The Power of Pink: Prologue

The Power of Pink: Reimagining the history of pink’s stereotypes through society and contemporary art


Boucher, F. (1759) Portrait of Marquise de Pompadour



‘Color is a social phenomenon. It is society that ‘makes’ colour, defines it, gives it its meaning, constructs its codes and values, establishes its uses, and determines whether it is acceptable or not. The artist, the intellectual, human biology, and even nature are ultimately irrelevant to this processes of ascribing meaning to colour the issues surrounding colour are above all social issues because human beings live in society and not in solitude’



I was never really the type to break away from regulations. I always stood by the life I was given. Working six days a week, and having one day to myself, a day of tranquility. That was my life.

My name is Lucy.  For some time now I have worked at the factory producing micro technology. I wasn’t aware at the time that I was involved in the construction of control. I was part of a section of the process, so that we never knew the whole truth about what we made. When I found out that it was all a lie, it was hard to imagine anything else.

After the usual 12-hour shift, I am very tired, but I tend to walk the long way home because I enjoy crossing the park. The surrounding buildings on all four corners of the park tower high into the air before they reach the sky that they support; this area is called the Capital. Great avenues between these towers cut through to the edge of the biosphere, where the only gateways are sealed. There are more buildings in blocks all the way along the avenues that tower up, getting less tall the farther away until they are no more than one floor. Stretching for miles all around me. It is said that this domed false-sky was created to keep us safe, that when the world was destroyed, they created this place to keep us from toxicities and war.

59 years ago in 2026, earth was destroyed in a long agonizing war, a massacre of chemicals and hydrogen bombs. Triggered by two extreme world leaders. The planet became uninhabitable and toxic.

 Now in 2085 we have only one leader in control of our world, there is no one to oppose our President therefore we are safe. This world is known as P-618, its construction began in 2035, and this year is the 50th celebration of freedom and tranquility. I celebrated my 27th year of gratitude to the leader the same week.

In the beginning of P-618, there weren’t many of us, so a system was created whereby the healthiest people were chosen to be birthers, to procreate as many times as possible. At the age of five each child is then removed from their birthers to be brought up in groups, supervised and classified by agents. Depending on our strengths and loyalty we are assigned our hierarchical class. I am a class C citizen: constructor, others are honored to become birthers (class B) and more rarely those who are most supremely obedient become class A: the agents.

Sometimes I hear rumors of rebels, but they either disappear or are given a new implant. I had never understood why one would rebel, what was there to be unhappy about?

I often like to sit on a bench at the end of the park, to close my eyes briefly. As I reopen them the brilliant colour floods back into my eyes. I look at the grass near the path, the trunks of the trees, the branches and the leaves, the towering buildings, the sky, and the setting sun, as it all glistens with pink. I feel a rush of tranquillity. It is beautiful.

Nighttime’s are different, my dreams make me uneasy, and I see things that unsettle me. However, every morning when I wake up and open my eyes it fades away, as if it had never been there.

It is in my dreams that the colour fades. The protection and tranquility that it brings disappears and the utopia that we live in twists into a dystopia. A switch flicks, and the world is reversed. In the darkness I see people locked into themselves, their own unhappiness and fear suppressed. So deeply they are unable to fight back. There is cruelty in not knowing one’s own thoughts and feelings.

Strangely enough it is during the night that I have a feeling of being myself. I am full of rage and sadness. I am fearful of where we are and why there is no free will. I think about how I will fight, overcome, contribute to change. But every morning when the alarm rings we are awoken from reality and begin to dream again.

There is an internal battle that we lose everyday as soon as our eyes open. When we are able to see, our individuality is instantly wiped away, forgotten, until the night comes again. Trapped in a cycle of sleeping wakefulness and wakeful dreams.

 Most days are the same; I have developed a routine. Yet that day would be different.

It was the day after my birthday, the 20th of June 2085, and I had just earned enough money to afford my first room. It was about 10 blocks from the park to the north of the capital, on the 27th floor. My room was a good size, much better than before when I slept in a room with 20 others. Finally I had my own space. I had paid for some privacy.

That day whilst cleaning the room, I noticed the air vent seemed loose and as I went to fix it back on, I found a small metal container, inside there was documentation of some sorts. At the time I knew I should have reported it or burnt it, but I was curious. Glancing round, making sure the door was locked; I opened the book and began to read The Power of Pink…


Excerpt from Mz. Pink's BA dissertation on the color pink. Check back each week for a new chapter! 


Mz. Pink is an artist and a previous contributor to Pink Things.


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