Pink is a pale red color that is named after a flower of the same name. It was first used as a color name in the late 17th century. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the color most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and the romantic. It is associated with chastity and innocence when combined with white, but associated with eroticism and seduction when combined with purple or black.
Pink in symbolism and world culture
Common associations and popularity
According to public opinion surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the color most associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, softness, childhood, the feminine, and the romantic. Although it did not have any strong negative associations in these surveys, few respondents chose pink as their favorite color. Pink was the favorite color of only two-percent of respondents, compared with forty-five-percent who chose blue. Pink was the least-favorite color of seventeen percent of respondents; the only color more disliked was brown, with twenty percent. There was a notable difference between men and women; three percent of women chose pink as their favorite color, compared with less than one percent of men. Many of the men surveyed were unable to even identify pink correctly, confusing it with mauve. Pink was also more popular with older people than younger; twenty-five percent of women under twenty-five called pink their least favorite color, compared with only eight percent of women over fifty. Twenty-nine percent of men under the age of twenty-five said pink was their least favorite color, compared with eight percent of men over fifty.
In Japan, pink is the color most commonly associated with springtime due to the blooming cherry blossoms. This is different from surveys in the United States and Europe where green is the color most associated with springtime.
Pink in other languages
In many languages, the word for color pink is based on the name of the rose flower; like rose in French; roze in Dutch; rosa in German, Latin, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Swedish and Norwegian (Nynorsk and Bokmål); rozoviy in Russian; różowy in Polish; and گلابی gulabi in Urdu (and in English ‘rose’, too, often refers to both the flower and the color).
In Danish, Faroese and Finnish, the color pink is described as a lighter shade of red: lyserød in Danish, ljósareyður in Faroese and vaaleanpunainen in Finnish, all meaning “light red”. In Icelandic, the color is called bleikur, originally meaning “pale”.
In the Japanese language, the traditional word for pink, momo-iro (ももいろ), takes its name from the peach blossom. There is a separate word for the color of the cherry blossom: sakura-iro. In recent times a word based on the English version, pinku (ピンク), has begun to be used.
In Chinese, the color pink is named with a compound noun 粉紅色, meaning “powder red” where the powder refers to substances used for women’s make-up.
Idioms and expressions
In the pink. To be in top form, in good health, in good condition. In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio says; “I am the very pink of courtesy.” Romeo: Pink for flower? Mercutio: Right. Romeo: Then my pump is well flowered.”
To see pink elephants means to hallucinate from alcoholism. The expression was used by American novelist Jack London in his book John Barleycorn in 1913.
Pink slip. To be given a pink slip means to be fired or dismissed from a job. It was first recorded in 1915 in the United States.
The phrase “pink-collar worker” refers to persons working in jobs conventionally regarded as “women’s work.”
Pink money, the pink pound or pink dollar is an economic term which refers to the spending power of the LGBT community. Advertising agencies sometimes call the gay market the pink economy.
Tickled pink means extremely pleased.
Early pink buildings were usually built of brick or sandstone, which takes its pale red color from hematite, or iron ore. In the 18th century – the golden age of pink and other pastel colors – pink mansions and churches were built all across Europe. More modern pink buildings usually use the color pink to appear exotic or to attract attention.
Food and beverages
According to surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the color most associated with sweet foods and beverages. Pink is also one of the few colors to be strongly associated with a particular aroma, that of roses. Many strawberry and raspberry-flavored foods are colored pink and light red as well, sometimes to distinguish them from cherry-flavored foods that are more commonly colored dark red (although raspberry-flavored foods, particularly in the United States, are often colored blue as well). The drink Tab was packaged in pink cans, presumably to subconsciously convey a sweet taste.
The pink color in most packaged and processed foods, ice creams, candies and pastries is made with artificial food coloring. The most common pink food coloring is erythrosine, also known as Red No. 3, an organoiodine compound, a derivative of fluorone, which is a cherry-pink synthetic. It is usually listed on package labels as E-127. Another common red or pink (particularly in the United States where erythrosine is less frequently used) is Allura Red AC (E-129), also known as Red No. 40. Some products use a natural red or pink food coloring, Cochineal, also called carmine, made with crushed insects of the family Dactylopius coccus.
