52 Essays #5: Pink Is Not My Color

So I’m sitting here writing as the Pink Full Moon is rising. Every few minutes I get up and take another pic with my cell phone. I don’t know why I do this. I know damn well my cell phone camera is not sophisticated enough to take good shots of the night sky. But somehow that draw to capture and document is still there, even if I lack the proper tools and training.

I don’t really know why this one is called the Pink Moon anyway. In all my years of following the full moons and the lunar cycles, I don’t even think I recall a pink moon. I’m sure there’s another name for it that would make more sense to me coming from a Pagan or Wiccan tradition. But yeah, I didn’t ask the googles this one. Yet.

Maybe it’s Pink because it’s almost Easter and that holiday is associated with pale pink and other pastels, and springtime or something. Well, that’s another Pagan holiday that the Christians stole and re-worked to their liking. But why pink? Did Jesus bleed pink blood? I don’t know. The metaphors are getting too convoluted.

When I was a little girl, I was a girly girl. I liked to dress up in dresses and skirts and blouses and fancy shoes and such. That lasted all throughout girlhood and became well developed in adolescence. There was a pre-puberty or early-puberty sidebar where I wanted to go by the name Stevie and be a tomboy. The thing was, I wasn’t terribly athletic or active, and much preferred to lose myself in a good book or a good daydream than in some activity that caused me to become dirty and sweaty. Maybe it was because of Stevie Nicks. And she was and is girly in the floaty mystical goddess witchy sense of girly. Or maybe it was compulsory heterosexuality and compulsory male-gaze grooming and feminizing. It certainly went hand-in-hand with my early Catholic, and then Fundamentalist Christian upbringing.

Remember in the 80s when we all talked about fashion sense and coloring in terms of what season you were? I supposedly was ‘a summer’, which meant I would look best in pinks and pastels and summery colors. I took that to heart, always wanting to be a fashion-forward diva. I think it’s an innate tendency for Leos. I did wear plenty of pink, never straying much darker than bubblegum. The dress I wore to my prom was mauve, and the dress I wore under my high school graduation robes was a true pink sundress with white piping on the edge of a chest level ruffle. Why on earth I would put a ruffle on my chest, when I was so well endowed, I’ll never understand. Even in my freshman year of college, my favorite pair of pants were a pair of deep almost hot pink jeans with cargo pockets. I loved those pants and wore them constantly, even as the freshman fifteen and my genetics began to push out my bottom belly bulge, and the pants got tighter and tighter.

I’m not sure exactly when I stopped liking pink, but it was definitely after coming out as a lesbian. During the early years, after I got through the confusing time and I was in my first real relationship with another woman, I sort of did a traditional second waver denouncing of all markers of femininity, and my hippie-ness which had already developed, morphed more into a grunchy granola androgyny. I could never pull of androgyny very well, though. I’ve always been femme, and I can’t deny it; it just comes out of me no matter what I’m wearing or doing. My girlfriend was androgynous of course, though. Androgyny is always my type.

But yes, the pink was gone. The strawberry lipstick, the pink fingernail polish: all gone. My hippiedom had already begun my journey into earthtones, and my lesbianism acerbated it.  I wore plaid flannel a lot. And work boots. And men’s tank tops. The only pink to be found was the pink of my skin and the rosiness of my cheeks. I held onto one pink-toned tye dye tshirt that I made myself for awhile. But eventually, that went by the wayside. Funny thing is, I learned my aura is pink. I magenta/rose type of pink mostly. And the rosy cheeks: rosacea. But whatever.

Overtime as my feminism really developed and came into focus, I grew to hate pink. Pink represented Patriarchy to me. And this is even before the coloration of toys became so blue and pink. In pink I saw coerced submissiveness, and oppression, and forced subservience, and compulsory heterosexuality. I hated all of that, and I hated pink. Girls are ‘supposed’ to like and wear pink and be sweet and girly and ‘feminine’, code for subservient and obsequious and diminutive. I wanted none of that. I was none of that. Finally coming into myself, there was no way I was going back to subdue myself to second-class citizen status. And the way I saw it, that citizen wore a pink dress, and embraced all things pink. Not.For.Me.

Now, my friends know I want nothing to do with pink. Not too long ago a good friend was contemplating getting me a gift, and she asked what color I like. I said, ‘Not Pink”! She laughed, and said “I knew that much!”  Overtime I have embraced certain shades of pink. I do like magenta and deep rose and have 1 shirt in that color. I’ve learned that in that seasonal fashion paradigm, I’m actually not a Summer. I’m a Spring or Fall, and despite the rosy cheeks, I tend to have a yellow undertone to my skin that can pull off colors in those palettes.

Not that I really pay that much attention to fashion, anymore. I used be a fashionista. I took seamstress classes at a community college, in preparation for doing the fashion designer program. I learned to sew long ago, and made quite a few garments for myself, mostly in the ‘hippie years’.  I hosted Project Runway parties at my house for several years. But I became more and more disillusioned with fashion because of it’s focus on thinness, on the ‘hour-glass’ shape of a woman’s torso, and the lack of understanding of gender nonconformity. Even Fashion itself became to represent Patriarchy to me, as my feminism continued to develop, as my lesbianism led me to understand that my sexual attraction is always towards androgynous women who often are Butch or Stud, and I began to understand myself as a Femme within Lesbiandom.

Some want to say that things are better for women now. Look at all the women leaders!  Look at the women CEOs and politicians! Societally, being a woman still sucks. The institutional oppression of women hasn’t gone anywhere at all.  And it is all represented by the color pink. So yeah, Pink Is Not My color.


written April 11, 2017


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