Pink is For… ME!
This week’s featured Beautiful Shame™ article is from content contributor and professional costume designer, Nina Vartanian. Read on to hear how the color pink has held different meanings for Nina throughout her journey and how it eventually helped her take back her confidence and shamelessly celebrate her femininity.
Pink is For… ME!
As a young girl I rejoiced in the color pink, a rosy embodiment of all the joys I would experience in my path to womanhood. I was bold in adorning myself in this delightful announcement of my femininity. Through my experiences in my development, I eventually grew to reject my pride in pink. I attributed my love for pink as a reason for why I had experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The blame for my experiences was not because of the color pink, but as a way of subconsciously punishing myself. Part of my healing has been to remove the burden of blame from my past and accept pink as a celebration of my femininity.
Seeing the film Legally Blond as a thirteen-year-old personified this perspective that I could embrace my femininity and still succeed. I saw Elle Woods as a woman, for whom no one had high expectations, break barriers and take charge of her goals. My compassion for Elle came from the fact that I didn’t want people’s judgement of me to affect my judgement of myself. In my early teens, Elle’s influence allowed me to enjoy my own unique expression using the color pink.
As I got older, my enthusiasm for pink faded as my experience with bullies and aggressors grew. Adults advised me that my expression of myself made me a target. Once I started to believe that my actions were the cause of my sexual harassment, I stopped trusting in myself. I started to phase out the color after junior high, and around halfway through high school, the color was absent from my wardrobe. After my rape, I held my confidence in my femininity responsible for these experiences. As my confidence in my femininity faded, so did my belief in the power of the color.
Last year while working in upstate New York, I noticed a pink notebook for sale in a coffee shop. Seeing this notebook reminded me of a happiness I felt when I believed that pink was more than a color. I purchased the notebook and I soon found joy again in donning the color pink. With this newly found confidence, I realized the experiences of the past were not my fault and as a result, I was ready to start forgiving myself. By wearing pink, I honor myself and give power back to my femininity.
Do you have a #BeautifulShame Story that you want to share? Send an email to email@example.com that outlines: 1). Your struggle 2). How you’ve used creativity as an outlet to deal with it 3). How you feel now. — Feel free to include photos, videos, music, poetry, or anything else!