When my daughters were babies I would occasionally dress them in matching outfits in different colors. That inevitably meant that one wore pink and the other blue. My uncle regaled me with stories about a set of twins whose mother used their clothes to tell them apart. They were named Pinkie and Bluey.
Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year was Marsala, which looked like the Sicilian wine after which it was named. 2014’s was Radiant Orchid, somewhere between mauve and lavender. I generally like the Pantone color selections. I think they tell us something about the mood of the times.
This year that mood is infantile. Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year is actually two colors: my old friends Pinkie and Bluey, glammed up with the names Rose Quartz and Serenity. If that isn’t bad enough, Pantone’s unreadable explanation is even worse:
In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.
Listen up, Pantone: color doesn’t have gender. While our age likes to dress girls in pink and boys in blue, those are just current fashion concepts. Popular media aside, the brain doesn’t have gender either. In fact, science now tells us that the infant mind is mostly a tabula rasa on which gender roles are imprinted. It doesn’t really come in male and female versions.
A pox on your childish colors and your limited notions of gender. I’ll be using something else for my Christmas pedicure.