothing. This meant that clothes for the two genders could not be swapped. Hence, the tradition of ‘pink is for girls; blue is for boys’.
However, we as a generation of ‘rebels ’are reshaping these stereotypes. Youth is liberating thoughts & mindsets and are challenging gender specific colour norms.
There is absolutely no valid reason for pink to be considered a non-masculine color and here are the reasons as to why it compliments men’s fashion – Pink is quite an attractive color. It nullifies the myths about gender-specific fashion and being one of the favorite colors of women, it catches female attention. Apart from that, it is versatile and goes well with most other colors. It depicts boldness as well as power and stands out as a statement of unorthodox and open-mindedness.
There are enough arguments to prove the ‘non-gender specificity’ of pink. For instance, have a look at the ‘neon pink Oakley’ worn by Steven Smith, The Australian Cricket Team captain, or the recently launched Nike Kyrie 5 ‘Patrick’ and more.
Today, pink has become a staple of strength. A man who wears pink exhibits confidence and courage. He does not fear becoming an outsider and challenging the norms. As said –
“Fashion is above all, an art of change.” – John Galliano
4th Year, B.Des. Textile & Product Design
2nd Year, B. Des. Fashion Communication
Assistant Professor, ASFDT
2nd Year, B.Des. Fashion Design