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Warm and Fussy
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There is something of a tendency for pink things to be
dearer than non-pink things. This applies, for example,
disposable razors, where the only difference seems to be
the colour of the plastic used to make them. This is of
course because, back in the days of yore, some
had a load of pink clothes and blue clothes and
decided to market them by gendering them. Or so the
story goes. Maybe it's a myth, dunno.
Pink bics for instance, as in bics that are pink, not bics
with pink ink.
It's often suggested that stuff aimed at women or girls is
needlessly more expensive and has a bigger profit
I strongly suspect this is true. However, this can be
remedied fairly easily.
Presumably most of this pink stuff doesn't start out pink
all. It probably starts out as the colour that it is and is
then dyed, painted, has pigment added or whatever.
Somebody makes this pigment, or more likely various
colouring materials. If there was a special pink
organisation out there somewhere which had a monopoly
on pinkness from whenceever source, it could then
way over the odds for it and the more expensive pink
could then have the same profit margins than the blue
ones, unless of course the people selling them jacked up
the price again, but let's pretend they wouldn't.
It might be thought that The Pink Company is a nasty,
sexist organisation devoted to reinforcing gender
stereotypes and making parents spend loads of money on
useless tatt so their daughters don't get picked on in the
playground. However, this need not be so.
This not-so-shadowy organisation is in fact non-profit. It
uses all the extra money made by selling pink pigment at
premium to fund the likes of rape crisis lines, women's
refuges, gyne research and treatments and campaigns
I will not comment at length in this idea on the
of a complementary blue pigment MRA organisation.
Pinkest thing in the world
I'm linking to this because if I don't, probably someone else will. [nineteenthly, Sep 07 2017]
[hippo, Sep 07 2017]
On pink and blue...
Qi and the Smithsonian seem to agree. [RayfordSteele, Sep 10 2017]
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||Would this apply to pink noise as well? (->link)
||If there's a way of making an acoustic musical instrument
which can be constrained only to produce such a noise, yes.
And that instrument should also be pink in colour.
||Counter-hypothesis (and I don't know whether this true or not): 1.
Pink pigment is more efficient than blue pigment at attracting
attention. (This is more likely to be true where, as in the case of
razors, the pink is a light pink, whereas the blue is a dark blue). 2.
Girls are better than boys at deriving benefits, economic and
affective, from being at the centre of attention. Therefore, 3. Girls
paying a premium for pink stuff are making a perfectly rational
autonomous choice. And of course, equally rationally, some girls
save their money by buying not-pink stuff.
||As I said, the above may not be true.
||It's certainly an appealing hypothesis and investment in
appearance may be worthwhile. I don't know though.
The thing about this is that there is an additional reason
to buy pink stuff. Pink does stand out, at least to me.
||Slightly off-topic, I remember a conversation on here a
few years ago about how the kind of attention taken to
appearance which is considered feminine tends to be
seen as a black box by some people without interest in
the details, and somehow cosmetic nerdery (for example)
either doesn't happen or is subsumed into femininity.
||Another aspect of this I can't get my head around: poor
grooming was something I was trained to look out for as a
sign of depression in my clients, but if that's so, it seems
to imply that men tend to be really depressed compared
to women and that doesn't seem to be so. Certainly
there are a lot of depressed men but when they're happy
they don't start painting their nails and putting lipstick
on. Why not?
||Because most males typically value function over appearance.
||Females might choose a car based on shape and colour. Males
are more likely to choose on the basis of a whole range of non-
obvious picky technical specifications.
||It's not invariably the case, but it fits the observed facts. When it
comes to cosmetics, men are likely to first ask " How much does
it cost, and what function does it serve ?"
||I think also it's a generalisation about women simply to look
at grooming as a sign of mood along one axis, and what
works for men with appearance is clearly often very
different to what works for women, perhaps for cultural
reasons but nevertheless that is usually what counts.
||//when they're happy they don't start painting their nails and
putting lipstick on. //
||On the other hand I remember reading, about soldiers on long-
term, high-stress missions behind enemy lines (South-East Asia,
c.1944), that when they stopped shaving this was an indicator
that they had essentially given up, whereafter they were liable to
die of a cut finger. So, when male grooming takes the form of
shaving, it may be a usable index of mood after all, sometimes.
||Absolutely, it does happen. Kurt Vonnegut refers to it in
'Slaughterhouse Five'. The trouble is that you have to have a
baseline for that person and excessive grooming relative to
their usual habits might also mean something bad.
||// when they stopped shaving this was an indicator that they had essentially given up //
||To a certain extent, that's probably correct. However, for purely technical reasons, WW2 submariners - both Allied and Axis - were a notoriously scruffy bunch, sporting a ragged assortment of clothing and unkempt hair and beards, and yet their morale and espirit-de-corps were usually exceptional. One American officer during the Battle of the Bulge attended a meeting at which a great many very senior British officers were present. His diary entry read "They looked like a bunch of military-themed scarecrows, without rank badges and in crumpled battledress, whereas our guys were all in parade turnout - but when they spoke to us, we felt like total amateurs".
||So, it isn't always about morale.
||We tried to avoid as much pink as we possibly
could with my daughter. But it naturally became her
favorite color. Not sure why.
||Pink noise seems more appealing than brown
noise, for some reason.
||Babies are initially mostly pink, even those of dark-skinned
parents. It's important that females find babies attractive, even
though they (babies) are utterly horrible and disgusting in a huge
range of ways,
otherwise they might well be inclined to leave them out for a
passing carnivore to eat.
||This would probably, in evolutionary terms, turn out to be a Bad
Thing for the continuation of the gene line.
||Hence females are predisposed to like pink things.
||Right. Whereas men used to go out hunting blue things, and so...
||... all the blue creatures were hunted to extinction.
||Yes, that sounds just like humans.
||According to QI (which is an almost infallible source), pink (or red - the colour of blood and violence) used to be for boys, and blue (the colour of blue things) used to be for girls. The switch is relatively recent and dates back to the 1940s.
||Not a gross oversimplification, just a hypothesis
presented as a fact.
||I think there was probably a range of colours and they
overlapped with regard to gender. It just seems too neat
and factoidy that they would be exactly the opposite.
Alice's dress, for example, is baby blue, not navy blue, and
baby blue is still considered more feminine than navy.
||// just a hypothesis presented as a fact. //
||Indeed, well spotted. A trick beloved of journalists and politicians the world over.