Pick a color. Any color. Except pink.

January 29, 2008

Pink. I hate it. I hate pink. I don’t even know anyone who buys pink stuff. Who is this marketed to? What is it with pink? Would you ever create pink e-learning? Give out pink pencils in the classroom? Use Pinkboards? Pink chalk? Use only pink Mr. Sketch markers on the pink flipchart paper? Ben Goldacre exposes some bad science about pink. Don’t get me wrong. I love a guy in a pink shirt but not because I like pink. Check these little  gems out…I mean really a pink taser?

www.flickr.com


I guess one of the reasons I dislike pink is that it is associated with cultural expectations. I’m supposed to like pink. Pink is feminine. Ben pointed out the Bem Sex Role Inventory. I took it to see if my personality was masculine, feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. The BSRI is based on gender stereotypes, so what it’s actually measuring is how well you fit into your traditional sex role. No wonder I don’t like pink. I’m barely feminine by society’s standards. points.jpg
Regardless of where you might be on the BSRI, I hope you’ll like Chip Chick. While they do feature a lot of pink stuff (gag) their blog focuses on technology for women.

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com/ Karyn Romeis

    I, on the other hand, LOVE pink. All shades of it! Particularly the hot shades like cerise and fuschia.

    I know someone with just the same attitude as you – and there’s no way she would “pollute” her blog (had she the IT nous to own one) with pictures of pink stuff. You’re very brave!

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com Karyn Romeis

    I, on the other hand, LOVE pink. All shades of it! Particularly the hot shades like cerise and fuschia.

    I know someone with just the same attitude as you – and there’s no way she would “pollute” her blog (had she the IT nous to own one) with pictures of pink stuff. You’re very brave!

  • http://www.downes.ca Stephen Downes

    Yeah. I want one of the pink iPod nanos though.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Well, I guess I can’t say I don’t know anyone who buys pink technology (or wants pink technology). You two are just so in touch with you feminine side I’m jealous.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Well, I guess I can’t say I don’t know anyone who buys pink technology (or wants pink technology). You two are just so in touch with you feminine side I’m jealous.

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/ Dave Ferguson

    Pink doesn’t do anything for me. On the other hand, I’m a-sportsic, so pro team stuff doesn’t, either. (If you say “baseball,” I think “Al Kaline.”)

    Perhaps that explains:
    58.333 out of 100 masculine points
    71.93 out of 100 feminine points
    67.5 out of 100 androgynous points

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com Dave Ferguson

    Pink doesn’t do anything for me. On the other hand, I’m a-sportsic, so pro team stuff doesn’t, either. (If you say “baseball,” I think “Al Kaline.”)

    Perhaps that explains:
    58.333 out of 100 masculine points
    71.93 out of 100 feminine points
    67.5 out of 100 androgynous points

  • http://learningvisions.blogspot.com/ Cammy Bean

    My 2 1/2 year old daughter, on the other hand, has been drawn to all things pink since very early. She sees pink things and says “I want that..” without even knowing what it is. There was a study last summer suggesting that girls have an “innate” preference for pinker-hues. (But then the question, I guess, is how much of a girl are you — depending on your BSRI inventory results…)

    I’m not a pink person myself. I mean, c’mon, the color really washes me out.

  • http://learningvisions.blogspot.com Cammy Bean

    My 2 1/2 year old daughter, on the other hand, has been drawn to all things pink since very early. She sees pink things and says “I want that..” without even knowing what it is. There was a study last summer suggesting that girls have an “innate” preference for pinker-hues. (But then the question, I guess, is how much of a girl are you — depending on your BSRI inventory results…)

    I’m not a pink person myself. I mean, c’mon, the color really washes me out.

  • Emma King

    I’m with you Janet, I really have an aversion to Pink!

    Wasnt yellow once considered to be neutral?

    You scored 78.947 out of 100 masculine points, 63.333 out of 100 feminine points, and 65 out of 100 androgynous (neutral) points.

  • Emma King

    I’m with you Janet, I really have an aversion to Pink!

    Wasnt yellow once considered to be neutral?

    You scored 78.947 out of 100 masculine points, 63.333 out of 100 feminine points, and 65 out of 100 androgynous (neutral) points.

