You Better Think Millennial Pink
Pink is often associated with childishness. The pink bedroom walls of young girls, like the teddy sleeping next to them, are a token of girly-girl innocence constructed by parents based on societies wishes. That's why, when a girl is coming of age, teddy is beheaded and those pink walls are covered with famous faces. Famous faces who from now on will act as a guidance in taste and behaviour. It's a new age where the bubble of childhood must burst so a sense of independance and personal growth can kick in.
"Pink becomes a stupid colour for childish girls clinging to their beheaded teddies."
Pink therefore becomes a stupid colour for childish girls desperately clinging to their beheaded teddies. "Grow up! Pink is stupid! And so is your teddy!", the others yell dragging their headless teddies through the mud and stacking their lifeless bodies onto a campfire. They stay and watch them burn, possesively chanting kumbaya, with the face of their first celebrity crush looming over their left shoulder. Pink is a colour of the past. Pink is the colour of girls who don't grow up.
From girl-ism to gender neutralHowever pink isn't just the colour of girly-girl innocence. And it isn't always abandoned by those who choose to behead, drag and burn their teddies. Because it's part of a clear gender identification between the two sexes most acknowledgded within society, pink can grow into an enhanced portrayal of girl-ism. Although those pink walls are covered, the token of girly-girl innocence still looms as a moral code over the behavioural instincts and actions printed into the pinkish minds.
Pink is therefore the base-line actively subverted by so called tomboys, doing everything they can to disassociate their existence from their girly-girl past, and highly magnified by grown up girly-girls personified in a (sometimes toxic) double act of Barbies and famous faces. It creates a tension and easily adaptable identification inflated by sociocultural codes.
So it's very interesting that out of all the colours that could be picked, it's our very own pink that dominates current off- and mainstream culture. Although millennial pink isn't every shade of pink, it certainly is defined by a range of pink shades. It's a colour scheme, according to the media, that already appeared in 2014 but really risen to fame last summer.
"This pink is different", claims Lauren Schwartzberg in her millenial pink article. "For one thing, with Millennial Pink, gone is the girly-girl baggage; now it's androgynous. (...) It's been reported that at least 50 percent of millennials believe that gender runs on a spectrum - this pink is their genderless mascot." And although it's not a specific pink that's being referred to, it sticks because it embodies an idea instead of just an aesthetic choice. That's also why everyone is writing about it, writes Nancy Mitchell in her article about millennial pink. She connects millennial pink to contemporary feminism.
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Unlike Barbie pinkPink still is heavily connotated with a clear feminine gender identification. However this idea gets subverted not by playing with opposite (tomboy) signs, but by -quite literally- toning the pink down. Mitchell: "It is, in a lot of ways, defined more by what it isn't than what it is: Not Barbie. Not bubble gum. Not princessy."
"Pink is used as a way to redefine what femininity nowadays entails."
This way millennial pink, unlike Barbie pink and the likes, embraces a certain femininity. Pink is used as a way to redefine what this femininity nowadays entails. Existentialism famously is pleated as a humanism, and feminism in this way tries to further develop and rebrand itself as a humanism too.
Because of the dominant FEMININE-associations that comes with the word feminism, oppositional positions are often taken (and exaggerated) against either societal favoured gender (within the media). By confiding to the first feminine associative colour and running away with it to a wider audience, these associations -over time- become less definitive. But it must be clear that just like a H&M top with 'Feminism is for everyone' on it, the excessive use of millennial pink within (social) media could also be part of popularism; playing into the pockets and likes instead of the morals and ethics. Because of its popularity the colour can lose its message like a dumbfounded Millennial discovering that Nirvana isn't a fashion brand but a 1990s grunge band (it's the age cap and overwritten marketing denotations no one can avoid).
Will the future be pink?If you're a millennial pink lover, you most likely make the genius combination with green -preferebly some kind of cactus or succulent- to enhance your Instagram feed. And that's no coincidence (besides, you know, the aesthetic pleasure you get out of it), Pantone predicts that green will be the new it-colour representing the Trump years.
Green, throughout history, is one of the most toxic colours to reproduce. In the 19th century potassium and white arsenic were used mixed with copper turmeric to make a beautiful bright green pigment to dye fabric with. However this beautiful and VERY TOXIC bright green poisoned the wearer and those around them causing headaches, rashes and sometimes even death. Luckily in 1860 the use of arsenic was banned, but there are still dresses found that were dyed with this deathly cocktail after the ban.
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 The Guardian, "Millennial Pink is the colour of now - but what exactly is it?" (22 March 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/shortcuts/2017/mar/22/millennial-pink-is-the-colour-of-now-but-what-exactly-is-it.
 L. Schwartzberg, "Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away" (19 March 2017), https://www.thecut.com/2017/03/why-millennial-pink-refuses-to-go-away.html.
 N. Mitchell, "The Real Reason No One Can Shut Up About Millennial Pink" (10 May 2017), http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-real-reason-no-one-can-shut-up-about-millennial-pink-244900.
 See note 2.
 B.M. du Mortier, "Groen en gevaarlijk: boeken over de geschiedenis van kleur" (14 March 2017), https://www.modemuze.nl/blog/groen-en-gevaarlijk-boeken-over-de-geschiedenis-van-kleur.