Last week I didn't actually go shopping but I was walking through a shop as a shortcut (I swear I wasn't shopping) and I had to do a double take because my eyes were magnetized to this bubblegum pink sweater. Of course, bubblegum is an eye catching colour so naturally it caught my attention, but it did that and more. I fell in love with this sweater, and more specifically, this colour.
Seldom do I see an article of clothing and think "I must have this". Yet, this was precisely what happened with this sweater. What's even more surprising is that my relationship with pink over the years has been rocky. Being a tomboyish child I often rebelled against pink, but in my young adult awakening I've discovered a fondness to it. I've warmed up to pink in lighter tones, like a soft rose pink, but I've never owned or worn or even considered the realm of bubblegum.
Colours are so funny aren't they? Pantone recently announced the colour of the year for 2019, Living Coral. I always love these announcements because I find it fascinating how much power and meaning a single colour can hold. I automatically assumed Living Coral was a statement against the devastation of coral bleaching, particularly in its name being "living" instead of just plain coral. However, upon reading the website description, there's actually quite a lot of depth behind the colour. Pantone chose this colour as a reaction to the increasing digital world. The colour is for "seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy" and aims to pull playfulness out of experiences. If you're unfamiliar with coral reefs, they act as a home for aquatic life, with constant social interaction and inter-connectivity. Therefore it acts as a symbol for a place of grounding and connection.
I'm deeply fascinated by colour psychology and symbolism, so I'd like to analyze the colour Bubblegum Pink a little further.
As mentioned earlier, pink is a colour commonly associated with femininity. We're told that boys are blue and girls are pink. Fight this as much as you'd like but we cannot deny our subconscious interpretations, whether they're socio-culturally influenced or not. Apart from this, pink symbolizes love and romance and ultimately a bond. It also illustrates feelings of happiness and sweetness and has connotations of frivolity - consider the expression "tickled pink". Even within the colour there are various shades, with hot pink, being closer in tone to red has much more playfulness than a lighter toned pink which would communicate feelings of delicacy, much like a newborn baby.
And what about bubblegum? That rich shade in the middle! Fun fact: bubblegum is pink only because it was the only available food colouring sourced in he factory the day it was created by Walter E. Diemer. By my own interpretation, I would say bubblegum has that same playfulness that hot pink brings, but there is still a juvenile feel to it. It's youthful and careless, loud and fun. It's the colour of Barbie! And If I must go as far as pointing out the obvious, it is THE colour of the 90's! There's nothing subtle about bubblegum pink, in fact, it's even kind of obnoxious. Just how it screamed out to me in that store.
I can't go as far as saying that bubblegum is my new favourite colour, but I do think that while I focus on the 90's, I will embrace this colour wholeheartedly. And, I will go back and buy this sweater.