Growing up during the garish heady eighties, Pastels and flouros were the go! Awful colours that didn’t have a depth or substance. Washed out and slightly in your face.

When I was 7 I shed tears at having to wear pink. I hate pink. What’s with pink?! I had seen little girls rooms that were so pink, that awful dark shade of Barbie pink that it would give me an intense head ache.

Thank you 1990 with your cheap BLACK acceptable metal band tshirts. Finally letting me belong to a tribe. 16 year old me.. wore my doc boots these and tartan skirts nearly every day.

Come 1992 my ENTIRE wardrobe was BLACK! So much black that you couldn’t see any of the clothes, just one big wad of gothickness. Tears, rips holes and lace. I dyed my hair black and revelled in collecting obscure Cure albums on vinyl!

I begged my Mum to paint my room black and I shed tears at the pink roses on the wall paper that my teen self had to contend with. My Mother relented and said you can paint your room any colour except for black! I researched colours.. by asking my boyfriend which colour I should go with. ‘Purple’ he said, it was his favourite colour. I imagined a deep aubergine purple, that could perhaps look black in certain unlights.

I came home from school that day, my mum had worked hard on painting my room to surprise me. I walked in to a room full of and I mean full of lilac. A purple so meanly strong that it couldn’t even be called purple anymore. It was almost pink. I shed tears and stared at my lilac walls. Incredibly misunderstood.

In the early 90’s pink was still such a politically charged colour. The realm of baby girls and those not allowed to grow up. No self respecting adult would dare wear the colour and certainly had I ever seen a male adorn the hue.

The first time I saw a man wear a pink shirt. It was a touch confronting. It’s ok he said. It’s a Mcgrath foundation shirt. A sports star and a worthy charitable cause had made a taboo colour.. ok! I still get a reaction to the colour. A colour that apparently up until last century was a colour traditionally worn by baby boys and not girls. How can a colour become so engendered that it evokes such a strong reaction in me?

I saw a shirt in the op shop recently, it was pink. I bought it and I felt so rebellious! Can pink really be the new black?


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