It’s intriguing how a particular color can convey ideas sometimes. Yellow always makes you think of “sunny”, doesn’t it? Purple has some interesting inferences. And it’s a color I’ve always struggled with.
Never a fan of the “girly colors” – pink and purple – I was horrified when I had my first child, a girl. We were inundated with thoughtful gifts for her, which was great. Everything was pink or purple or a combination of both, though. Blech. I hated the thought of having to spend my days (and nights) seeing so much pink and purple.
I vowed I’d dress my daughter in gender-neutral or even “boy’s colors”. No daughter of mine was going to be undermined by all the damaging inferences and subliminal messages that our society masks in cutesy fairy tale characters and expectations of behavior and accomplishment (or lack of), starting with the wardrobe.
My daughter wore blue and red, denim, baseball/football/hockey team emblem-emblazoned clothes. She had a collection of cars and trucks amongst her toys. I was careful to avoid referring to her as “princess”, “darling”, “sweet”, etc. I read her stories of all sorts of adventures and involving various characters. I was doing it all the right way.
None of that mattered. Her favorite color was, and still is, blue. Especially turquoise. She did end up not being a particular fan of pink and purple. But she loved playing with dolls and kitchen sets and pretend makeup and dress-up. She loved the stories of princesses and romance. My daughter absolutely loved being told that she was beautiful, that she looked “pretty”.
Maybe I wasn’t selective enough in her influences. But I can honestly tell you, her preferences were already becoming clear when she was still in infancy. I came to realize there may be something instinctual about our genders, just as there is in wildlife. And we just need to separate that from the propaganda intended to stereotype and limit.
Fast-forward to recent years, with CindyLu in my life. It’s uncanny, but when people see a black dog, they assume it’s a male. I got tired of hearing “he” and “him” when people we came across (even those who really should have known better by that point) were referring to CindyLu.
So I began emphasizing her “girlness” by dressing her in pink coats, pink collars, pink hair clips. Would you believe, there are still some people who automatically assume she’s a “he”?
But it does help. So, like it or not, I’m surrounded in pink and purple. Mostly pink, since that’s considered an undeniably feminine shade. But the purple is in there, too.
And it’s her pretty purple sweater that’s keeping CindyLu toasty warm on these cold winter days.
I’ve learned to love purple.
This has been another fun #52Snapshots exercise in photography – thanks to our host The Lazy Pit Bull. Enjoy some more interpretations of “purple”: