Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pink Think

I'm in advanced surface design again this semester! Basically, it's arts and crafts for 3 hours,
but don't tell my professor that. We're serious artists exploring design techniques.

We started with shibori on the first day of class. Shibori is essentially tye-dye, but Japanese, so it's art. Arashi is my favorite technique, mostly because it's the easiest. You just wrap fabric around a pole (or PVC pipe in our class), wrap string or yarn around the fabric on the pole, then scrunch the fabric up, and dye it. The string leaves a resist that looks like stripes on the fabric. It's pretty fun, and I'll try to take pictures.

Anyway, arashi is a great way to use up old bobbins from the weaving class, you know, old yarn people used for projects but didn't weave entirely off. When this one woman, we'll call Graduate Student, pulled out a bobbin that I used, I said, "I love that color! I used it in a weaving last semester." And she replied, "I hate pink. It's such an ugly color, I would never use it in my artwork." And right then, I decided I didn't like Graduate Student.

A) Graduate Student was wearing a patchwork sweater coat (I'd post a picture, but all of them are of people's handmade sweater coats, and I don't want to bash anyone's work, except Graduate Student's, but it looks exactly how you think it looks.) in the terribly '70s color palette of olive green, orange, and brown. I mean, you're not exactly the Master of Supreme Taste yourself, but I was going to let it slide and try to be friendly.

And b) she indirectly bashed my work, and me personally, because I was wearing a pink coat at the time. (I mean, if I had mentioned her sweater coat and right after she said, "I made it myself!" I called it ugly, I'd be an asshole, so her response to my attempt at conversation was tactless at best. Asshole.) It's fine to not like pink or disagree with me or whatever, most of the people I know don't like pink, but you're still an ass.

C) It wasn't like hot Barbie pink or anything, it was like a ruby red grapefruit pink, that I seriously still love. And it's not like we were using the yarn for its color, we're dunking that shit in dye.

I use pink. Not a lot, I actually use more neutral shades like brown and tan in my personal artwork, but I use pink more than anyone else, especially in weaving. I like pink and I like pink textiles, it's whatever. I wear a lot more pink than I use in classes. But I just hate that everyone discriminates against the color pink for the stupidest reason possible.

I read an article, I cannot for the life of me remember where, that said
that although as a society we've made great steps in women's rights and equality, we might have taken it too far because now being considered a woman is bad, and that people are constantly putting women and anything to do with women down. When the author was younger, she insulted another girl and one of her guy friends told her she was "just like one of the boys," and she considered that the highest compliment. That's why I believe that people hate pink. Pink is a girly girl and everything about girls is bad. Girls are weaker and stupider. Being a girl means you're overly sensitive and you can't get dirty. Girls are helpless, emotionally unstable, and vain, right?

Pink is considered a feminine color. I baby sit for a twelve year old, and she always moans that my room is pink (and not even all of it, the sheets and a rug and my bathroom towels). "It's such a girly-girl color," she whines. "I like blue." And that's the reason people don't like pink. Marketing companies and advertisers decided that pink was a girl color and now it isn't considered "art." That's it. Society gave a color a meaning and that makes it bad.

The funny thing is, pink used to be the "boy" color and blue was a "girl" color. I actually read this in a Little House on the Prairie book when I was younger, but I googled it to make doubly sure. Pink is closer to red and was considered more manly, and blue was delicate and dainty and for girls. And somewhere along the line, pink became the color girls preferred, I'm guessing through some marketing mumbo jumbo. Then the feminist movement rejected the color pink and now this perfectly innocent color is discriminated against as being not serious and ugly, all because of an association with vaginas. (Seriously, no one has given me a real reason to not use pink in my work, not even my professor. I just get vague responses like "You just don't," or "When you graduate you can use all the pink you want." It just isn't art, but apparently every other color is okay because I've seen blue, green, orange, red, black, and tons of brown.)

I wonder if people realize that their hatred of pink is really just them lashing against the media and society's expectations of them and that hating the color pink just because of said association is stupid? Pink is just a color to me like any other color. I like it more than some colors, but I don't actively hate it for some arbitrary reason. I'm not fond of the color orange, but I've used it in artwork before. It's doubly ironic to me because the fibers program is such a vagina fest. Our only boy graduated and the very nature of fibers (sewing, dyeing, weaving, etc.) are things associated with extreme femininity. I guess they have to hate pink.

I prefer to be in the Elle Woods camp of life. I like pink, but I'm ridiculously smart and also pretty. That's what pink says to me. I'm feminine, and you know I'm proud of my femininity, but you can't judge a book by it's cover because I also love the show South Park and I read a lot and I work at a sports and outdoors store. Maybe I just like being unconventional?
Side note: I'm finding that I'm way less girly than I think the longer I work there. I know more stuff about sports than I should and the other day, I had an actual conversation about guns.)

I bought this Under Armour coat when it went 30% off, and I chose the pink/orange version because I love that it's so bright. It's just like me! And this is the coat I was wearing when Graduate Student called pink ugly.


1 comment:

  1. Didn't realize you had a blog! I totally agree. I think most of the "feminists hate pink" is out of context, and I think the few feminists who have that mindset are missing the picture. Pink is not inherently bad, and there is nothing wrong with liking pink. Hell, I LOVE pink, and I'm a radical feminist. The problem lies when pink is the ONLY option for girls (take a look at the girls' toy or clothing aisle at Target) or pink versions of gender neutral products come out as a marketing ploy targeting women. However, femininity is not anti-feminist. It's only when femininity is the only option, and it's pushed on women. So yeah, I totally agree. I would honestly love to raid Elle Woods' wardrobe if it was in size fat.


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