The ‘Fairer Sex’ – the Trick of ‘the Pink Treatment’

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

595 thoughts on “The ‘Fairer Sex’ – the Trick of ‘the Pink Treatment’

  1. “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.” – the truth is revealed to us when we allow ourselves to feel what actually supports us, and this is in the gentleness of our movements, purposefully so.

  2. Thank you Kate for your gorgeous sharing in this blog about pink and the associations and the true expressions of us as women…I too grew up learning to associate pink with being fluffy and weak and actually learned to dislike the colour rather than realising that there was a set up happening here and what I was really reacting to was not wanting to accept how deep our strength as women goes when we allow a true vulnerability and fragility to come out. I blamed it on the colour pink being the issue rather than allowing myself to feel what was being offered as an advance or expansion in understanding and being. Thankfully I have learned to embrace the colour pink now, and symbolically this also means allow more of my natural qualities to come through including the vulnerability and fragility.

  3. The colour pink and what it signifies is such an interesting consideration. It seems to define a gender (although I have LOVED seeing men wearing pink more nowadays), so do we shrink in pink and all that being a woman represents or do we wear it knowing it highlights a strength? A strength that there is a physiological difference that offers an opportunity for balance and for knowing we do not need to do or be it all on our own.

    1. Beautifully said Lucy, whatever colour we wear, we can hide behind it or use it as a tool to support us to be all we are and shine this around to all as a reminder or reflection of the all that we all are 😉

  4. ….’not to turn my back on the tender grace I so naturally am.’ We have done that, been there and it has brought us (and still does) a lot of pain, illness and diseases as we have not honoured the innate qualities we are born with, this tender grace you are talking about is what your daughter is showing you, and all that read your blog, is something to cherish by shining her exquisite light so brightly.

  5. I too reacted against wearing pink when I was younger.. I hated the feeling of being made to conform to what girlyness was supposed to look and feel like, so I also went into shut down and hardness mode instead, negating all of my natural qualities. It now feels amazing to start to allow myself to feel those qualities – tenderness and delicateness as I move and go about life, instead of wanting to crush that sensitivity and live in the apparent numbness of not feeling. I feel more connected to myself and what I know to be true, and to others, and there is great power in that connection.

  6. ‘…that amazing bright light we are each custodians of…’. Thank you for this Kate. It is a powerful reminder of the truth of our being and of what we are in truth here to express.

  7. I feel we need to deeply discern what we are ‘told’ by our world for it is not always and is perhaps rarely in our best interests. Let’s deeply feel the quality and energy of pink and blue and not simply adhere to the pre-scribed labels our world has given them. And let’s apply the same discernment to what it truly means to be a women or a man. If we simply take on the ‘prescriptions’ of the world we live in, then surely we are just perpetuating the past – and this is something that doesn’t seem to work.

  8. Yes there is a great strength in being fragile because when we feel fragile we feel more of what is going on in the world and this feeling or reading of life brings us the tools to deal with it from observation instead of being immersed in it. And that is true power.

  9. This quote is society shifting….”In our wisdom as children we feel every unspoken message that transmits the status quo.” do we honestly have no idea that this is going on, that our children watch our every move and translate that into how they think they are supposed to live….

    1. Well highlighted Samantha. We are all role models via our movements that tell children the range within which they are to compress themselves to live – Or if we so choose – living in connection to and flow with our more natural ways – we can offer to buck the trend and be a true rebel – one who does not squash down to fit in to a norm that is far far far from normal for our bodies and essence. Social shifting potential indeed.

      1. I agree we have the opportunity to make a different choice, to lift our heads up and stand at our true height, most of us walk abound with metaphoric bricks on our shoulders bowing to the conform to the way we see life pan out in front of our eyes…but there so is another way.

  10. Kate, how beautifully you unmask the old ideals and beliefs about being dressed in pink. As a child. I can remember hearing women labelled as being ‘pink and fluffy’ (basically helpless and manipulative) when wearing pink (especially pale pink)
    “at some point as a girl I clocked that being dressed in pink was being branded with staying submissive, being weak, and being less.”

    1. I walked away from pink because I thought it was weak and now I am learning to embrace it, there is place to enjoy it and wear, there are so many messages that we receive in life about what is so called right or wrong or so called reality and in honesty it stinks to impose these ideas on children who should be expressing who they are as they grow without this hindrance.

  11. I love how you have claimed and redefined your true strength Kate, in valuing ourselves and our inner qualities we are able to claim and express the truth and love of who we are and the power we each hold when we are connected and moving from this true quality of being.

  12. Delicacy, tenderness, preciousness and sensitivity are in no way weak. For they bring awareness and it will be a game changer for humanity when society begins to wake up and realise how powerful that really is.

  13. Many of us have come to understand what true strength is, and so what it is not, ‘I am strongest when I am tender with myself, in my movements and the ways I am with myself, and equally strong when we are fragile and delicate.’

  14. Thank you for reclaiming the beauty of pink and women expressing their delicacy and strength and thus exposing the pictures that so many of us have grown up with of what we are conveying if we choose to wear pink.

  15. This is beautiful that your daughter is free to express herself, ‘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.’

  16. Accepting and honouring our delicateness as women offers a whole new way of being, rather than shunning the offers of help from men when we try to be independent. We all need each other and thinking we can go it alone shuts us off from others in our community.

