The colorful history of pink


February 17, 2019 – CBS Sunday Morning – Consider pink, the color of flowers, ballet shoes and candy hearts. How did it become the most divisive color in American society? How can anyone object to pink?

“People either love pink or they hate it,” said Valerie Steele, curator of a recent exhibition about the shade at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “People object to the stereotypes. Pink gets these associations of dumb, immature girls, then a lot of girls and women go, ‘That’s not me.'”

But, Steele says, pink entered the world gender-free – and has led quite a colorful life. “People want to believe very simple stories about color,” she said. “And in fact, like culture in general, it’s more complicated.”

In the 18th century, an expensive South American dye made pink fabric chic. “Paris was the center of fashion, and so pink became the ultra-fashionable color,” said Steele. “Men wore it, women wore it. Boys, girls wore it. Interiors were pink.”

See and read more at CBS Sunday Morning.