FASHION | Pink for girls and sissy men only? - A Fashion History of Pink | 粉色娇嫩, 你如今几岁了? - 粉红色时尚史

Are only girls worthy of wearing pink? Are boys considered feminine if they wear pink?
"Keep it up and tell your guys to do it too!" 


Pink oversize Jumper purple Levis Jeans Converse Zebra Crossing


Iris Apfel pink home decor
Iris Apfel

Westminster School Boat Club, men in pink
Westminster School Boat Club, London

The bus was late today, and a retired nurse grandma next to me said that she liked my pink outfit. She asked me to encourage men around me to dare to try colors!

In 1961, when she immigrated to Canada from Germany in her 20s, North America was still a stereotype of "men in blue and women in pink". Men who dared to dress in multiple colors were naturally less than Europe and other regions. She is happy to see more and more young men in pink on the streets.



 Look, these pairs, each piece of pink, are really not just girls wearing pink.

"How did pink become associated with girls?" Let's look through some old books.

It turns out that before the 15th century, there was no word for pink in Latin nor ancient Greek. At that time, as an accessory color to red, it represented blood and righteousness and had always been reserved for men and the aristocratic class. Until the Renaissance, the French words Rose (pink) and Rouge (red) were separated into two words. 

——Annie Mollard-Desfour (French linguist) 

Pink can be linked to gender and sexual orientation, which is indispensable for the political use of World War II and the fueling of post-war capital marketing.


Ming Dynasty China Menswear traditional pink silk robe
Ming Dynasty Pink Menswear, 17C, China


Budapest Hotel Movie Pink scene - Wes Anderson
Movie [The Grand Budapest Hotel] - Wes Anderson

During the Ming Dynasty in China, cultural awareness took precedence over technological development. The exaggerated mainstream aesthetic of the scholar-bureaucrats and nobles believed that men wearing pink were gentle and elegant. On the contrary, the masculine muscular men of the time were labeled as manual working class. However, this complicated and exquisite neutral aesthetic has been counterattacked by the secular and rough aesthetics of the civilian class in the modern society that pursues "fast" everywhere.

The "Fifth Grade Pink" of the Tang Dynasty, the peony pink of Kunqu Opera, the masculine pink of Michelangelo, the graceful pink of Qianlong, the mighty pink of Napoleon, the Cadillac pink of Elvis Presley, the rich pink of Monroe, the elegant pink of Hepburn, Floyd "Pink" , smart fluorescent pink, Budapest pink, pink for women's equality, Messi pink, longevity pink... Thanks to these "pink influencers", from macho men to young girls, to androgynous, senior or junior. Pink keeps reincarnating and iterating to expand its comfort zone.

TORERO Bulllfighter Paco Ureña in pink costume
TORERO Paco Ureña - Photo By Alberto Simon

Michelangelo Renaissance - Creation Of Adam
Michelangelo Renaissance - Creation Of Adam, 1510, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel

It ranges from bloody, innocent, rebellious, ambiguous, tolerant, and tranquil - it can be soft or strong; it can flaunt its class; it can reduce violence; perhaps, what really hasn't changed is its courage and self-confidence that are not defined by the others.

Do women look naive in pink clothes? Isn't the idea itself naive?
Does a man look sissy if he wears pink? Isn't the idea itself sissy?



只有少女才配穿粉色么? 男生穿粉色就娘么?  

"Keep it up and tell your guys to do it too!" ( 再接再励!叫你身边的男生也参与进来!)





原来,15世纪前,拉丁语或是古希腊语中都找不到关于粉红色的词汇。当时作为红色附属色,代表血气和刚正,一直专属于男性和贵族阶级。文艺复兴时期,法语中的 Rose(粉红)才与 Rouge (红色)分成两个词汇。——Annie Mollard-Desfour(法国语言学家)


man pink outfit traditional Chinese painting Ming Qing Dynasty
Man in Pink buying a pair of glasses -  [ 苏州市景商业图册 ] (Bussiness Cityscape Albumn, 17C, Ming/Qing Dynasty) — Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

唐朝的"五品"粉,昆曲的牡丹粉,米开朗基罗的阳刚粉,乾隆的雍容粉,拿破仑的威武粉,猫王的凯迪拉克粉,梦露的浓艳粉,赫本的淡雅粉,摇滚“平克”粉,灵动荧光粉,布达佩斯粉,女性平权粉,梅西粉,长寿粉...... 全靠这些"粉红带货博主",从猛男到少女,再到雌雄同体老少咸宜,粉色不断地轮回迭代,拓展自己的舒适圈。

Ta从血性,纯真,叛逆,暧昧,宽容,宁静 —— Ta可柔,可刚;可以标榜阶级;可以减少暴力;或许,真正没有改变的,是Ta不被世俗定义的勇气和自信吧。



【References in VIDEO】

- 100 Years Ago (2000) — Peter Doig
- The Creation of Adam (1512) 创造亚当 — Michelangelo 米开朗基罗
- Pink Floyd In Pink (1968) — Michael Ochs Archives
- Elvis' First Pink Cadillac Fleetwood (1956) — 猫王的第一辆粉色凯迪拉克
- Funny Face (1957) 甜姐儿 — Audrey Hepburn (奥黛丽·赫本)
- initial Berg Light Horse uniform (1807)
- 昆曲 [牡丹亭] The Peony Pavilion (1518) — [明] 汤显祖 Tang Xianzu
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) 绅士爱美人 — Marilyn Monroe (玛丽莲·梦露)
- Iris Apfel (2023)
- The Blue Boy (1770) — Thomas Gainsborough + Pinkie (1794) — Sir Thomas Lawrence
- Purple Noon / Plein soleil (1960) — Alain Delon (阿兰·德龙)
- San Isidro 2023. 4 de junio. Paco Ureña (salmon) y Emilio de Justo (caña) — Alberto Simon
- [清明上河图] (明)仇英
- [ Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color ]《粉红:一个朋克、俏丽、强有力颜色的历史》
- 1918年,《中国妇女期刊》写过,“粉色是更强烈的颜色适合男性,蓝色更温柔适合女孩”。
- 贝克·米勒粉红色是一种经人工调合而成的粉红色,被认为能减少恶意、暴力或有攻击性的行为,也称为P-618、肖斯粉红 或 拘留室粉红。 最初调合时是使用一加仑 的纯白室内乳胶漆以及一品脱 的红色室外用半光漆混合而成。
- [In the Pink A History of the Water at Westminster School Boat Club]
A book by Christopher Seward

Montreal artist, fashion illustrator

   art direction + illustration ⎮