What's wrong with pink

Posted by September Blue Monday, 3 August 2009

a) Nothing.

b) Or at least there wouldn't be, if product manufacturers worldwide didn't feel the need to spraypaint 80% of everything targeted at women in it. Case in point, my new walking boots:


These were some of the least pink-focused ones available, too. I get the feeling they made it most of the way through the design process being grey, black and silver, until someone noticed. "Dear heavens, George! We can't market those to women - they might get halfway up a mountain and have a sudden crisis of gender identity! Quick, slap some pink trim on there and replace the shoelaces!"

Likewise, I have been wearing pink socks for most of today, because it is apparently impossible to buy a pack of five pairs of socks without pink featuring in there somewhere unless you're really, really trying. Which I'm usually not, because life is too short, but that doesn't mean little bit of me doesn't cringe deep inside every time I put them on.

Because it's not just a colour. It's coded as 'Girls like floaty things and princesses and diamonds and shopping!' just as much as green in supermarkets is coded as 'This is healthy, organic, and good for the planet!' or black in clothing is coded as 'Hello, I am Very, Very Serious'. If pink was just a colour, we would not have ended up with this, in which Memorex learned that women felt ignored by the tech industry, and countered that by producing... a handbag-shaped iPod dock. In pink. Which is really easy to use, because women 'don't have the time' to learn about technology.

See also: HP's laptop disguised as a handbag (which in their own words, 'coordinates perfectly with stunning Vivienne Tam pieces!'). See also Dell's attempt to market netbooks to women by explaining that you can use them to plan your diets and schedule your meditation sessions.

See also: the man who replied to me elsewhere on the Internet, when I described the new computer I was getting and said that while I was pretty tech-savvy and really into computers, I hadn't upgraded for a while and had never owned a laptop before. He helpfully suggested that the Macbook Pro I was thinking of was probably going to be way too expensive and far more computer than I needed, and recommended a netbook which was 'fine for word processing and email'. Because he had lots of women friends who liked it. And he'd heard it was the best 'chick computer' out there.

Okay, he didn't suggest I buy a pink one. All he did was work from the well-supported, long-established premise that because I was a woman, I'd need a special product that could cater for my techphobic womanly nature.

And I'm sure chick computers come in all colours under the sun.

1 Responses to What's wrong with pink

  1. phd me Says:
  2. I will admit to an actual snort as I was reading this. Love your sense of humour! And I absolutely love my MacBook Pro, despite it's lack of womanly attributes.