The Color Pink: Feminine, Flirtatious, and Sexual

Published on Jun. 7th 2007

Pink Flower

Pink isn’t a primary, secondary, or tertiary color; instead it’s a tint of red, and doesn’t appear on the artist’s color wheel . Some pinks are highly saturated colors, drawing equally from magenta as well as red.

What the color pink means to us psychologically:
Pink is an energetic color with feminine, flirtatious, and even some sexual undertones.

Light, baby pink often projects an effeminate or infant-like innocence, while stronger, hot pinks will have the exact opposite vibe—dominant and powerful, while emphatically feminine.

Those hot pinks tends to grab attention from both from males and females, but like any strong color, too much pink can be overpowering and exhausting.

And if you were wondering, pink’s sexual connotation comes from more than just a cultural trend. The fact is, pink is one of several predominant colors of skin, and humans are psychologically hardwired to respond to it. Orange has some similar effects too.

Is pink a “girl color” or “boy color?”
Pink is definitely considered a feminine color. Baby girls are often dressed in pink, and pre-teen and teen girls often choose pink as one of their favorite colors.

Pink ShirtEven so, pink is not entirely restricted to the female segment of the population.

In today’s culture it’s not uncommon to see males between the ages of approximately 15 and 35 wearing pink, usually in the form of a pink shirt (and an occasional upturned collar).

This seems to be a cultural expression of innate confidence and/or sensitivity.

Pink in society:
The Pink Panther is a famous cartoon character that first appeared in 1963. Although the Pink Panther’s popularity has waned over the years, it’s still a classic example of how distinctive color can make all the difference.

Pink is also used quite a bit during the month of February and valentines day. Not quite as serious as red, pink is the perfect color for flirtation and infatuation, as shown in millions of pink candy hearts, cards, and other valentine’s day gifts.

In addition, pink has been the symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness as a pink ribbon since the early nineties.

Common pink oil paints:
Unlike many of the other colors I’ve talked about, pink isn’t often produced straight out of the tube. Instead, it’s easy enough to mix any of several popular reds (like Cadmium Red, or Napthol Red) and create your own pink.

This article about organic and inorganic pigments explains which reds will make the most intense pinks.

Famous pink paintings:
As you might expect, there aren’t as many famous pink paintings as other colors, but I did find a painting by Paul Gauguin that used pink. Gauguin painted island scenes later in life, and loved to use bright colors. This painting is entitled Nave, Nave Moe.

Nave, Nave Moe by Gauguin

Did you like this article? Share it!
Then check out the related posts below.
Purple (or violet) is one of three secondary colors along with green and orange. Its traditional complementary color is yellow, which sits directly opposite it on the artist's color wheel. What purple means to us psychologically: Purple is an interesting color—we often use the word purple to . . . read more
Red is one of three primary colors along with yellow and blue. It's the complementary color of green and sits opposite to it on the traditional artists color wheel. The psychological meaning of red: Red has always been symbolic of blood and life. The universal color of blood binds us all toge. . . read more
Yellow is one of three primary colors along with red and blue. Its complementary color is violet (purple), which sits directly opposite it on the color wheel. What yellow means to us psychologically: Yellow is a happy, cheerful color. It’s permanently linked with sunlight and warmth, bringing. . . read more
White isn’t a primary, secondary, or tertiary color. Scientifically speaking, it’s actually the combination of all colors in the visible spectrum of light. What the color white means to us psychologically: The color white is usually defined by what it’s not—white should have no color in it an. . . read more
Brown isn’t a primary, secondary, or tertiary color; instead it’s actually a dark orange or a neutral red, and doesn’t appear on the painter's color wheel. What the color brown means to us psychologically: We see the color brown as boring and predictable; there’s nothing ever outrageous or un. . . read more
Stay current.
Subscribe to EmptyEasel's free weekly newsletter for artists. Sign up today!
Art Contests
More art contests. . .
EE Writers
Cassie Rief Niki Hilsabeck Brandi Bowman Michelle Morris Lisa Orgler Adriana Guidi Carrie Lewis Aletta de Wal

If you'd like to write for EmptyEasel, let us know!

We love publishing reader-submitted art tutorials, stories, and even reviews.Submit yours here!