How did pink become a girly color?






In 1927, Time Magazine took a survey of all the major department stores across the country.

They wanted to know which colors they associated with girls in their clothing lines.

The answers came back pretty mixed.

There's also a catalogue in 1918 that suggests that little girls should all wear blue because it's a delicate and dainty color.

That's Jennifer Wright.

She's an author and often writes about history and fashion for Racked.

It was only after the war that pink got the symbolic association that we have today.

In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower, the general who won World War II, becomes president.

And this actually turns out to be a pretty important moment in the history of pink.

It was Ike's inauguration, and Mamie Eisenhower came out in this enormous rhinestone-studded pink ball gown, the likes of which you never would have seen during the war when women were wearing much simpler styles.

Mamie Eisenhower loved the color pink, and she was known for it.

She thought that the pink really brought out her complexion. She had really pretty blue eyes.

It was a nice contrast.

In fact, a quick search of newspaper headlines mentioning Mamie Eisenhower also reference the color pink pretty frequently.

And it wasn't just called pinkit was called " Mamie pink" .

And she went around giving quotes like " Ike runs the country. I turn the pork chops" .

But yeah, it was a very arbitrary decision that she just loved pink and everybody else decided,

Okay, this is the color that ladylike women wear.

There's a great song in Funny Face called " Think Pink" .

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. . . where the lady editor of the magazine who is very much based off of Diana Vreeland sings about how women in America today have gotta think pink.

And there's a great line in it where she says " Banish the black. Burn the blue, " which are two colors that women would have been seeing a lot of during the war years.

Around this time, pink became a popular color not only in just women's clothing, but also in the home.

Pink as a bridal blush.

New Camay, Loving Pink Camay, with an exciting new fragrance sealed in pink pearl foil: new Loving Pink Camay.

This was something a lot of women likedby the way, it wasn't seen as a terribly oppressive thing.

But, there were definitely women like Diana Vreel and who didn't really want to revert to those traditional roles.

I haven't seen a woman in two weeks in anything but pink! What about you?

Me? I wouldn't be caught dead.

It was at this point where you start to see the color pink representing women real and fictional who were anything but traditional.

The champion race car driver Donna Mae Mims is a really good example of this. She had a pink uniform and a pink helmet and a pink race car.

There's the pink ladies in Grease and the Plastics in Mean Girls.

The girls who are incredibly canny and kind of terrifying, brightly explain. . .

On Wednesdays, we wear pink.

There's a great cover of Hillary Clinton on the cover of People magazine wearing a bright pink jacket.

And the caption next to it is how we need to break the highest, hardest glass ceiling as women.

So she's pretty much doing the opposite of what Mamie Eisenhower wanted to do.

This isn't just about the color pink.

It's about how it's used to define a person's personality and what we think they're capable of.

She still wants to show people that, Really, I'm just a girl, just like you.