the original kStyle blog.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Wednesday Writing Assignment

Colors are culturally weighted and so become personally weighted with memories and associations. Green and red recall the madness and joy of Christmas. Blue and pink are associated with babies and gender. Blue and white could spell Hanukah to you, or perhaps summer by the beach, or even skiing on blue mountains. Tell us about a color that's rich in associations for you, a color that resonates strongly with your life. Too hard? Try this: what's your favorite color and why?


Blogger kStyle said...

I love pink. I have a few friends who dislike it, dislike its girly connotations, and think it’s not a feminist enough color. I disagree. Pink is cheerful, first of all, and warm. My favorite CareBear, Cheer Bear, is pink. My childhood bedroom was pink at my request. It had nothing to do with princesses or helplessness; I enjoyed waking up in a pink room and retreating to a pink room. Later I met rose, that deeper pink. Rose is more sensuous and soothing than her sister, and I grew fond of her as well.

I forgot about pink for a time, longing for the deep, thirsty green of New England summer, flirting with the bright blue of sky, and expressing my inner royal dignity through purple garments. I found pink again recently, when I saw how a pink shirt given to me as a gift made my skin glow and sparkle. When I wear pink, people actually ask me what I’ve been doing differently: You look so healthy! And you know what, I feel healthy in pink. Not pretty or helpless or childlike, but warm and cheerful and healthy.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Pink has gotten such a bad reputation. It isn't its fault that some people can't see it as a color and instead see it as "girly." I especially like pale pink.

Growing up, my younger-by-two-years sister and I would often get the exact same Christmas gifts, but in different colors. Mine were usually blue or purple, and hers were red or pink. This was before we'd ever thought to express color preferences. Now the closest thing I have to a favorite color is red. The red of just-given blood, specifically, which is a bit dark.

I have no idea why I like red. It satisfies me, somehow. It's strong and stable. Trustworthy and tangible. Also, it represents opposites: blood (mainly inside your body, it means life; mainly outside, it means death), emergencies vs. decoration, the luxury of red satin vs. the egregiousness of red balloons. I don't know. I just like it.

But there are some places I don't want red. I'm not a big fan of red clothes, for example. And if there's too much orange in it, I want nothing to do with it.

4:01 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Red *is* a satisfying color. Hearty and bright, like fire.

My brother, sister, and I have colors, too. They're based partly, I think, on our own early color preferences: blue, yellow, and pink, respectively.

I want to like earth tones. I like their symbolic connotations of earth and groundedness, but they make me look washed-out, for one thing, and for another....I prefer my colors more crisp and clean, less muddy...more celestial.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, okay, i'll be the dissenting voice here--i really dislike the pinks and reds--i can't wear them, for one thing, because i have red hair and it clashes. (It drives me nuts to see redheads wearing red or pink--it doesn't work, people!) But I don't mind them on other people.

I'd say that my two favorite colors are bright yellow (the color I had my bedroom painted; my father still claims it was the only two gallons of that color ever sold) and cobalt blue. the latter always reminds me of my maternal grandmother, because of a couple of dishes she had, plus she used that color in her kitchen a lot. I like earth tones, and wear them a lot (they do not clash with my hair or skin, but the reverse), but i also like to wear purple and turquoise, which I think of as my compensation for the no red/pink/orange thing. I don't like white much--it makes me look washed out when i wear it, and, in fact, i don't think very many people look good in really white white. Black is okay; black clothes are handy. Hmmm . . . i'm not narrowing very much here, am I?


5:29 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I actually never liked pink, but Karen makes such a good case for it that I'll have to rethink it. Rethink pink.

Navy blue was my world when I was a kid, but now I like colors that have a little more character. Especially in the wintertime, maroon and hunter green have a coziness for me: they're the colors of being huddled in front of a fire, or bundling yourself to shovel snow. And both go well as a scarf with a long black winter coat.

Both colors too have some of the playfulness of their primary-color ancestors, but they're less simple, and I like that about them.

8:31 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...


What's it like being a redhead? I imagine you've had too deal with certain assumptions about redheads, firey temperament and so on...

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hated it when i was a kid--there was teasing and nicknames (which there would have been in any case, given that I was the smart kid), and it's really impossible to hide when you're a redhead. Especially if you're mouthy, too (I wasn't really a meek social outcast, especially not in high school). There was also the assumption that I had a bad temper, and, as I got older, there's an assumption that redheaded women are . . . generous with their favors. The other downside is that people tend to remember you--which is only a downside when you meet a lot of people, and they remember your name but you don't remember theirs. I do have a personality that kind of matches, though I don't think it's really a result of the hair color. Now--as it's rapidly turning grey--and for awhile now, I like it. It's a little exotic, and it gets a lot of good attention. (I've always worn it long, so there's a lot of it, too, and not many women my age wear their hair long.) But I don't have to do a lot to GET that attention, you know? So it doesn't feel like attention-mongering (unlike, say, tight, low-cut shirts, for example), even though I secretly know it sort of is. but attention-mongering is probably another whole subject of discussion for this crew here.


1:06 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Yes, I remember that redheads and Jehovah's Witnesses were teased mercilessly. Never made much sense to me.

I think you're right that attention-mongering could be a very interesting topic for this crew here. Would you care to put it in Wed. Writing Assignment form for next week? (No pressure, of course.)

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The myth that redheads can't wear red and pink is total bollocks. I grew up hearing that all the time and only recently got the courage to wear those colours. And they look great on me, thanks very much!
Red hair comes in lots of different shades and it really is a bit silly to taboo whole colours.

3:14 AM  

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