My favorite color has always been pink. In fact, I believe that this became my favorite color because of my mother and twin sister. In order to tell us apart, my mom dressed my twin sister Janelle in purple, and I in pink. Growing up, I never saw a problem with the color pink. I was truly a walking poster board for “MY FAVORITE COLOR IS PINK!” It wasn’t until I got older that I learned about the pink problem.

Take a walk down various toy aisles for children. Do you notice anything? If you’re shopping for a little girl, you’re in what I like to call the Pepto Pink Aisle. You’ll find rows of Barbie dolls, princess dolls, baby dolls, and arts and crafts products- just to name a few. Each toy, each option, all has something in common. They are all pink. Even… science kits! Dark pinks, hot pinks, bubblegum pinks, light pinks. Little girls are surrounded by all different hues of the same color.

Now, head to clothing aisles for children. Do you notice anything? Ah, here we have pink dresses, pink leggings, pink shoes, pink bows, pink tutus- you get the picture. Infants to little girls in elementary school are surrounded by each shade of pink.

The toy aisle and clothing aisle for girls is a stark contrast to the toy aisle and clothing aisle for boys. Boys get to enjoy every color of the rainbow. So, is it as simple as the marketing message “pink is for girls?” No, here’s the pink problem. Pink is the basis of femininity. When we use pink (wearing clothing, shoes, lipgloss) we conform to a society that says we are feminine, beautiful, and therefore, successful. Pink also adheres to gender stereotypes. Girls and boys are separated by color – pink and blue. However, this pink problem isn’t lasting.

Today, pink is power. We use the color pink as warriors of breast cancer awareness. We don pink attire and ribbons, supporting our sisters battling this cancer. We walk or run, hand in hand, intertwined with pink. We wear pink shirts and bright pink hats during marches for women’s rights. It is a symbol of strength, courage, solidarity, and asserting our voices during a time when we are silenced.

Strong female characters in movies and television wear the color pink. This started off slowly. First, with the film Grease 2. Although many believe this film was cringeworthy, it completely changed the color pink. The Pink Ladies, well, they obviously wear pink. The end of their pledge states, “till death do us part, think pink!” But, this wasn’t to adhere to society’s concept of femininity. The main character is strong, independent, leader of the Pink Ladies Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer). She refuses to change herself for any man, she works at a car garage, she desires to be treated as equal to men, and she wears pants (while the females around her wear skirts and dresses). She’s the feminist of her time, in a light pink jacket, of course.

Next we have the highly popular and loved film, Legally Blonde. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is extremely invested in the color pink. She wears pink clothes, pink shoes, pink hats, and pink sunglasses. She carries a pink purse. Her CV is even printed on pink paper. Yes, it’s a lot of pink. But, this pink is power. Elle Woods does not allow anyone’s assumptions and stereotyping stop her from achieving her goals. She becomes independent. She battles misogyny, sexual harassment, and sexism. She is fierce, successful, and she will forever love the color pink.

Lastly, we have the drama series Killing Eve. Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is the shows anti-hero, but she’s also an extremely powerful character. As a trained female assassin, she’s complex in nature. She excels at her job, but simultaneously craves a normal life. She also wears pink. In fact, it may be one of the most memorable scenes of the first season. Villanelle prances into an appointment with her psychiatrist, ever so stylishly. She’s wearing a pink tulle, pouffy dress with bubblegum pink trim. Villanelle displays that pink is quite simply, power.

This is the power of pink.