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I used to have a complicated relationship with the color Pink. As a child, I resented it. I hated it. I thought that wearing it or owning anything that looked like it made me seem ‘girly’, which translated at the time to being ‘weak, sensitive, vain and selfish’. The misogyny that was embedded via society’s gender roles and ideas about gender at the time in the color Pink caused me 22  years of bitter disdain towards the color.

Last year, probably around March, I began to rethink my whole outlook on gender-based colors. Why was pink associated with girls? And why was being girly such a bad thing in the first place? Why are we seen as weak? Why is wearing makeup or liking flowers or skirts such a negative thing? Why is it that every girl I ever knew in high school and college had to proclaim to all her male peers, ‘I’m not like other girls! I like sports and hiking!, etc’

Because our society hates women. Because they know that women are powerful and strong, and women shape the future. Before colonization, Mvskoke culture was strictly matriarchal. Clans and lineage is traced through your mother’s family. When a man would marry a woman, he would leave his family and join hers. Women decided when the town would go to war. Women, in my culture, have always been strong and powerful.

And as soon as I realized that, I began to find pink a comforting color. I try to surround myself with it. Valentines Day is now a beloved holiday for me, because of all the pink.

So, this post will be an ongoing appreciation of all the pink things I own. The photos belong to me.