How My Least Favorite Color Became My No. 1

I'm sure you've heard the term, "Voice of a generation," in regards to writers who capture the essence of a generation and seem to speak for the people born into it.

But have you heard of the color of a generation? I hadn't either, until soft and light shades of pink were dubbed "Millennial Pink."

Growing up I completely and totally hated the color pink, but now it's my go-to choice. Find out how the switch happened below:

Throughout elementary school I found it hard to connect with what I would now call my feminine side. My style included big shirts that hung just a centimeter above my jean shorts, clunky tennis shoes, and colors threaded into clothing hung in the "boys' section" of Target.

I actually remember making an active effort to wear dresses and skirts in third grade which might have been the first big identity risk I ever took. I remember trembling as I walked into school, long jean skirt brushing against my legs, wondering what the other kids would think of me, what they would think of the girl who wasn't unfamiliar with showing up to school in her dad's polo shirts, wearing clothing actually bought, undeniably, from the "girls'" section.

Unhappy third grade me wearing a pink bathing suit

(See how happy I was?)

Now that I've painted a picture of the types of clothes I wore, I'm sure you can assume that the color pink was light years away from my preference.

It wasn't just my taste that was in disagreement with the color pink, it was that I thought the color would give people the wrong impression of me, and beyond that, I thought it "meant" something about the wearer—something I didn't want to be.

In fifth grade my parents told me that we were moving from our home in Arizona to Southern California. I was devastated, not just that we were moving, but because we were moving specifically to California. Land of the valley girls and surfer dudes. I didn't want to be associated with that culture the same way I didn't want to be associated with whoever fawned over the color pink.

Big pink bougainvillea bush

I thought people interested in the color pink were inherently vapid, image-obsessed airheads and I wanted to be seen as an artistic, sporty (which is a real L-O-L to the person I've become… aka the least sporty person you'll ever meet), down-to-earth and intellectual.

Cue the reclamation of pink as a bold and powerful color representing girl power, and subsequently, the new name "Millennial Pink." Prior to this revolution I saw pink on sparkly phone phones carried by tan blonde women with lap dogs (or is that a memory from Legally Blonde?). I saw it as the color you had to wrap your baby girl in for no apparent reason. I saw it as Paris Hilton and Barbies and clothing I didn't want from the "girls' section."

Elle Woods attending Harvard dressed in pink

(Legally Blonde via MGM)

But now the soft hues were splashing across shirts made by empowering female artists I couldn't get enough of. The color itself stood in gentle opposition to the strength it was pronouncing. It was a revolution! Or, I was having a revelation.

Myself dressed in head to toe pink

Slowly this color began to seep into my wardrobe. But not just that, I was drawn to all things donning this color. Phone chargers and earrings and pins and notebooks. If two years ago you would have told me that pink would become my favorite color, I would have laughed in your face and told you, seafoam green 4 lyfe.

Pink apartment complex in San Francisco

I realize now that being a girl who likes the color pink isn't cliche. It doesn't mean your thoughts bubble like a cloud over your head in one surface statement, "Omg he's cute!" You can be both tough and dressed in pink, intellectual with pink frames bridging over your nose.

The best part about my new favorite color is that it feels like a community as it's become the color of my generation. I feel like I'm a part of a collaborative effort to reclaim a color forced onto us girls, and to change the way we view both the color and the girl wearing it.

Wall mural that reads Cosmic Love

I want to wear my pink loud and proud, though the hues most to my interest are light and powdery shades which wouldn't immediately elicit the term loud. What can I say, I'm just a product of my generation and we love to do the exact opposite of what other's would expect.

Down the road of history they may even determine us a rebellious generation. I hope so.

Maybe this color is just a fad. Maybe it won't continue to speak for our generation through the years. But for now it does, and you can color me part of this bandwagon.

 

Now that you know everything about the history of my favorite color, click HERE to see if we can guess your fave color based on your zodiac sign.