The Power of Pink
By Gail R. Jackson, Editor
The color pink is overwhelmingly everywhere. This month, all shades of pink are showing up in the most unusual places. Corporate buildings illuminate pink, and football & basketball players wear it proudly. A color most popular in the spring, yet every October, pink has a specific job. It ushers in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, symbolizing a disease that primarily affects women, and too often results in the devastation of victims and their families.
It’s ironic to me that this classy color, like black, is used to symbolize both elegance and sorrow. Think about it; there are “pink slips,” “pink eye,” and “pink slime.” A little black dress can send a sensual message while that same dress can be worn to a funeral. We have accepted society’s claim that black is associated with pain and sorrow, but I can’t wrap my head around why pink, in all its gracefulness, is treated the same. Dark grey makes more sense. I wondered what was the mindset around the selection of pink in a negative light, so I did a little research in order to understand it better.
Ask anyone to choose a color that represents girls, and pink will be the first choice, the hue that is generally associated with femininity. In the 19th century, the sex of a child was usually guessed correctly when she was dressed in pink, even if no other determining factors are evident. But historical fact-finding by the Smithsonian Institute determined that for centuries, all babies, boys and girls, wore “white.” Today, there are many theories behind the association of pink for girls, and they have been generally accepted as a rule in America; however times are changing.
Pink was hardly associated with masculinity back in the day, yet it is becoming gender-neutral. The debonair man enjoys pink ascents as a sense of elegant style and sophistication without the stereotypical label. I would not be surprised to learn that men of the bible, like Samuel or David, dressed in pink. Maybe Jesus and his disciples wore pink when they taught the multitudes. Yes, I bet they did.
Curiously, I sought the bible to see what it said about pink. Absolutely nothing! The most read book of all times containing beautiful stories of love, songs, and poetry, makes no mention of pink, not even as it relates to the Garden of Eden, the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, or Lydia, a woman of influence in Acts 16:14. Perhaps pink was not a color then.
The answer I am seeking must lie in its component. White and red yield pink. Color theorists have determined that white is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, and determination, as well as passion, desire, and love. Now I get it. Pink is not just a color one wears, it’s the color within.
As women, we roll with the punches. Goodness, innocence, purity and virginity are qualities we inherit at birth. Energy, strength, power, and determination are defense mechanisms we acquire along the way. Interestingly, passion, an acquired emotion commonly associated with women, also means to suffer. Each quality has its purpose, but together they make up the complete package of who women are, and we need them all just to make it through whatever is thrown at us, including breast cancer. When life gets tough, we can count on the Blood of Jesus, (the red in pink) to cover and protect us through it all. I now realized that this beautiful color pink, especially as it relates to breast cancer, is not symbolic of devastation, but represents real women. Its association signifies hope, and the possibility of a long life as a cure is found.
There are victims and there are survivors, but breast cancer affects everyone in some form or fashion. Please support breast cancer awareness events and give towards finding a cure. Sisters, take care of yourselves in order to minimize your chances of being diagnosed. Take advantage of the free screenings and other important events that are being held this month and beyond.