In Europe and the United States, pink is often associated with girls, while blue is associated with boys. These colors were first used as gender signifiers just prior to World War I (for either girls or boys), and pink was first established as a female gender signifier in the 1940s. In the 20th century, the practice in Europe varied from country to country, with some assigning colors based on the baby’s complexion, and others assigning pink sometimes to boys and sometimes to girls.
Many have noted the contrary association of pink with boys in 20th-century America. 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.
One reason for the increased use of pink for girls and blue for boys was the invention of new chemical dyes, which meant that children’s clothing could be mass-produced and washed in hot water without fading. Prior to this time, most small children of both sexes wore white, which could be frequently washed. Another factor was the popularity of blue and white sailor suits for young boys, a fashion that started in the late 19th century. Blue was also the usual color of school uniforms, for boys and girls. Blue was associated with seriousness and study, while pink was associated with childhood and softness.
By the 1950s, pink was strongly associated with femininity but to an extent that was “neither rigid nor universal” as it later became.
One study by two neuroscientists in Current Biology examined color preferences across cultures and found significant differences between male and female responses. Both groups favored blues over other hues, but women had more favorable responses to the reddish-purple range of the spectrum and men had more favorable responses to the greenish-yellow middle of the spectrum. Despite the fact that the study used adults, and both groups preferred blues, and responses to the color pink were never even tested, the popular press represented the research as an indication of an innate preference by girls for pink. The misreading has been often repeated in market research, reinforcing American culture’s association of pink with girls on the basis of imagined innate characteristics.
Toys aimed at girls often display pink prominently on packaging and the toy themselves. In its 1957 catalog, Lionel Trains offered for sale a pink model freight train for girls. The steam locomotive and coal car were pink and the freight cars of the freight train were various pastel colors. The caboose was baby blue. It was a marketing failure because any girl who might want a model train would want a realistically colored train, while boys in the 1950s did not want to be seen playing with a pink train. However, today it is a valuable collector’s item.
As of 2008 various feminist groups and the Breast Cancer Awareness Month use the color pink to convey empowerment of women. Breast cancer charities around the world have used the color to symbolize support for people with breast cancer and promote awareness of the disease. A key tactic of these charities is encouraging women and men to wear pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness and research.
Pink has symbolized a “welcome embrace” in India and masculinity in Japan.
As noted above, pink combined with black or violet is commonly associated with eroticism and seduction.
In street slang, the pink sometimes refers to the vagina.
In Russian, pink (розовый, rozovyj) is used to refer to lesbians, and light blue (голубой, goluboj) refers to gay men.
In Japan, a genre of low budget, erotic cinema is referred to as Pink films (ピンク映画 Pinku Eiga).
Pink, being a ‘watered-down’ red, is sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe a person with mild communist or socialist beliefs (see Pinko).
The term little pink (小粉红) is used to describe the young nationalists on the internet in China.
The term pink revolution is sometimes used to refer to the overthrow of President Askar Akayev and his government in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan after the parliamentary elections of February 27 and of March 13, 2005, although it is more commonly called the Tulip Revolution.
The Swedish feminist party Feminist Initiative uses pink as their color.
Code Pink is an American women’s anti-globalization and anti-war group founded in 2002 by activist Medea Benjamin. The group has disrupted Congressional hearings and heckled President Obama at his public speeches.
It was a common practice to color British Empire pink on maps.
Pink is often used as a symbolic color by groups involved in issues important to women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
A Dutch newsgroup about homosexuality is called nl.roze (roze being the Dutch word for pink), while in Britain, Pink News is a gay newspaper and online news service. There is a magazine called Pink for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community which has different editions for various metropolitan areas. In France Pink TV is an LGBT cable channel.
In Ireland, Support group for Irish Pink Adoptions defines a pink family as a relatively neutral umbrella term for the single gay men, single lesbians, or same-gender couples who intend to adopt, are in the process of adopting, or have adopted. It also covers adults born/raised in such families. The group welcome the input of other people touched by adoption, especially people who were adopted as children and are now adults.
