Seniors Speak: Redefining Pink

Seniors+Speak%3A+Redefining+Pink

Ask 9-year-old me what her favorite color was.

I wouldn’t have said pink. Actually, I hated the color pink. Pink meant incapable and weak. Pink was stiff, itchy dress lining. Pink was my mom and I walking miles through malls, only to buy a few of the items I had tried on. I would have much rather pretended to be the yellow power ranger with my brother– he was always black or red– or cut the grass with my dad. That’s how I started learning how to drive in my early years. Bottom line, I was far from pink.

It wasn’t until middle school that I realized I didn’t hate the color pink. The stereotypes that were associated with the color stopped me from embracing a worldwide symbol of femininity. Misogyny, thinly disguised in my regular day to day interactions, began to leave an acidic taste in my mouth–a taste that I once associated with the color pink. That taste ultimately changed my motives so I not only wanted to prove to others I could achieve my goals, but also to the world.

I’ve always asserted my opinions on world issues, but my perspective of gender equality has changed. Noticing discrimination I once felt distanced from has grown easier for me. Recognizing how it pertains to me, even more than I thought in the past, has become natural. I am a woman, and I’m realizing how the system is built against me. What I’ve read in articles, textbooks and social media targeted me because I am a female.

Seeing my country riot, march and spill their emotions in social media posts has put an inexplicable motivation and drive in the pit of my stomach.

I still don’t like my fluffy dresses. The mall has oddly become a serene place for me. I still wrestle around with my brother just to remind him that “girls rule, and boys drool,” but the color pink is one that I’ve come to appreciate. Ask me what my favorite color is. I love pink, blue, purple and some shades of red and orange. Despite my inability to commit to just one, never again will I shame a beautiful color for what humans have cast upon it.

Photo by Emmie Poth-Nebel.

Contact the writer at 17somerbenton@csdecatur.net