Mulieris Magazine #1 Pink

Pink is the colour that historically belongs to women, the man sometimes cannot use it without being considered less masculine, but why does a simple colour have this kind of power in society? “Vasilij Kandinskij, in “The Spiritual in Art” of 1912, writes that “Colour is a means of exerting direct influence on the Soul. Colour is the key. The eye is the hammer. The Soul is a piano with many strings”. Admitting that colour is, therefore, a privileged means in the propaganda of an idea within the human soul, it is hardly surprising the immediate association of the colour pink with the female identity world. But just as the relationship between expression and content in human language is entirely arbitrary, the rapid correlation between pink and feminine is only the result of an unnatural social norm that is now well established. In fact, pink has not always been a feminine colour: the term expresses neutrality from its first appearance in the dictionary, around the 18th century, until the beginning of the 20th century, when men and women indiscriminately use pink in their clothing (just think of the iconic ‘pink suit’ worn by Jay Gatsby in F. S. Fitzgerald’s masterpiece). The first signs of association of colour with a particular genre began during the 20th century, but with decidedly unexpected results: in 1918, the magazine Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department stated that the commonly accepted rule was that children should wear pink, since it belonged to the colour palette linked to red, a symbol of virility, strength and heroism, but with a softer shade, since it was deprived of the warlike component. For girls, therefore, blue is recommended, which is more delicate and charming. The upheaval of this combination took place during the mid-twentieth century: starting from the 40s, men began to wear dark clothes, tending towards shades of blue, and women preferred the softer, lighter colours for their clothing. Marketing and advertising in the 1950s helped to crystallise this colour communion to the present day. The arrival on the market in 1959 of the controversial Barbie, the pink doll that would dictate the law in the field of children’s toys, further facilitated the media and social impact. The colour pink was then at the centre of various discussions by the feminist movements of the 60s and 70s, who contested its association with women because it was often linked to the childish sphere, to an aura of laziness and superficiality or to ostentatious sentimentalism that was cloying (as the pink novel is often understood, intended for a generally female audience). Since then, the rose continues to be the two-faced Janus of colours: historically androgynous, socially constrained in a predefined role; loved because it is captivating and at the same time placid, but also hated because it witnesses a sexist culture that wants to separate and nourish prejudice. If it is true what David Hume wrote, “The beauty of things exists in the mind of those who contemplate them”, perhaps its opposite will also be true: the rottenness lies in the eyes of the beholder, of those who in one colour see a way to subjugate, to separate, to forbid and to belittle. Whether one likes pink or not, what is really important is to feel free to appreciate something without any kind of social pressure. Without fear of being oneself”.
By Maria Antonia Licurgo

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Measures: 16,8cmx23,8cm. Number of pages: 190

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Mulieris is a six-monthly Italian magazine founded by Greta Langianni , Sara Lorusso, Chiara Cognigni and Alice Arcangeli.

It is not only a magazine, but also a platform, a safe place, a community, a source for art and events created by women, but aims to speak to everyone regardless of their gender.

The intention of this project is to create an open dialogue on gender equality through women’s art and each printed issue focuses on a specific theme.