Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive Pink Pigment

Justify the more expensive "girl's" stuff
  [vote for,

There is something of a tendency for pink things to be dearer than non-pink things. This applies, for example, to 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 department store 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 margin. I strongly suspect this is true. However, this can be remedied fairly easily.

Presumably most of this pink stuff doesn't start out pink at 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 pink colouring materials. If there was a special pink organisation out there somewhere which had a monopoly on pinkness from whenceever source, it could then charge way over the odds for it and the more expensive pink items 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 a premium to fund the likes of rape crisis lines, women's refuges, gyne research and treatments and campaigns against FGM.

I will not comment at length in this idea on the possibility of a complementary blue pigment MRA organisation.

nineteenthly, Sep 07 2017

Pinkest thing in the world https://creators.vi...orlds-pinkest-paint
I'm linking to this because if I don't, probably someone else will. [nineteenthly, Sep 07 2017]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_noise [hippo, Sep 07 2017]

On pink and blue... http://www.smithson...aring-pink-1370097/
Qi and the Smithsonian seem to agree. [RayfordSteele, Sep 10 2017]


       Would this apply to pink noise as well? (->link)
hippo, Sep 07 2017

       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.
nineteenthly, Sep 07 2017

       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.
pertinax, Sep 08 2017

       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?
nineteenthly, Sep 09 2017

       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 ?"
8th of 7, Sep 09 2017

       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.
nineteenthly, Sep 09 2017

       //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.
pertinax, Sep 09 2017

       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.
nineteenthly, Sep 09 2017

       // 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.
8th of 7, Sep 09 2017

       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.
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2017

       // Not sure why. //   

       <gross oversimplification>   

       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.   

       </gross oversimplification>
8th of 7, Sep 09 2017

       Right. Whereas men used to go out hunting blue things, and so...
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 10 2017

       ... all the blue creatures were hunted to extinction.   

       Yes, that sounds just like humans.
8th of 7, Sep 10 2017

       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.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 10 2017

       Not a gross oversimplification, just a hypothesis presented as a fact.
RayfordSteele, Sep 10 2017

       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.
nineteenthly, Sep 10 2017

       // just a hypothesis presented as a fact. //   

       Indeed, well spotted. A trick beloved of journalists and politicians the world over.
8th of 7, Sep 10 2017


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