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5 surprising facts about the colour pink

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Pink is a very popular colour and is synonymous with femininity. It's used in home décor, girls fashion and women's fashion. It's also used in branding, packaging and advertising from everything to food, beauty products and fundraising organisations. And yet you may not know pink as well as you think you do. Here are five facts about the colour pink which may surprise you. Do you know pink as well as you think you do?

1. During the Holocaust, the Nazis used pink triangles to identify homosexual men, bisexual men, and transgender women. The Nazi’s use of the pink triangle did not become public knowledge until the 1970s, at which point the symbol was reclaimed by gay rights activists.

2. Pink was named as such in the mid-1700s. Before this pink, was simply referred to as a shade of red. A specific rose tint was created for Madame de Pompadour, a mistress of Louis XV, by the renown Sèvres porcelain company. They named it ‘pink’ after a flower of the same name. Since then, the name pink has since come to represent all forms of pink.

3. During the 1980s, after a study showed that certain shades of pink could reduce aggression, prison wardens started painting the insides of cells a shade of pink called ‘Baker-Miller Pink’. Baker-Miller Pink is not a pale, gentle pink, but a bright, hot pink. The calming effects could not be replicated in later studies and there is considerable doubt over whether the Baker-Miller Pink is a relaxing colour. Despite this, in 2017, Kendall Jenner painted her living room Baker-Miller Pink and raved about how it made her feel much calmer.

4. Pink doesn't appear in the colours of the rainbow, as there is no single wavelength of light that appears pink. Pink requires a mixture of red and purple light- colours from opposite ends of the visible spectrum, and opposite sides of the rainbow.

5. Pink is the oldest surviving pigment found on earth. Scientists recently discovered bright pink pigments that had survived 1.1 billion years underground within rocks. The natural pigments came from ancient algae, whose molecules have survived trapped inside oil shale deposits.

Who knew that a colour often considered frivolous could be so interesting!

About the artist

Leah is a Melbourne artist who making figurative work about womanhood and girlhood. She loves all things patterned and often incorporates it into her art. Stay in touch by signing up to email updates here or follow her artist journey on social media @leahmarianiartspace.

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