In the heyday of my interior design career, I noticed that many mature women surrounded themselves with pink. Consultations took me into the homes of women in their 60’s and 70’s who lived alone.
I could have wagered a bet, sight unseen, that I would find significant traces of that delicate hue lurking in their decor. Attempts to steer them into other color palettes almost never succeeded. Nor did they want magenta or fuchsia. They wanted soft, fleshy, little-girl pink.
I was curious, but not curious enough, to delve into the psychology behind that fascinating inclination. I took note and learned how to be creative within those limited parameters.
Now, I myself am in that shadowy period of time between old-ish and just plain old and – you guessed it – I’ve lost my aversion to pink. Although I refuse to decorate my home in that color, I’m drawn to fabrics, clothing and accessories in various shades of blush.
On a recent shopping spree, I barely noticed anything that wasn’t some rendition of rose. When I realized what I was doing, I remembered those design days. Why, at this stage of life, had my preferences changed?
When it became personal, my interest level spiked. A Google search brought me to an article about the psychology of color. It asked a simple question:
How Does Pink Make You Feel?
The ‘aha’ moment came with a woman’s answer: “Although green used to be my favorite color, pink has the strongest and deepest emotional influence to me. The color pink to me has a deeply joyful vibe to it. Like being “home.”
She continues, “A familiar friendly place deep within everyone’s heart where there are no worries, you are never lonely, you have everything in life that you ever wanted. You are loved and accepted by everyone. You feel as if you’ll never get old. Anyone you’ve missed or lost in life, you are able to meet once again and rejoice.”
I read it once, then twice, then again, isolating the words: joyful, friendly, no worries, never lonely, loved, accepted, forever young, no losses, a feeling like being home. Isn’t that what everyone longs for? If a color could manifest such wellbeing for one person, maybe it worked in similar ways for others.
Another woman wrote that since she no longer has to compromise with her husband, she surrounds herself in pink. Her words were even more revealing. “Pink makes me think of springtime flowers and all things fresh and new. It seems like a really inspiring color. If I could, I would paint my room all pink so that I could always feel that sense of inspiration and renewal.”
The Ultimate Rebellion
If she could – why couldn’t she? Was pink the ultimate rebellion against all the inhibitions, restraints, and compromises of a lifetime of pleasing others? Was it the indulgence in self-pleasure that only seems possible after the work’s all done?
Looking back, I see those elder clients sitting serene on their cushy pink sofas and Queen Anne chairs. I remember feeling mild nausea and now I’m thinking about that, too. Was I jealous of their freedom?
I was still bound by self-imposed obligations to others. Did I long to break the chains and become what their pink homes signified? Or did I just detest pink, and if so, why was that?
I read on and more clues appeared: “Feminine, attractive, vibrant… bright pink or paler, no matter what age, makes me feel flirty…” Jill Cleggett
“Hot pink is vivacious and joyous. I think that hot pink embodies who I try to be as a person: full of life and character… More muted pinks represent youth and innocence, while loud forms of pink exude sexiness and boldness… Pink is my euphoria.” DrEbz
Pink is Our Euphoria
Did she say, “Pink is my euphoria?” At the time I hated pink I was about as far from euphoria as Earth is from Neptune. I didn’t feel sexy, vivacious, flirty or joyous. Everything in my life was a compromise.
In fact, it wasn’t even my life. I was living another’s dream. No wonder I avoided that happy color like it were death. It represented what I wanted but didn’t have.
Perhaps pink is the reward. Once we have identified our goals, are moving toward who we are meant to be, are using the talents we were born with, and have learned to love ourselves – even the shadows within – we finally deserve pink. It’s a bold statement of self-affirmation. Until then, lesser colors will do.