I love pink. It is so naturally tender and feminine, but at some point as a girl I clocked that being dressed in pink was being branded with staying submissive, being weak, and being less. It was at times a feeling of being made to ‘look pretty’, so the focus was on the ‘girly’ appearance and not the expression of what was inside – the stark difference between pink being weak or less and actually being full of powerful, loving, radiant beauty.
In contrast, when my daughter wears pink it is as an expression of the power of her tenderness – that that is a true strength, and a very lovingly natural expression seen by her family from the inside first. My daughter does not feel she is being asked to be little or to shrink to wear pink, but that feeling the powerful tender beauty glowing within, pink might be a colour she selects to express this and to shine this preciousness to herself and to the world.
In our wisdom as children we feel every unspoken message that transmits the status quo.
The result in my case (and I suspect for many too) was to eventually, as a first port of call along the road of decades of external seeking for ‘a way to be in the world’, begin to put distance between me and that amazing bright light we are each custodians of. Shining it and celebrating it, made others uncomfortable, and was definitely not valued. Strength was functionality, an action and not a lived radiant inner quality. Pink was lessening, a weakness that signified the need of the physical strength of a man to protect – rather than acknowledging that an open, tender warmth and steady observance and honouring is our greatest true strength, with no need but a connection to the power we naturally hold.
I referred to it as the ‘trick’ of the ‘pink treatment’ because it was delivered in such a way that led me to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and to shun support, shun delicateness, and to begin the misguided path of equality being about proving myself to be ‘as strong’ as boys or men, and yet, had it been framed differently, or come with a true honouring and valuing of the power of delicateness in us all, (as is now the case with my daughter) it could have been the very thing that supported me to stay with me, out amongst the pressures of the wider world and not to turn my back on the tender grace I so naturally am.
Having come full circle I am blessed to know men who at the end of weekend workshops I attend, will support myself and other women to transport our massage tables out to and into the cars in natural honour of the tenderness of a woman, regarding the qualities she can offer as such a gift to the world. I have even experienced the loveliness of unpacking my shopping into the car whilst my daughter, sitting in the trolley, was quite small and a gentlemanly stranger warmly offering to help unpack the piled high trolley… which I accepted graciously in appreciation, instead of the hardened, dismissive and often aggressive reaction of the past.
That moment was a gift for us both, it was equal, and a marker for me of how far I had come.
‘We are women and we are divine.’ We are ‘fair ladies’, and that is our strength, our steadiness, our inner stillness – something the world needs to see and to feel again, for we have for too long allowed the grace of women not to be what is valued even though stillness and tenderness, a quality of ‘being,’ is of key and primary value for all and the first step to redressing the imbalance we see in the world where most are in excessive motion, focussed on the ‘doing’ of life and the true meaning of strength is lost.
Today, in so many ways I have reclaimed, and continue to do so, what it is for me to live and express in a dear woman’s body.
I am redefining everything I’ve ever been told ‘strength’ is and what I place true value in;
I can feel that I am strongest when I am most fragile, but never frail.
I am strongest when I am tender with myself, in my movements and the ways I am with myself.
And I have most definitely reclaimed the delicateness of pink in my life, full knowing that it is not for the world to tell us that pink equates to weak or submissive but that we are to know our preciousness and bring that to the world, for it sorely needs it.
by Kate Burns, Bellingen, Australia
You may also enjoy:
What Defines a True Woman – Returning to Be-You-ty by Kate Burns
Love – The Missing Link in Gender Equality by Gabrielle Caplice