Normally, babies are dressed in blue for boys and pink for girls to differentiate their sex. Even in adult societies, the colour pink is associated with women. As some women have a particular fondness for the colour, the stereotype deepens. Why is femininity related to the colour pink?
The easiest explanation is that it is simply a social construct. In other words, as society says “pink is a girl’s colour”, the stereotype is set. Although this may seem like a simple answer, it shows the power of the majority’s opinion and stereotypes. As evidence to this theory, one can consider the following excerpt. It is taken from an American magazine from 1918:
“The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”.
As you can see, in the past the opposite was the social norm where pink was a boy’s colour. This shows that pink and women have no direct links. This norm was flipped around the 1940’s and pink is still the symbol for femininity.
There is also some scientific data attempting to explain the phenomenon. One study proposed that as prehistoric humans had gender roles where the men hunted and the women gathered, women evolved to seek out red berries, which are ripe and delicious. Thus, they still have a soft spot for pink things. Also, as one can see from cheek blush and red lipstick being common make-ups, women like to accentuate a flush on the face. Pink cheeks and red lips signify that they are healthy and ready for reproduction, causing men to find the colour attractive. Pink clothes further enhance this effect to make the woman look more attractive. A similar technique is used by monkeys (especially baboons) where the female’s backside turns pink or red to alert the males that she is ready to mate.