Color-Coded: The Masculine History of Soft Pink

Pink is for girls and blue is for boys, right? Not always the case. Yes, when it comes to color, it’s time to rethink those gender stereotypes. Because, as it turns out, it was men who first identified with the hue (and this is long before pink polos were popular).

Masculine History of Pink

You see, before WWII, society looked at these two colors in a very different light. In fact, in a 1918 Ladies’ Home Journal article, readers were informed that “blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” At the time, pink was a stronger color signifying masculinity (as derived from red), so it was considered better suited for boys.

The pink-is-for-men trend continued through 1925, when pink suits – like the one shown in The Great Gatsby – were worn by men as stylish symbols of wealth. Somewhere along the line, however, the postwar generation decided to switch things up. Evidence of that change first came in 1947 when Christian Dior introduced the ultra-feminine New Look and offered it in pink. And ever since, women have taken to the decidedly feminine color with abandon.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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