Think of colours as a bunch of high school kids. If black is the goth loner, blue your average jock, orange – (ping) nerd alert, then pink has got to be the most popular chick on the campus, right? Think about it, what else has its own theme song (Aerosmith’s Pink), its own city (Jaipur), a trademarked pop diva (P!nk), signifies compassion and caution (breast cancer and female reproductive health mascot) and is the focal point of more surveys than any other colour can dream of? What else but pink!
A slightly intricate and precise shade of pink (honeysuckle) was even named the colour of the year by Pantone LLC, the world’s leading colour authority, officially making 2011 the year of the pink! Designers like Jil Sander, Nanette Lepore, Peter Som, Christopher Kane and Marc Jacobs liberally used it in their Spring-Summer collections and Pantone called it "something to lift our spirit, a captivating, stimulating colour that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues."
But despite its instant association with Barbie and nauseating cotton candy, pink spawns as many hate clubs as fans.
Many loathe the colour because of its clingy, controlling, princessy associations. Nevertheless, the colour maintains a vice-like grip on most women’s wardrobes, sometimes taking over completely. So we raided the rooms of a few such pink-loving girls and asked them to defend their much maligned choice of colour.
Prabhleen Bawa, Intern at a Real Estate Firm
Hates being called ‘Pinky’ and doesn’t care what people think of her borderline obsession with pink
Owns about 30 outfits, at least five pairs of shoes and many accessories, all in pink I think I like it because I have grown up being surrounded by this colour. Right from my frocks, cots, hair clips and even diapers, everything was pink," laughs 22-year-old intern Prabhleen. And she isn’t kidding – there is a childhood photograph hanging above her bed, depicting her exactly like that. Her mum, who enjoyed dressing her daughter in pink when she was a baby, chips in, "She had a beautiful complexion and such pink cheeks, everyone suggested that she should wear pink more since it suited her the best."
As she lays out one pink outfit after another, along with matching laptop, iPhone case, makeup bag, countless nail paints, lipsticks, a pink pen and a diary and even a pink tea set, we ask Prabhleen about being stereotyped during her growing up years. "I have never thought so, in fact most of my friends consciously gift me items in pink. A friend even gave me a pink stone dug out from under his home during construction, which has been immensely lucky for me," she answers.
Coercing her father to dress in pink on casual Fridays, Prabhleen says she’d also love to see footballers in hot pink jerseys. "I think it’s a better colour than red, which is way more aggressive. I can’t imagine someone not falling in love with it," says this pink champion.
Shweta Kshetrapal, Account Executive
Loves the movie Legally Blonde and wouldn’t mind owning Reese Witherspoon’s wardrobe
And with 30 T-shirts and ten pairs of shoes in different shades of pink, she’s almost there
“I have always loved pink more than any other colour. But when I was doing my Masters, I realised I had little else apart from pink in my wardrobe. So I decided to give it a break. But then how long can you stay away from such a lovely colour?” grins Shweta, an account executive in a private firm.
Recounting how she fell back in love with the colour, Shweta says it happened when she was working in the UK. “There were so many amazing things available in pink that I couldn’t resist choosing them, completely forgetting why I had stopped wearing the colour in the first place.” Siding with the popular opinion of pink being a girly colour, Shweta admits that it makes her feel more feminine. “I am a girly-girl and pink really helps me to express myself. Although I am not a typical delicate darling, I have grown up loving my pink things and don’t see anything wrong in that,” she says, sitting surrounded by pink shower gels, creams and hair accessories. So is her choice in the cosmetics too driven by her favourite colour? “Well, it so happens that I like creams and gels that come packaged in pink. And when it comes to fragrances, I like fruity scents and they are usually in pretty pink bottles too. Now you tell me, what can I do about it?” she giggles.
Forget Sonya, her best friend too is in love with the hue
Thinks people shouldn’t stereotype others on the basis of colour; one should be free to wear whatever colour one wants
She was also bitten by the pink bug since childhood and her most distinct memories are of a bright pink doll’s house. “I think it has a lot to do with the pink Barbie and her pink mansion with which I used to play,” recalls 25-year-old Sonya. “Also, I think my family had a role to play as my room was painted pink and I was made wear the colour quite often.” She might be older now, but pink remains her colour of choice – even when it comes to her profession. “I make a lot of clothes in pink. In fact, I recently designed a range of pet clothes for my best friend’s pet shop, and pink is dominant there as well,” she says.
The colour seems to have lent some of its characteristics to her personality as well: Sonya says she is a soft and gentle person. “Pink is associated with being cute and sweet and I think I am like that in many ways. After all, pink does generate a lot of happy and positive vibes,” she says with a smile.
But she’s not all girly when it comes to her sense of personal style. “I wear shades of neon pink and sometimes pair it with black, which lends a gothic touch to the colour,” she points out. Also, Sonya says, men can look equally good in pink. “A lot of guys don’t wear pink despite wanting to because it’s so strongly related to being feminine. I think colours shouldn’t be categorised like that,” she tells us.
Is a closet tomboy but still firmly believes in the classiness of pink
Fifteen per cent of her entire wardrobe is filled with this colour even though she insists it’s not her favourite
Rubbishing the romantic overtures of red, Manmeet considers pink to be the ultimate symbol of romance. “It’s just the way my body reacts to the colour. I think it brings out a softer aspect of my personality. Even though it doesn’t define who I am, it certainly highlights a very important aspect of me,” she says, as she relaxes in her bedroom which has one wall painted in a dark shade of fuchsia, an exact match with her dress.
Working for a luxury fashion brand, Manmeet believes it’s not necessary to look like a clown while wearing pink. If styled well, it is more flattering than any other colour. “I have never been associated with too much pink since I always balance it well. There are many ways to tone down its effects with other neutral and solid colours,” she says.
Refusing to be pigeonholed, Manmeet says that she isn’t a big ‘softie’ the way girls who favour pink are supposed to be. “I am equally interested in sports and outdoor activities and I love doing a lot of so-called non-girly things. But that doesn’t add to or take away from my liking for pink,” she says. She points out that this colour’s star is only rising higher. “I went to shop at Zara a few days ago and managed to grab the last pink bag! And before I could even reach the counter, at least ten girls had asked me about it,” she smiles.
Men in Pink?
Saif Ali Khan Among the first men on Indian celluloid to make wearing pink not seem effeminate (Kal Ho Naa Ho). Not only did he carry off that pink shirt with élan and manage to look hot, he made it acceptable too. The Kantaben act aside of course.
Abhishek Bachchan Can one ever get over the floral shirt with a matching summer muffler in pink, which he wore with a scruffy, trimmed beard in Dostana? While we won’t debate whether he pulled it off or not, he did make an impression for sure.
Hrithik Roshan Dapper in suits, he is mostly seen teaming black with pink shirts. And we have also seen him wear a floral blush pink scarf and we don’t need to tell you that he looks darn good!
David Beckham It doesn’t get manlier than this. But this new daddy and forever hot, well, hottie has never shied away from this so-called colour of cute feminity. And that is absolutely
Brad Pitt Remember his all-pink suit at Cannes which was lambasted by the fashion police? Well, he clearly didn’t give a damn, choosing to wear it again. And that kind of dare-devilry is not only macho but also very sexy.
Akshay Kumar We knew he wasn’t subtle but when he boldly announced his love for the colour by wearing a hot pink vest over a white shirt during a promotional tour for Singh is Kinng, we were impressed.
From HT Brunch, August 7
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