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Color and Gender

Gender is and has always been related to colour, and I don’t mean ‘race’ of a person, I mean the iconic colours Blue and Pink. Our societal norms have always created differences between different genders through qualities, hobbies, appearance, likes and dislikes of a person, but the crux of those differences lie in our very childhood when we get to learn about colours. More importantly, how pink is the colour for girls and blue is for boys. There are other genders too, but unfortunately we don’t know what colour can be associated with them. This is unfortunate, not because defining a gender or a person through something as basic as colour is appreciable, but because on one hand, where the society was so busy creating different aspects with which they could divide zillions of people on the basis of their gender (male/ female), it was on the other hand so ignorant towards those who do not consider themselves either. That it(at least a huge part of our society) didn’t even bother if they exist. Given that apart from male and female, there exists transgender, non binary, pangender, genderqueer, gender fluid, agender, third gender, combination of all or none and many more that makes up for a large number of people in our society, the ignorance is quite large too. Nowadays, though in a more umbrella term of LGBTQIIA+, they can be associated with rainbow colours, but that’s not for division, it’s for recognition which is necessary. This essay focuses on whether providing colours as a symbol of definition is necessary for the already recognised and sometimes overly hyped genders ( male and female ) and more importantly, how does it shape/affect our thinking ?

Child psychology says that events that happen when we’re young - even small, seemingly insignificant ones - can have a direct impact on how we feel and behave as adults. Similarly, when the kids are told or when they learn by looking and observing the surrounding, what colour is theirs because they are of a specific gender, it establishes the idea that male and female are supposed to be different, in more than obvious ways or should have different choices, which then goes on to different clothes, how both of them are supposed to behave, and whatnot. As small a problem as differentiating gender through colours may sound, the hard truth is that it restricts an individual’s choice to express their preference for something as basic as a colour, mainly because of the way we perceive it. The Barbie movies have the theme colour pink, making them one of the reasons of something only girls should watch, just because pink is supposedly a ‘girls colour’. Even Kinder Joy has a special edition where the blue packaging is for boys and pink packaging is for girls.

But that’s not it, because particularly in our country associating colour with gender has become a way of derogating someone, as if one gender is not equal than the other (enters gender inequality). I haven't heard this in just real life, but also seen in television and movies, where a guy wears a pink t-shirt and his friends start teasing him - ‘what a girl’, again in a derogatory way. But I am sure none of us have ever seen someone teasing a girl wearing a blue t-shit - ‘what a boy’, because well that is not offensive enough, right?

The issue is way deeper than that and it affects both male and female equally. Because one, it promotes gender inequality or gives it a platform. Second, it makes it difficult for an individual to choose, like or wear whatever they want. A person can be recognised as a male and like pink, but our society doesn’t allow that. A girl preferring blue/black/yellow or any colour over pink doesn’t make her less of a female. This is just the beginning, one of the root causes to much bigger issues, where they are discriminated on the basis of body, profession, behaviour etc.

Crossed Legs Open Legs

This affects our mental development, open mindedness and acceptance towards individuals who do not stand by ridiculed societal norms, which include other genders too.

It’s time to start thinking how present events, small or big, shape the future's understanding, because if we don’t have the freedom to choose our own colour for being a certain gender, then I wonder how and when can we truly be free to live our life regardless of our gender on our own terms.

Colour must not define a gender or worse, VICE VERSA!


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