Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Of Reds, Blues, Pinks....Whites and Blacks

Hello Friends,

As I sit on a gloomy day and turn around for a "colorful" inspiration, I do not find it anywhere. That made me ponder about a topic I didn't really think before - the issue of Colors. Every one around me is dressed in "somber" colors and the ones that blend in and not stand out.

Wimbeldon - Players In Whites
As Wimbeldon starts yet another year seeped in traditions where the players are supposed to be only in Whites and the umpires in Green, it looks amazing how conditioned we get mentally based on the colors we are supposed to wear!

Let's now get to the color Red - it is surprising that this color is interpreted in multiple ways - can mean Danger/Stop and when associated with Roses takes a romantic tenor. If a man wears Red, he is branded to be a comrade and if a lady wears it, then it must be a special occasion - a wedding (true in most Indian Weddings).

A typical "Girly Store"

Blue is always associated with Boys and Pink with girls in the West and this is really catching up as a trend globally. If a boy likes wearing Pink - he is constantly mocked at and told that Pink is feminine. In the same way, girls are fed with the consistent message that "Pink is your only color" through media, fashion world and market. It has grown to such an extent that, now, there is an anti-pink campaign in UK that's called "Pink-Stinks" that the women there have started. Color cannot and should not be a gender stereotype.

Black is usually worn in the case of public mourning in the west and White is the color preferred to do the same in the east. So, again a case of type-casting the occasion when a certain color is used. At work place, any one who comes in dazzling Orange/Purple are definitely made aware that this is not welcome and the advice pours in from every one that "faded" colors like Grey, Brown etc. are the ones that pass acceptability!

"Fairness" - An societal obsession that is a boon for product makers
For every Govinda we have in a generation, there are millions of people who conform to the "unwritten color codes" we have in the society.What is not surprising is that our color "sense" extends beyond the dress we wear and gets to the skin as well. Umpteen advertisements are shown ( originally for women and now more so for men ) of "Fairness" creams/gels etc. that will make us miraculously change the skin color in a matter of minutes ! The obsession to be "fair" stays just on the surface and not beyond :-) .

Till the next time.

-  Pavan

1 comment:

  1. Nicely written, Some times using certain colors to certain occasions (especially happy ones ) add some excitement and beauty even though the color being worn is white. Your article reminded me of a memorable memory I have had of one indian marriage , the day after the marriage all the ladies(there were around 20 of them) will bless the bride and groom all wearing semi white clothes. It was such a nice thing to watch.