The Absurdity of Pink: A Chromatic Conundrum

In the grand theater of existence, where meaning is elusive and every attempt to make sense of the world around us often leads to more questions than answers, the color pink stands as a vibrant testimony to life’s inherent absurdity.

Firstly, let’s consider the scientific absurdity of pink. In the visible spectrum of light, there’s no wavelength associated with pink. It exists solely as a perceptual phenomenon – a trick of the mind. When our eyes perceive both ends of the light spectrum (red and violet) simultaneously, our brains concoct a median – pink. So, in essence, pink doesn’t exist outside our perception. It’s an invention, a figment of our collective imagination. The very fact that we acknowledge and assign meaning to something that technically doesn’t exist is a delightful demonstration of the absurd.

Secondly, pink carries a load of cultural and societal symbolism, most of which is arbitrary and contradictory. Once associated with boys due to its closeness to red – a color perceived as strong and masculine – pink has now been culturally recoded as feminine and delicate. This shift in symbolism underscores the arbitrary nature of the meanings we assign to things. Our collective agreement to accept these assigned meanings, despite their inherent randomness, is an exercise in absurdity.

Moreover, the emotional responses elicited by pink – from soothing feelings of love and compassion to triggering assertions of infantilism and weakness – demonstrate the absurdity of our emotional attachments to mere sensory perceptions. These reactions to a color that doesn’t exist scientifically reveal our propensity to seek meaning and form connections where there is none.

Finally, the commercial exploitation of pink, especially in gender-specific marketing, highlights the absurdity of our consumer culture. From “pink for girls” toys to the “pink tax” phenomenon where products marketed to women are often priced higher, the manipulation of the color pink for profit underscores the absurdity of our socio-economic systems.

In conclusion, pink, a non-existent color that holds significant societal symbolism, emotional resonance, and commercial value, stands as a bright, unignorable beacon of absurdity. Its existence and our interactions with it encapsulate the human struggle to find meaning, impose order, and derive comfort in a universe that is inherently chaotic and devoid of inherent meaning. So, next time you see something pink, take a moment to appreciate its vibrant absurdity. It’s not just a color; it’s a chromatic embodiment of the absurdity of existence.

(See also: Smithsonian Magazine)





dabodab is a blog about various things DiY and the creative people and activities surrounding them. I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective read more.


How can I find even more underground and unknown songs?Tom Dahl (Caddy)