  • Maria Hlas

    I am not a huge fan of all the pink stuff out there. Now I will say, I do dress femininely and I am not afraid what people think of that. And I do own a rather cute fuschia pink purse and had some great pointy-toed sling-black flats in about the same shade which I finally wore out. And, unlike Cammy, pink does look nice on me, so I have owned some pink sweaters, blouses and such over the years.

    On one hand, I remember when I went through a phase when I was younger when everything had to be green – my favorite color. But then I grew out of it. My 12-year-old niece went through her purple phase, but she grew out of it too. On the other hand, I guess I worry that girls and women who do the pink thing to death (not just the occasional pink things) will be seen as too girly to be taken seriously. But I think that might be because of my age (on the edge of Gen Y and almost a tail-end baby boomer). I wonder if younger women don’t see it that way anymore. In a meeting last year a young female supervisor was writing with a pink pen with this big fuzzy pink character on the end of it. After the meeting, my boss and I, both women about the same age, thought it was ridiculous and mentioned that we would NEVER use a pen like that in a professional meeting, especially if there were men attending. Two other younger women (twenty-somethings) from our department who were in the meeting could have cared less and thought it was weird that we even brought it up.

    For what it is worth, I scored 60.833 out of 100 masculine points, 61.667 out of 100 feminine points, and 57.5 out of 100 androgynous (neutral) points. I have no idea what these scores mean!?

  • Maria Hlas

    I am not a huge fan of all the pink stuff out there. Now I will say, I do dress femininely and I am not afraid what people think of that. And I do own a rather cute fuschia pink purse and had some great pointy-toed sling-black flats in about the same shade which I finally wore out. And, unlike Cammy, pink does look nice on me, so I have owned some pink sweaters, blouses and such over the years.

    On one hand, I remember when I went through a phase when I was younger when everything had to be green – my favorite color. But then I grew out of it. My 12-year-old niece went through her purple phase, but she grew out of it too. On the other hand, I guess I worry that girls and women who do the pink thing to death (not just the occasional pink things) will be seen as too girly to be taken seriously. But I think that might be because of my age (on the edge of Gen Y and almost a tail-end baby boomer). I wonder if younger women don’t see it that way anymore. In a meeting last year a young female supervisor was writing with a pink pen with this big fuzzy pink character on the end of it. After the meeting, my boss and I, both women about the same age, thought it was ridiculous and mentioned that we would NEVER use a pen like that in a professional meeting, especially if there were men attending. Two other younger women (twenty-somethings) from our department who were in the meeting could have cared less and thought it was weird that we even brought it up.

    For what it is worth, I scored 60.833 out of 100 masculine points, 61.667 out of 100 feminine points, and 57.5 out of 100 androgynous (neutral) points. I have no idea what these scores mean!?

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com/ Karyn Romeis

    It seems I’m just all things to all genders 😉

    I score 77.5% male, 70.85% female and 65 androgynous. Go figure. I would have thought that a heterosexual woman would have had more female points, but it seems….

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com Karyn Romeis

    It seems I’m just all things to all genders 😉

    I score 77.5% male, 70.85% female and 65 androgynous. Go figure. I would have thought that a heterosexual woman would have had more female points, but it seems….

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Just another reason you are a legend Karyn….

    This may say you do not bow to cultural expectations.

    You need to buy yourself a pink cashmere sweater…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Just another reason you are a legend Karyn….

    This may say you do not bow to cultural expectations.

    You need to buy yourself a pink cashmere sweater…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Maria, I think it’s important to dress in a way that makes you comfortable. I actually feel good in “recycled” clothes from the thrift shop. Others probably think that’s gross. (kind of an aside, I did find a beautiful white Versace dress there in my size! Talk about girly.)

    I don’t know if “girly” relates to “seriousness.” Probably for some – you mentioned Gen Y’s ‘non-issue’ with the fuzzy pen.

    As for your scores, it seems (like Karyn) that you’re gender-neutral. It seems a bogus assessment…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Maria, I think it’s important to dress in a way that makes you comfortable. I actually feel good in “recycled” clothes from the thrift shop. Others probably think that’s gross. (kind of an aside, I did find a beautiful white Versace dress there in my size! Talk about girly.)

    I don’t know if “girly” relates to “seriousness.” Probably for some – you mentioned Gen Y’s ‘non-issue’ with the fuzzy pen.

    As for your scores, it seems (like Karyn) that you’re gender-neutral. It seems a bogus assessment…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Cammy-
    Funny that link you gave is to the same study I linked to…apparently, it’s bad science.

