The issue of men wearing pink seems to be the buzz these days, but it’s time to put this issue to bed once and for all. The reasons? Well, they are simple, logical, and sound. Honest!
First, I’m a manly, manly man, and manly men, don’t eat quiche, and we don’t wear pink. It’s right in the rule book: page 47. And that’s just reason one. It gets better.
Second, it’s not in my color wheel: Blues, blacks, whites, grays only. That’s right. I don’t wear girly pink because my girly fashion color wheel tells me I can’t. Makes perfect sense, right? See, told you.
Third is that belongs to women. Take a look around. Breast Cancer awareness: Pink. Any woman’s club or gym: Pink. Smartphones, purses, shoes, notebooks, backpacks, you name it: Pink. They even print it across their spandex arses, in big bold letters: PINK. Right? Even the old, Mary Kay cosmetics line was pink. Did you ever hear of a woman scorned? Yeah, try stealing shit from them.
The fourth reason is because of the negative emotional impact that it can have on men. This is science, so pay attention.
When Shirley Muldowney was out there tearing up the drag racing circuit in that pink car of hers, she was quoted as saying, “When they look over and see that pink car they start to shake”. See, it wasn’t because she was good (harrumph), but that she was driving a pink car, and a study done at the time proved that the color pink does affect us.
It’s one of those women traps, like asking her what is wrong when she’s moping around. You just don’t go there if you are smart.
The fifth? Well, think of the children. I’ll be damned if I spent all those years making him eat his cereal with sour milk, sandwiches with stale bread, forcing him run with the scissors just to throw it all away on some stupid color scheme. Nope, forever guarded. I don’t even use, Sweat-n-Low because it comes in a pink packets.
It’s that simple guys. Wear pink and the next thing we know I’ll be out there rescuing turtles crossing the road, or worse, helping old ladies cross the road, maybe even hugging my kids and all manner of deviant, unmanly behavior. Right? I may even start to like cats, God help me.
Yeah. Now the scary part, folks. It’s been done, long ago, and I received a reminder of that just a few weeks ago when we had some friends fly up to visit us while fully equipped with their old picture albums from high school.
While the girls were going through one of them I caught a glance over their shoulders (real men don’t go through picture albums!), and there it was, like a flash burnt across the sky: One of our senior prom pictures. There was a guy from virtually every competitive venue from the chess club to the football team, looking like a jar of jellybeans. All the colors and no one cared. Mine looked good too: Black trousers, pale pink jacket, black lapels, and pink corsage? Yep.
It wasn’t just us either, it was a thing. In fact, there is a parody picture in there of myself and one of the guys from the track team posing limp-wristed holding our date’s bouquets (or whatever those things are called), demonstrating just how it stole our manhood away.
There are even pictures of me in my old “shorty” wetsuit (dive suit with short sleeves and legs) taken during a dive trip down to the Islands. Apparently, we were basking in the light of all the unmanly colors because it was teal, with a bright, and I mean bright, pink chest. My octopus (secondary regulator-the thing that you put in your mouth to breat!), was florescent pink. Heck, even my swim trunks for off-shore diving were a bright fluorescent green.
Amazingly, even the fish didn’t care, at least they did not say so to my face. Can’t trust fish though. Barracuda steal the ring right off your finger (and the finger too).
The whole “be a man” thing was a joke to us, and it never got old (then again, everything was reason to joke for us). I remember one of my teammates walking around the corner in a bright pink shirt one day. When I looked at him he thumped his chest and stated boldly, “I’m man enough to wear pink”. I replied in full support, stating that he was still just a douche-bag in a pretty wrapper. He quickly and willfully agreed (we were still teenage boys, still meatheads).
Wearing pink was a joke then, as it should be now. It was a “girl” color until we decided to wear it. Then it became a man color. Done and done. I’m not even sure how this whole issue has resurfaced. I’d like to think that people have way too much time on their hands, but it’s on the internet, so, well, you know.
Not sure about the whole reverse shaming thing either (real men wear pink). It wasn’t forced upon us back then, we hijacked it. We were breaking down all the doors, tearing up the old expectations. We had opportunity that our fathers never did, and we jumped on it. I don’t think that we ever even talked about such things (except in jest), we just collectively did it.
