Regina George wears pink on Wednesdays, I wear it (almost) every day
When we think of the colour pink, most people immediately associate it with hegemonic ideas of womanhood and hyper-femininity. We think of Barbie and princesses. We think of cis-gendered, heterosexual, white, able-bodied women. For the most part, this is the complete opposite of me.
I am a brown, queer, disabled, cis woman. However, for those who know me, or really if you just saw me, you would know that Yasmin is the colour pink. Almost every day, I wear something pink (except for Thursdays, because on Thursdays we wear black). My makeup is pink, my hair is pink, and there’s always a little (or a lot) of pink in my outfits. But this has not always been the case.
As a child, I did not have a favourite colour. I liked every colour. To paraphrase my mum, as a kid, I didn’t really like pink, and I also didn’t like potatoes.
In my early to late teens, I, as most teenagers do, wanted to be cool. Being mixed and not feeling as if you fit in with your culture is hard enough. Unfortunately, adding being a queer, brown, and disabled 13-year-old into the mix did not help with that feeling.
Fitting in and appearing ‘normal’ was something I wanted. Due to my medical condition, my fear of judgement from others influenced how I dressed. My fear of coming out truly impacted the way I dressed. I often wore a lot of black and owned minimal colourful clothing items. I didn’t like wearing skirts or anything seen as ‘feminine’. Perhaps part of this was me trying to validate my sexuality through clothing while simultaneously not drawing attention to myself due to fear of rejection and judgement. I was perhaps unconsciously aware of the idea of ‘looking gay’ or ‘too feminine’ to be taken seriously. Both are ridiculous ideas, which make no sense, but I guess they unconsciously did to young Yasmin. It’s easy for me now to recognise that colour has no gender, and fashion has no gender. That these are just garments we wear and the colours we look at. I know now that pink is just a colour. But try telling that to my 13-year-old self, who didn’t want to stand out or draw attention to themselves.
Jumping forward quite a few years, it’s November 2020. It’s been a tough year, I had just finished my second year of uni, my first year of Design, and in all honesty, I wasn’t feeling too great about myself. I saw a pair of pink trousers on Trade Me for $20.00. I thought they were pretty cute, so I bought them. A couple of months later, I saw a pink blazer on Depop for $25.00. Again, it’s cute, so I bought it. Little did I know that these would become staple pieces in my wardrobe and a newfound source of confidence. These items were cute, and they just so happen to be pink. At the end of the day, it’s just a colour. It has no deeper philosophical meaning to it.
Ultimately, the way I dress is a reflection of myself. I am a 4’11”, brown, queer, disabled woman who loves her oversized pink scarf, not only because it keeps me warm but also because I made it. I love heart-shaped objects. I love big chunky shoes, giant earrings, matching socks, and when my shoelaces match my outfit.
I can’t directly point to where my love of the colour pink came from. Maybe it came from the fact that in 2021 I made some amazing friends, friends I hope will be in my life forever, and I unconsciously connect the colour to them. Perhaps it’s because I love how fun the colour is and how the colour empowers me. Perhaps it’s both.