Thursday, February 11, 2010

V-DAY Strikes again

It’s that time of year again, Valentine’s day is around the corner. You can see the desperate gleam in the eyes of girls at the bar. Suddenly CVS only seems to be selling blushing rose, and sultry scarlet nail polish. All of the envelopes at Hallmark, even for birthday cards, have transformed to shades of red and pink. Your favorite restaurant is reservation-only all weekend long, since V-day falls on a Sunday this year, and people will be celebrating all weekend long.

As with any year, this lover’s holiday has me contemplating all things romantic.

I mean, why is it that red and pink were chosen to be the colors of passion and amour? It is because red is the color of lips and blood, representing bodily pursuits? Or is it because pink is the color associated with women and their femininity since birth? Or, it is just because so many different types of flowers conveniently come in these shades?

Flower symbolists say that red flowers represent deep romantic love. Pink imply a lesser romantic attachment, saying in like rather than in love. White mean chastity (what else is new?), while yellow hints “Let’s just be friends.”

Color psychologists say that the color red initiates a quicker heartbeat and faster breathing. Maybe red is associated with love because the bodily response created by it mimics that of the excitement of falling in love. Pink, on the other hand stimulates relaxation and calming feelings.

It is interesting too, to think of the different associations that you present by choosing between these two romanticized colors. Red implies everything sultry: power, assertiveness, and sex; while pink suggests the demure, innocence, and everything ladylike. Yet red also suggests danger, the devil, and fire. It becomes a question not just of which color flatters your skin tone more, but what subtle message are you trying to send your date this year.

I was reading an article in Vogue this month that says Valentine’s day bouquets should not just be only red or only pink, but a wide variation of shades and tones of each hue. It practically commanded people to stay away from a bouquet of uniformly red, roses especially, but uniformly red anything. The bouquets they showed pictures of were beautiful. They had sprinkles of every kind of flower of every shade of pink to red from peonies to lilies.

Perhaps I loved them because they were so visually appealing, ranging from barely pink to the deepest bloody red. Or perhaps these bouquets struck a cord because of their symbolic acceptance that one must not choose between red or pink, ladylike or sexy, friend or lover, but may occupy a beautiful range of spaces taking up all of the above roles and the places in between. Isn’t that what every girl wants for Valentine’s day?

1 comment:

Organic Meatbag said...

I say your theories on the colors of valentines day are true... hahaha


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