Kaylan So: Pink Is The Color of Me

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For Kaylan So, her favorite color signals the growth of her independence and self-assurance.

From the moment I was born, I was swaddled in pink. My mornings began with a soft pink blanket, and my nights ended with my mother’s even softer pink skin. As I outgrew the pink rattle and the velvet pink dress, my father replaced them with pink stuffed animals and pink wardrobes.

Pink was the color of comfort and dreams.

Then, we moved. At my new school, my teacher made me introduce myself with my favorite color and what I wanted to be when I grew up: the President of the United States. A boy came up to me after my teacher’s uncomfortable interrogation with words that slashed my impressionable heart.

“Being a leader is a boy’s job. And you're a girl. Liking pink makes you even more of a girl.”

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Pink was the color of girls and inferiority.

I shoved my beloved dresses and skirts into a box and asked my mother for blue shorts and blue shirts. Now, blue was the color of strength and power.

The more I became involved with politics and leadership, the more I struggled with my femininity. I refused to cry even when I was hurting, yelled to make myself heard over my male peers, and preferred to work by myself to showcase my independence.

I wore blue with pride. Because blue was my favorite color. Right?

Yet, the more I took on, the more I realized the claustrophobic notions of my internalized misogyny, as compassion and empathy was enough to be a part of a team. Most importantly, I learned that it’s okay to be a woman and to want to achieve big and beautiful things.

For the first time in years, I am able to open that box of dresses and skirts without feeling scrutiny or self-doubt. The boy’s words don’t taunt me anymore. Instead, it encourages me to start anew. Although my first skirt in over five years is the color blue, blue merely represents who I used to be and what I used to think.

Pink is where our story began and where it will end. Because pink is the color of a certain Kaylan So and the color of revived dreams.

With a Perspective, I’m Kaylan So.

Kaylan So is a high school senior at Dougherty Valley High School.