  17. How true it is that our connection to our tenderness is what guides us to not only know who we are in essence as women but also to know living in connection to this quality is our true power as women. To foster this connection in our children to the truly empower them to live who they are.

  18. Allowing support from a man has been a big step for me after trying to convince the world that I can do it all by myself. And yet, just like you describe, Kate, it is a precious gift both for me and the other.

  19. It is beautiful to feel this Kate that it actually is the qualities of delicacy and preciousness that we express as women is our true strength and that it is never defined by what we can or cannot do. It is not we cannot unpack a heavy bag or carry massage table but we don’t have to do it to prove we are equal to men or another women.

  20. I too have reclaimed my love of pink but it was really challenged a couple of years ago when I wore a gorgeous soft pink jumper to work. My female boss gave me a hard time from the moment I walked in the door, so much so that I was actually stunned by her reaction. I didn’t stop wearing the jumper as I felt so yummy in it but she kept on making scathing remarks which simply rolled off this beautiful garment like water off a duck’s back. I never got to know the reason why but I knew why I loved the pink jumper and that’s all that mattered.

  21. A beautiful awareness that there is true strength in the delicateness and preciousness of a woman and an equal true strength in the tenderness and gentleness of a man.

    1. The true union of the genders and within, we are made in the perfect harmony of the universe there can be nothing that is less than absolute balance in such magnificence.

  22. True strength comes from an inner knowing of who you are that cannot be wavered, there’s no weakness in being delicate, tender and super precious with ourselves.

  23. A joy to read this blog Kate – I am finding that the more I reclaim the delicacy and fragility within changes every movement I make and my body loves it and it as if it then feeds me back more of the same quality!
    “I am strongest when I am tender with myself, in my movements and the ways I am with myself”.

  24. 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. Yes, I too experienced this with a lovely man when I went to Bunnings and had bought a trolley to transport my purchase. He graciously offered to put the item in my boot as I was pushing the trolley out of the shop. In the past I would have said, no, it’s all good but I said yes and accepted and appreciated this honouring gesture of support from him.

  25. It’s amazing how what we’re told or what we see as children shapes the way we see things and what we choose. I distinctly remember shunning pink for being too girly and seeing it as a sign of weakness as a young child – thankfully that’s passed and now I love the colour and it’s qualities.

    1. The same when it comes to making an issue out of wearing skirts or shorts as a girl. I always loved skirts and dresses but can remember going through a stage when it wasn’t cool to wear them and you were seen as girlie so I stopped wearing them for a bit. Now I know we can emanate who we are in any clothing or colour.

      1. I actually went through the same process, it was triggered by the fact that “girly” has weak and pathetic connotations that you could get bullied for – so I became a tomboy – I’m glad now I define who I am, and that is certainly not by what I wear.

  26. These words are deeply appreciated: “tender warmth and steady observance and honouring is our greatest true strength”. They ignite a part of all women that has perhaps been buried and forgotten but never lost.

  27. When I see a man wearing pink I melt. I am loving the reflection the colour pink is bringing to me especially on a man confirming the tenderness within me that would truly support me to appreciate.

  28. I have an attraction to pink at the moment, in flowers and in clothing. There is a delicateness and sweetness they are reflecting. I wasn’t always a fan of pink, yet am appreciating the qualities different colours reflect for us.

  29. I have had similar feelings toward the use of love hearts, either to sign off on a letter, text, email or to be used in jewellery or prints on clothing etc. Until recently, I have always seen the ‘Love’ icon as a weak and ‘girly’, thing. I used to feel so strongly about it that I would refuse to use them and always be very vocal about how much I disliked anything to do with love. Clearly all of that was coming from a hurt and my idea about what a loveheart represented. These days, I’m a million times more open to accepting these hearts from others, and whilst I’m still working towards using them myself, I no longer feel that they are a representation of the meek and mild, but rather the opposite.

  30. I love your reclaiming of “pink” Kate. I love your defining of strength . . . ““I am strongest when I am tender with myself, in my movements and the ways I am with myself.” . . . very beautiful!

    1. So do I Kathleen, I love pink, that hasn’t always been the case but I l love a strong pink colour and a baby soft pink also it does something to my body when I see them, I instantly feel a big yes in myself.

  31. ‘I can feel that I am strongest when I am most fragile, but never frail.’ This is so true but for years I looked on these two as having a similar meaning whereas now I recognise that my fragility is a huge asset when I allow myself to feel it rather than hiding it under my false veneer of being independent and not asking for help.

  32. In our essence we all, men and women alike, are divine, precious, gorgeous, beautiful, fragile, tender, spunky beings to be both cherished and adored for this is who we truly are.

  33. It was a joy to come back and read your blog again Kate and for me it hi-lighted how we have allowed ourselves to be hood winked with so many ideals and beliefs, that we are able to perceive pink as being weak frail girly and not at all the beauty and preciousness and delicateness that it truly is. There is so much we are missing out on by allowing these ideals to get in the way. I love how you describe strength. “Strength was functionality, an action and not a lived radiant inner quality.” It is the inner quality and solidness that true strength emanates and not the toughness and hardness that is so often associated with strength..
    ” 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.” You are definitely redefining strength and I will take your words with me into my day.

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