Friday, 6 July 2012

Colour My World Pink

I can't believe it, but after last month, I'm actually doing a cheer that this month's Colour My World challenge is PINK!

According to Wikipedia, "Although pink is roughly considered just as a tint of red, most variations of pink lie between red, white and magenta colors. This means that the pink's hue is somewhat between red and magenta."

From Wikipedia - Dianthus
The color pink is named after the flowers called pinks, flowering plants in the genus Dianthus. The name comes from the frilled edge of the flower. The verb "to pink" also comes from the edge of this flower and means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern".

According to Sensational Color, "Brighter pinks are youthful, fun, and exciting, while vibrant pinks have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive."

But before you get all comfortable thinking that you know pink, check out this video that argues that pink is just a figment of our imagination:

And boy, is this colour loaded with baggage. I'm not sure there's another colour with as much social or cultural symbolism. It's love, Easter, Valentine's Day, friendship, breast cancer awareness, bubble gum, and cotton candy.

An obvious one is that pink "is a girl colour", to quote my kids (that notion has been corrected). One of the first references to using pink to distinguish between boys and girls dates back to 1868, in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, when the character Laurie wondered how to tell the difference between twin babies and was told that the girl had a pink ribbon, according to the French way.

However, an article in the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department in June 1918 said: "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary. The things that make you go hmmm.

Pink is also used for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. During World War II, men accused of homosexuality were forced by Nazis to wear pink triangles in concentration camps. Now it is reclaimed as a sign of pride.

Detail of Pink poster by Sheila
Levrant de Bretteville
Now for something neat related to quilting: In 1973, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville created "Pink," a piece meant to explore the notions of gender as associated with the color pink, for an American Institute of Graphic Arts exhibition about colour. This was the only entry about the colour pink. De Bretteville arranged the squares of paper to form a “quilt” from which posters were printed and disseminated throughout Los Angeles. She was often called "Pinky" as a result.

Finally some random pink tidbits: Did you know that the "white elephant" is actually pink and flamingos are pink due to their diet? In Thailand, pink is associated with Tuesday on the Thai solar calendar so anyone may wear pink on Tuesdays, and anyone born on a Tuesday may adopt pink as their colour. Oh, and the singer Pink's real name is Alecia Beth Moore. I just thought you'd like to know that, if you didn't already. ;) The National Geographic even has a quiz about the colour pink. Check it out.

There's a lot more information about Pink out there so here are some references if you'd like to do some more exploring:
Ready to get going on this month's Colour My World challenge now? I am. I think I know what I want to do this month, but every time I say that, I end up changing my mind. 

Oh, before I go, Laura @ Quokka Quilts is hosting TGIFF! today so if you have a finish, head on over to link up or check out the other finishes. I'll be lucky if I get a finish done for my turn to host next week!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. Wow! So much info out there on Pink, who knew?!! I LOVE that video and I think I am now calling this month my "Minus Green Star"!! LOL

  2. Oh and Aerosmith did a great song called 'Pink'! My favourite colour whether it exists or not!

  3. Huh, maybe the "minus green" explains why pink and green are such an appealing colour combination. Pink must also be ultra motivating, because I'm almost done my block already!

  4. I'll be watching to see what you come up with. Pink is my least favourite colour, but I have no doubt you'll convert me by month's end.

  5. Fascinating information. Thanks for taking the time to gather all that fun trivia!


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