2 Jul 2010

Pink? Blue? Blink? Poo?

Bit of a science-meets-fashion post here. Coz we are, like, well bookish and clever. Actually we don't really understand science at all. Can you tell by the title?

A friend put us on to this in Bad Science and, er, once we skimmed past the techy bits, it was an interesting insight into the evolutionary idea that girls prefer pink stuff and boys prefer blue.

"At last, science discovers why blue is for boys but girls really do prefer pink" (so says the Times).

Here be a graph!!!

The study asked over 200 20-somethings to choose their favourite colours between two options, repeatedly, and then graphed their overall preferences. It found that infact boys did tend to go for blue and girls pink. This is because boys do hunting (blue things?) and girls, er, are hunter gatherers and need to be good at identifying berries.


From Bad Science:

In 1918, the Ladies Home Journal wrote: “There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that blue being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while pink, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

The Sunday Sentinel in 1914 told American mothers: “If you like the color note on the little one’s garments, use blue for the boy and pink for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.” Some sources suggest it wasn’t until the 1940s that the modern gender associations of girly pink became universally accepted. Pink is, therefore, perhaps not biologically girly. Boys who were raised in pink frilly dresses went down mines and fought in World War 2. Clothing conventions do change over time.

There's still a taboo though, if boys wear pink? Perhaps not. We've recently teased our 14 year old brother for wearing a chavvy pink polo shirt. But that's because it's a polo shirt. It's less to do with the colour. And he turns his collar up, hence inviting abuse. If he wore a pink band t-shirt we'd probably say, "oh. Cool t-shirt."

When we researched this post, little came up in high fashion that is pink. Pink in menswear is generally associated with high-end chav. Something an extra off Hollyoaks is inclined to wear.

A fashion article on About.com says there is something alluring about pink. Maybe that’s because psychologically it is known to have a calming effect. Or maybe it’s because a man who wears pink exudes confidence, yet is sensitive. ... And lastly, if you're still not convinced how great pink is, women love pink and are more likely to give you a second glance.

Um. Well. Yeah we probably would give you a second glance. A glance that says "put your collar down."

So our non-scientific conclusion is, that men who wear pink are, just men who like pink. We don't like pink, because the colour is naff. That's just a personal preference. Nothing psychological in that. But then we don't gather berries...


Image Sources
Bad Science