Rethinking Pink

If you aren’t watching the Battlestar Gallactica series on the Sci-Fi Channel, you should be.

BG has some of the strongest, most developed and interesting female characters this side of Deadwood. Kara Thrace (“Starbuck“), President Lara Roslin, Six, and Sharon/Boomer are all complex and conflicted, flawed and fascinating. The story lines deal with everything from religion, torture, armed insurrection, Presidential secrecy and limits on power, the urge to reproduce, bigotry, loyalty and betrayal, to the very definition of what being “human” means.

Don’t worry if you aren’t up on your quantum physics or don’t own a pair of Spock ears or get your thrills discussing quarks and wormholes over a bag of stale Cheetos. This more a character and plot driven than tech driven show; other than the obligatory and short video-game-ish battle sequences, there’s less “science” than “fiction.” In fact, some of the technology seems almost charmingly quaint even by our current standards. (I should confess that I am a bit of a sci-fi geek, but even my non-geek friends are loving this show.)

Anyhow, the humans in this series hate the Cylons (intelligent robots who have nuked most of humanity) with a blinding, burning intensity. Which is how I’ve generally felt about wearing the color pink. Pink was the color of uberfemininity, of snotty sorority girls and girls who were fine with letting the boys win.* And I hate how pink has been co-opted by every marketer trying to sell some product to women.

But just as some of the Cylons have turned their backs on their own kind and have chosen to help the humans, I’ve come to realize that not all pinks are evil. Take this scarf, for instance.

It’s a wonderful, warm pink (despite how it appears in the photo above) that flirts with the skin tone and sweetly flatters without being cloying. It’s a pink that isn’t afraid to be pretty, but doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. It’s a pink that I can be friends with. It’s a pink I can trust in deep space as I journey back to Earth.

*I mean no offense to anyone who loves and wears pink. These associations were based on my own experiences, and like any prejudice, I recognize my own as irrational.
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15 Comments

  1. April 23, 2008 / 2:41 pm

    #1 — BStarG ROCKS MY WORLD and (obviously) turns me into a chanting, panting adolescent fangirl. I LIVE for Friday nights these days.
    #2 — I am a big wearer of pink. There is good pink and there is bad pink. That is very, very good pink.

  2. Toby Wollin
    April 23, 2008 / 2:57 pm

    I listened to an interesting interview on the Terry bike site the other night between Georgena Terry(the president and bike desiger) and a gentleman from GorTex who is a physiologist. His comment about tech clothing manufacturers “discovering” that there is a market for women was summed up by the phrase, “Shrink it and pink it.” They are only NOW discovering that women are not only physically different than men(a man of the same height and weight as a woman will still have a totally different body shape and length of arm, leg and torso that the woman will), but also that women process heat and cold totally differently. “Shrink and pink” is not enough.

  3. April 23, 2008 / 3:04 pm

    Can you believe that the office where I go for my yearly mammogram has ten huge framed Hermes scarves hanging in it?
    Neither could I.

  4. Anonymous
    April 23, 2008 / 4:43 pm

    I hear you re pink. I hated it for years too after surviving things like pale pink polyester crinked faux-Grecian dresses when I was 11 (thanks Mom).

    But I LOVE pinks now – I just about live in menswear and serious lawyer suits and the right pale pink, or a dark pink or lilac shirt feminizes my navy/black/tan suits and jeans just enough to keep me from looking like (to quote Peggy Noonan on Hillary) “a small man with breasts” and keeps me looking like a woman who just happens to like tailored slacks. Not girly at all (but also not scary to the boys). Darker warm pinks are especially wonderful.

    Which brings up a big beef for me – finding great men’s or menswear style oxford shirts for women. Brooks Brothers and Lands End don’t always make “girl colors” in the men’s shirts, and 15-33 sizing doesn’t always accomodate breasts. Someday I’ll get custom…

  5. April 23, 2008 / 4:48 pm

    stylespy – early in the first season of BStarG, I found myself chatting up Katee Sackhoff while in line to board a plane in Denver. I knew she looked familiar but couldn’t place her at that time. I was admiring her LV luggage and she was very nice and down-to-earth. She’s my biggest TV girlcrush right now.

    toby – YES! That’s what I’m talking about. It’s like they think we’re silly and stupid and will buy anything painted or dyed pink.

    blackbird – wow! But some of the H scarves really are works of art. That’s a nice homage.