We had a whole different class of women also. They were breaking all the rules, and they were actually interesting, so we followed in kind. I figure that if the girls could play sports, wear tuxedos (which some of them did), open their own doors, run for class president, even ask a guy out, we felt that we could wear whatever the hell we wanted. They had already encroached upon blue, right? Fair is fair. So, we stole it, and after the honeymoon phase, it just became matter-of-fact.
To this day I don’t wear it often (the color wheel thing is actually true), but my father-in-law has a friend that runs some sort of custom T-shirt shop so I get deluged with first run, extra-large, golf shirts about twice a year. Most are light colors, and occasionally there will be pink. They go right into the work shirt closet with all the rest. There is one in there right now.
Summer is the time. Golf shirts, all light colors because I’m lucky enough that my work takes me outdoors. That also means that I’m in the sun all day and I’m not about to stroke out in order to prove my manhood. In fact, I just recently did the pink thing. Not only does no one care, I actually received a compliment. I was walking into a sub-shop (that would be grinder, hoagie, hero-sandwich for those of you that do not speak proper American), when the young, pretty girl behind the counter looked up and exclaimed, “Wow, nice shirt. You look good in that.”
Yes, she’s someone that I’d see as a daughter, but I want to make it clearly understood here that she did not say that the shirt looked good, but that “I” looked good in it. You start getting up there in years and those type of compliments tend to ebb away and you become like a marker: “Yes, the potato chips are right behind that old guy over there”. I still do have SOME ego left.
Dead issue across the board, lads. Just last week the wife and I attended the annual fundraising cook-out for sports in our town. Two guys wearing pink golf shirts, one guy in dark pink boardshorts. Again, no one noticed, no one cared.
Just yesterday, one of the older truck drivers at the supply house that I use had pink earpieces on his glasses. No one noticed beyond me, but I have GMP disease so I’m going to notice these things.
Rocky wears it. Who’s going to argue with the Rock? His mug is scarier than the pink shirt.
What about Arnold, Mr. Biceps?
How about the Duke himself (I bow my head when I say his name)? The undefeated, untied, reigning world heavyweight champion of manly, manliness himself … in pink.
I even matched it up to a color chart. It’s not rouge, fuschia, or even bubblegum. It’s deep pink. Heck, the guy had a, pig valve inserted into his heart. Pigs are pink! Right? Argue that, Pilgrim.
Yeah, I’m giving this the level of seriousness that it is due, but truth be told, we actually look good in a sharp, pink shirt or tie. A gray jacket, with a pink, I mean, Salmon shirt and dark tie can work for the right guy.
Anyway, the bottom line here, guys? You can’t buy your manhood in a store anymore then you can find it in a bottle of bourbon. We all know that, and we know that no one else can give it to you. It’s not on the internet, not under some hashtag, not in some locker at the airport. It’s not dictated by the clothes that you wear, the car you drive, or the sports that you watch either.
That shit comes from within, and that is exactly what we are trying to teach the world. Everything you do is just an extension of that which is already there IF you are doing it right. It is who you are at the core level. Pink or any color does not make you unmanly, walking around with a chip on your shoulder, being either a whiny pain in the arse or a chest thumping douche-bag will, however. Having it dictated by others is even worse.
This isn’t about owning it, it’s about taking control of it and yourself. It’s a non-issue with us, so make it a non-issue. We have much bigger fish to fry on that griddle, and this is not how we want the conversation about us framed.
Wear what you want. Stop giving a rats-arse what people think you should be, do, or wear, and stop letting people shame you, on both sides. If you like it, wear it. If you do not, don’t, but the last thing you want to do is to predicate your manhood upon it, or worse, allow someone else to do it for you.
It’s been done, and it’s old. Put this thing to bed, and please, dear God; do it before it becomes trendy. Pink I can handle, that I cannot.
Pool Boy / GettyImages
Arnold Schwartzenegger / GettyImages
Sylvester Stallone / GettyImages
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