    I wonder if little girls are attracted to pink because many things made for them are pink (they don’t know what they don’t know).

    My daughter sometimes shops in the boys dept. because she can’t stand pink and the bedazzled look.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Cammy-
    Funny that link you gave is to the same study I linked to…apparently, it’s bad science.

    I wonder if little girls are attracted to pink because many things made for them are pink (they don’t know what they don’t know).

    My daughter sometimes shops in the boys dept. because she can’t stand pink and the bedazzled look.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    I had to look up Al Kaline…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    I had to look up Al Kaline…

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/ Dave Ferguson

    “I had to look up Al Kaline…”

    Well, I did provide a link. I was never all that interested in sports, but when I was a kid in Detroit and went to my first Tigers game, I was thrilled to discover that Kaline’s birthday was the same as mine (and Edith Piaf’s, though I didn’t learn that till later).

    When people ask my favorite color, I usually say “tartan.”

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com Dave Ferguson

    “I had to look up Al Kaline…”

    Well, I did provide a link. I was never all that interested in sports, but when I was a kid in Detroit and went to my first Tigers game, I was thrilled to discover that Kaline’s birthday was the same as mine (and Edith Piaf’s, though I didn’t learn that till later).

    When people ask my favorite color, I usually say “tartan.”

  • http://learningvisions.blogspot.com/ Cammy Bean

    Well, shame on me for not having clicked on the link in your post to see that it was termed bad science. I was so bedazzled by all the pink gadgets.

    My daughter was instinctively drawn to dolls at the age of 7 months. My son, it was wheels and trains. I think that’s a bit too early for the marketing to hit in. That is to say, there are gender differences of which I am now a firm believer (in spite of all of those women studies classes I took in the 80s).

    But I do buy that girls loving pink is all about the marketing. [And yet, I swear, we try to avoid all that stuff — the marketing and the excessive disney and the barbies — but it seeps in nonetheless.]

    How interesting (and previously unknown to me) that pink used to be the preferential color for BOYS.

  • http://learningvisions.blogspot.com Cammy Bean

    Well, shame on me for not having clicked on the link in your post to see that it was termed bad science. I was so bedazzled by all the pink gadgets.

    My daughter was instinctively drawn to dolls at the age of 7 months. My son, it was wheels and trains. I think that’s a bit too early for the marketing to hit in. That is to say, there are gender differences of which I am now a firm believer (in spite of all of those women studies classes I took in the 80s).

    But I do buy that girls loving pink is all about the marketing. [And yet, I swear, we try to avoid all that stuff — the marketing and the excessive disney and the barbies — but it seeps in nonetheless.]

    How interesting (and previously unknown to me) that pink used to be the preferential color for BOYS.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Oh Cammy, I’m sorry. I think I was a bit of a snipe there. Not the first time today…what is up with that?

    Anyway…I know, first time I learned about the original pink (for boys) and blue (for girls)was reading this stuff.

    I do love blue…and I’m still waiting for Mattel make Gothic Barbie.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Oh Cammy, I’m sorry. I think I was a bit of a snipe there. Not the first time today…what is up with that?

    Anyway…I know, first time I learned about the original pink (for boys) and blue (for girls)was reading this stuff.

    I do love blue…and I’m still waiting for Mattel make Gothic Barbie.

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com/ Karyn Romeis

    I should have mentioned earlier – my ipod is (hot) pink and my bluetooth earpiece for my phone is actually a pinktooth.

    Mind you – my husband looks really good in pink… and knows it 😉

    Even though I would argue that the scoring system is based on sterotypes well past their sell-by date, I agree with Cammy that my boys were definitely, inescapably MALE long before they were old enough to be programmed by society.

    I don’t know why we find this such a bitter pill to swallow – the differences are at a sub-cellular level, after all, and that testosterone shower that male foetuses receive at about 7 days’ gestation has apparently been shown to make physical changes to their brains. Differences which my prof (a neuroscientist) confirms.

    …and as gender neutral as the figures show me to be, I have the most stereotypically female body shape imaginable, and can certainly be a real girlie at times… just before I go and watch the rugby or beat my son at squash or put together a new Ikea flatpack… relaxing afterwards with a chick flick, lost of chocolate and a box of tissues!

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com Karyn Romeis

    I should have mentioned earlier – my ipod is (hot) pink and my bluetooth earpiece for my phone is actually a pinktooth.