Pinkstinks, a campaign founded in London in May 2008 to raise awareness of what they claim is the damage caused by gender stereotyping of children.
The Pink Pistols is a gay gun rights organization.
The pink ribbon is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink was chosen partially because it is so strongly associated with femininity.
In the French academic dress system, the five traditional fields of study (Arts, Science, Medicine, Law and Divinity) are each symbolized by a distinctive color, which appears in the academic dress of the people who graduated in this field. Redcurrant, an extremely red shade of pink, is the distinctive color for Medicine (and other health-related fields) fr:Groseille (couleur).
The word pink is not used for any tincture (color) in heraldry, but there are two fairly uncommon tinctures which are both close to pink:
The heraldic color of rose is a modern innovation, mostly used in Canadian heraldry, depicting a reddish pink color like the shade usually called rose.
In French heraldry, the color carnation is sometimes used, corresponding to the skin color of a light skinned Caucasian human. This can also be seen as a pink shade but is usually depicted slightly more brownish beige than the rose tincture.
In Thailand, pink is associated with Tuesday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear pink on Tuesdays, and anyone born on a Tuesday may adopt pink as their color.
Pink is used for the newsprint paper of several important newspapers devoted to business and sports, and the color is also connected with the press aimed at the gay community.
Since 1893 the London Financial Times newspaper has used a distinctive salmon pink color for its newsprint, originally because pink dyed paper was less expensive than bleached white paper. Today the color is used to distinguish the newspaper from competitors on a press kiosk or news stand. In some countries, the salmon press identifies economic newspapers or economics sections in “white” newspapers. Some sports newspapers, such as La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, also use pink paper to stand out from other newspapers. It awards a pink jersey to the winner of Italy’s most important bicycle race, the Giro d’Italia.
In England and Wales, a brief delivered to a barrister by a solicitor is usually tied with pink ribbon. Pink was traditionally the color associated with the defense, while white ribbons may have been used for the prosecution.
In Spanish and Italian, a “pink novel” (novela rosa in Spanish, romanzo rosa in Italian) is a sentimental novel marketed to women.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown, Faith is wearing a pink ribbon in her hair which represents her innocence.
Carl Surely’s short story “Dinsdale’s Pink” is a coming of age tale of a young man growing up in Berlin in the 1930s, dealing with issues of gender, sexuality and politics.
In the Yogic Hindu, Shaktic Hindu and Tantric Buddhist traditions rose is one of the colors of the fourth primary energy center, the heart chakra Anahata. The other color is green.
In Catholicism, pink (called rose by the Catholic Church) symbolizes joy and happiness. It is used for the Third Sunday of Advent and the Fourth Sunday of Lent to mark the halfway point in these seasons of penance. For this reason, one of the candles in an Advent wreath may be pink, rather than purple.
Pink is the color most associated with Indian spiritual leader Meher Baba, who often wore pink coats to please his closest female follower, Mehera Irani, and today pink remains an important color, symbolizing love, to Baba’s followers.
In Major League Baseball, pink bats are used by baseball players on Mother’s Day as part of a week-long program to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Pink can mean the scarlet coat worn in fox hunting (a.k.a. “riding to hounds”). One legend about the origin of this meaning refers to a tailor named Pink (or Pinke, or Pinque).
The leader in the Giro d’Italia cycle race wears a pink jersey (maglia rosa); this reflects the distinctive pink-colored newsprint of the sponsoring Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
The University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium visitors’ locker room is painted pink. The decor has sparked controversy, perceived by some people as suggesting sexism and homophobia.
Palermo, a soccer team based in Palermo, Italy, traditionally wears pink home jerseys.
WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, as well as other members of the Hart wrestling family, is known for his pink and black wrestling attire.
The Western Hockey League team Calgary Hitmen originally wore pink as a tribute to the aforementioned Bret Hart, who was a part team owner at the time.
The Penrith Panthers of the NRL, wear a pink away jersey.
Snooker uses a pink coloured object ball that is worth 6pts when legally potted.
Source From Wikipedia