“The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl” — trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department, June 1918.
Pink is often associated with children because of its innocent nature. It’s carefree and uncomplicated. It draws enough attention to make a statement and add interest in a room, but rarely invokes a strong response, such as its undiluted counterpart: red. It’s for this reason that experts say children are attracted to pink and parents like to decorate their kids’ bedrooms in calming rosy hues. If you’ve got a little boy who’s got a penchant for pink walls but the baby-boomer grandparents are telling you it’s “too girly”, go for the more masculine shades of ‘watermelon’, ‘salmon’ or ‘brick’ 😉 Everybody wins.
Pink has crept so stealthily into home decorating in recent years that even our most passionately anti-pink blokes seemed to have organically embraced it. Probably because the world of fashion and interior design has been swooning over the various shades of pink for years. Since the year 2000, four different shades of pink have been selected as the Pantone colour of the year — most recently in 2019 with ‘living coral’. Blush, in particular, has been so omnipresent in recent years among social media, sofas, cushions, skateboards, sneakers and feature walls that it’s even coined a new name: millennial pink.
Famously, Kendall Jenner painted her entire living room ‘Baker-Miller’ pink — a colour said to calm nerves. This theory first popped up in a 1960s study when a scientist experimented with painting the cells of a prison this specific shade of pink (Baker and Miller were the directors of the prison). It’s said that incidents of violence and hostile behaviour immediately went down. Of course, later studies debunked this theory and said it had more to do with the novelty of the colour… as it wore off after a few days. But why risk it? Rowdy kids and moody teens could benefit from a lick of Baker-Miller pink in their cells bedrooms. It could be the key to household serenity.
There is, however, plenty of evidence confirming the passion for pretty in pink in Western culture. Surveys show that people associate it with all things feminine, such as tenderness, politeness, sensitivity, sweetness and trustworthiness. In fact, people were more likely to fill out surveys printed on pink paper! (True story.) Additionally, it’s also linked with the nostalgia of childhood and things like bubble-gum, milkshakes and cartoons — the opposite of adulthood and all its responsibilities. Sometimes we all need a cuddle from a pink velvet sofa.