Style Theory: Was Wearing Pink to the Oscars a Power Move?

Style Theory: Was Wearing Pink to the Oscars a Power Move?

Credits : Photo - Anonymous; Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Staples Chinook


Each year fashion people salivate at the prospect of commenting on the hits and misses of Hollywood’s elite on the red carpet. Too much this, not enough that, and the sweet spot in between can cement a celebrity look in the fashion archives forever. Or until another big event in our ever changing news cycle sweeps us away.

Though I tend to stay away from trend commentary – as I want to dig my teeth into something juicier; ripe with thought – a strange thought crossed my mind. As I flipped through the Academy Award 91st Oscars online galleries and the social feeds I noticed something. Something you can’t un-see. This year, not one, two, or five people wore pink. No, we’re talking double digits bubble-gum full pitch fever. 

Why pink? Why not blue, or white, or yellow, or purple, or green? Of course there was a tonne of black (I think that’s going to be prevalent every year). Again, why pink?  

My a-ha moment came like a lightening strike. In western culture, pink symbolizes all things femme.

Every time I saw another pink dress, it added to my theory: is pink the female power colour of 2019?

Hear me out. We have been conditioned to believe that pink is a sign of all things girl. Pink lipstick, pink clothes, pink toys, pink paint, all bombarding young girls and boys before they can decide their own gender expression. In terms of sex – and perhaps sexism – pink is for the ladies and the men who are “man enough” to wear it. (ps. what a bullshit notion in the first place) 

All the pink got me thinking: could this be deliberate rather than a coincidence? The over-40 crowd wore pink, younger women wore pink, and some gentlemen wore pink. Maybe the Mean Girls were on to something? Sunday night was a pink party and surprisingly I didn’t hate it.

Here’s why: 

By choosing to wear something we have learned to see as feminine – pink, ruffles, sparkles, scrunchies, cleavage – and this time, using as a statement of redefined gender expression, solidarity, and strength, it kind of turns things on its head, no?

Stay with me a few beats longer, fashion friends. This is my thread taking y’all from A to Z…

We have historically learned that pink is feminine. (Next.)

Femininity considered as a weakness is a learned, deliberate fallacy meant to try to keep women small. We’re changing that. (Neeeeext.)

What’s new to the discussion is pink can – and should - be powerful. (I’ll let that sink in a bit).

Power, today is more feminine than ever. (Thank Beyonce.)

Power, in part, can be expressed by the clothing we wear and who wears it with us. (That’s what doing it on purpose looks like, folks.)

Therefore, back to my theory, pink is a symbol for thriving, powerful women in charge of their – and their loved ones – well being.

We know that when women lead in their communities, the companies they work for, and their own self determination, all peoples around them benefit. Could the symbol for this be taking back the colour and meaning of pink?

Let me - pink - on it.

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