  6. April 23, 2008 / 4:53 pm

    Anonymous – custom may be the way to go. Or, if you are willing to lay out some serious blouse money, Thomas Pink might have some nice choices.

  7. April 23, 2008 / 5:53 pm

    As a sci-fi fan (see my avatar->), I can’t wait for BSG on video, and the years when I will have time to watch tv again. As for pink — it’s got all these little girl associations, and when I was a 20 something in the 90s, looking girly/younger was NOT COOL in a sea of skinny legged, androgynous black. Now, at a certain age, I’m all for the fresh young glow pink provides. Yeah Pink!!!

  8. April 23, 2008 / 6:31 pm

    @ Dejapseu: That is the most interesting segue I have read in a long time. From Battlestar Galactica to a scarf!

    I agree about pink in general and also with the exception of this scarf. Very pretty.

    @ Blackbird: That is the use to which I also put many of my Hermes scarves. Some scarves are better on the wall than worn around one’s neck or waist. I am glad I am not the only one who does this.. 🙂

  9. April 23, 2008 / 10:13 pm

    “Don’t worry if you aren’t up on your quantum physics or don’t own a pair of Spock ears or get your thrills discussing quarks and wormholes over a bag of stale Cheetos.”

    as you should know, not all of us geeks are so gourmet impaired… i discuss BSG, ST *and* Doctor Who over excellent roast duck or din sum at a local restaurant, or sometimes over fajitas… and lots and lots of wine — not diet coke.

    in recent years, i have also come to re-evaluate pink… it’s so much more flattering to older, tired looking skin. i don’t think i’m ready to go all Legally Blonde, or Blanche DuBois with it… but an occasional splash of rosy pink brightens my day and my skin tone.

  10. April 23, 2008 / 10:20 pm

    I loathe pink. Loathe it. I didn’t even like pink when I was a little girl.

    OTOH, I adore BSG. Quite simply the best drama currently on television. 🙂

  11. April 23, 2008 / 10:48 pm

    bonnie-ann – yes, in fact some of my first “foodie” friends were also self-proclaimed sci-fi geeks. I was just riffing on the stereotype, no offense meant. 🙂

    phantom – I would never try to convice someone to wear a color they loathe. I think we do have deep emotional responses to color, and should only wear those that make us feel our best.

    shefaly – glad you enjoyed. My brain makes weird leaps sometimes.

    dana – I don’t know if I’ll ever be a PINK RAWKS! kind of person, but I’m warming up to it in small, specific doses.

  12. citizen spot
    April 24, 2008 / 12:04 am

    Here is a link to a hilarious BSG recap in 8 min.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcFNqvHPQQc

    And regarding Anonymous’ search for decent oxfords, there may be hope in the not so distant future. Dani Campbell is trying to use her 15 minutes of fame from MTV’s “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequilla” (it was a frakkin’ train wreck) to start up a clothing line of menswear designs, but styled for women’s bodies. So far she only has some overpriced t-shirts for sale to raise money, but her stated goal is to make mens styled shirts, jackets and vests that fit women without having to be tailored. I think she is calling the line “Futch Apparel”. So that might be of some help in the future, but not just yet.

  13. April 24, 2008 / 3:25 am

    spot – that clip is great!

  14. April 25, 2008 / 10:47 pm

    Aren’t you funny? I was trying to think what the BG post had to do with pink … and I was thinking maybe you meant P!nk … and then you show us your lovely scarf!

    I only started wearing pink a couple of years ago. I had a real opposition to it — which doesn’t make sense, since it goes quite nicely with my brown skin. I’ve found three nice pinks that seem to work best for me, but I’m still investigating.

    I’ve yet to watch the new BG (no TV), but I recently put it in my Netflix queue, so I’ll be seeing it soon …

  15. Sue
    April 25, 2008 / 4:43 pm

    You can’t beat soft pink for flattering light onto the face. This scarf is a beaut.

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