Pink, glorious pink

// 8 June 2007

A new airline is due to launch next month, supposedly aimed at women, reports The Guardian.

All aeroplanes operated by Fly Pink will be painted in the colour, and passengers will be served pink champagne and complimentary manicures. It will fly solely from Liverpool to Paris, supposedly catering for shopping trips. My reaction in one word: gross. In a sentence: if you need evidence that the femininity trope is patronising and harmful to women, look no further.

Zenobia speculates on whether the colour-theme extends to the sick bags. My guess? Yes.

As The Guardian says:

It is now possible for women to experience their entire day in pink. You can work out with a pink yoga mat and weights; adorn your windscreen wipers with pink wiper wings; cook dinner on a pink George Foreman grill and style your hair with hot-pink hair straighteners. You can even see off would-be attackers with a powder-pink Taser gun.

It seems like businesses think they can sell anything to women by making it pink, which, to me, suggests a fairly patronising view of women. Susi from Shiny Shiny sums it up very well:

Susi Weaser, editor of Shiny Shiny, a website about gadgets for women, has had her fill. “I get very cross about it,” she says. “Sometimes I just think, ‘Do you not think you need to improve the product instead of just making it pink?’ When manufacturers are making a product aimed at men, they might make something aimed at businessmen, or early adopters. For women – who make up 50% of the population – it’s, ‘Oh, we’ll just make it a different colour.'” And these products hardly do much for women’s credibility. “If you’re in a meeting full of men and you get out a pink phone,” points out Weaser, “you’re probably putting yourself at an even greater disadvantage.”

Too true.

Meanwhile, an ex-co-worker of mine is running a survey on women’s monthly magazines, in the run up to launching one of her own as an MA project. You can take the survey here and speak your mind on all things women’s magaziney!

Photo by Buttersweet, shared under a Creative Commons license

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