    Mind you – my husband looks really good in pink… and knows it 😉

    Even though I would argue that the scoring system is based on sterotypes well past their sell-by date, I agree with Cammy that my boys were definitely, inescapably MALE long before they were old enough to be programmed by society.

    I don’t know why we find this such a bitter pill to swallow – the differences are at a sub-cellular level, after all, and that testosterone shower that male foetuses receive at about 7 days’ gestation has apparently been shown to make physical changes to their brains. Differences which my prof (a neuroscientist) confirms.

    …and as gender neutral as the figures show me to be, I have the most stereotypically female body shape imaginable, and can certainly be a real girlie at times… just before I go and watch the rugby or beat my son at squash or put together a new Ikea flatpack… relaxing afterwards with a chick flick, lost of chocolate and a box of tissues!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Pink > societal stereotypes > humor > science. I guess it all just comes down to biology. Fascinating stuff to study – gender differences.

    I do like my chick flicks as much as my hockey….and well, the body shape. It’s orb-like right now…darn biology.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Pink > societal stereotypes > humor > science. I guess it all just comes down to biology. Fascinating stuff to study – gender differences.

    I do like my chick flicks as much as my hockey….and well, the body shape. It’s orb-like right now…darn biology.

  • http://learningvisions.blogspot.com/ Cammy Bean

    No sniping taken!

    I do feel like the current generation of parents — especially women — who were educated in the 80s — is continually surprised by the very real gender differences that exist. Is it just me?

  • http://learningvisions.blogspot.com Cammy Bean

    No sniping taken!

    I do feel like the current generation of parents — especially women — who were educated in the 80s — is continually surprised by the very real gender differences that exist. Is it just me?

  • Maria Hlas

    I agree Cammy – I think we were definitely at the age when we were being told to act more like a guy, and definitely dress more like a guy, so people will take you seriously at work. So we put on our boxy blazers with huge shoulder pads and followed the path to the mythical glass ceiling. I think we were told all that feminine/masculine stuff was social programming – not hard-wired into our systems. I think it is obvious that isn’t really true.

    It took a while for me to figure out that people take me seriously because I am knowledgeable about what I do, speak intelligently, etc. I am chick and proud of it! I think the pendulum is, thankfully, swinging back the other way. Just be yourself – some girls tend toward feminine stuff, some don’t, boys will be boys, etc. As others have said, stereotyping doesn’t work that well because we all have areas where we just don’t fit the mold. Case in point – I do love my shoes, but I am also a big Steelers fan. So I can wax eloquent about why they aren’t in the Superbowl this year while wearing my oh-so-stylish black suede booties.

  • Maria Hlas

    I agree Cammy – I think we were definitely at the age when we were being told to act more like a guy, and definitely dress more like a guy, so people will take you seriously at work. So we put on our boxy blazers with huge shoulder pads and followed the path to the mythical glass ceiling. I think we were told all that feminine/masculine stuff was social programming – not hard-wired into our systems. I think it is obvious that isn’t really true.

    It took a while for me to figure out that people take me seriously because I am knowledgeable about what I do, speak intelligently, etc. I am chick and proud of it! I think the pendulum is, thankfully, swinging back the other way. Just be yourself – some girls tend toward feminine stuff, some don’t, boys will be boys, etc. As others have said, stereotyping doesn’t work that well because we all have areas where we just don’t fit the mold. Case in point – I do love my shoes, but I am also a big Steelers fan. So I can wax eloquent about why they aren’t in the Superbowl this year while wearing my oh-so-stylish black suede booties.

  • Maria Hlas

    Janet – I almost forgot to add that I just returned from an interview where I wore my “new” suit that I got from a consignment shop. It is quite chic but at a fraction of the price. It didn’t have the tags on it, but it looks like it was hardly worn at all!

  • Maria Hlas

    Janet – I almost forgot to add that I just returned from an interview where I wore my “new” suit that I got from a consignment shop. It is quite chic but at a fraction of the price. It didn’t have the tags on it, but it looks like it was hardly worn at all!

  • http://2coach.wordpress.com/ Lynn Wernham

    Here’s a site you’ll love! maybe not
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/things_pink/

  • http://2coach.wordpress.com/ Lynn Wernham

    Here’s a site you’ll love! maybe not
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/things_pink/

  • http://www.downes.ca/ Stephen Downes

    Yeah. I want one of the pink iPod nanos though.

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