National Pink Day: The 10 Best Uses of the Color in Pop Culture History

Did you know today is National Pink Day? Yeah, me neither, but I love an excuse to celebrate something and pink is definitely worth some fanfare.

Some history for you: Pink wasn't always a color mostly associated with girls. Smithsonian Magazine points out that blue and pink didn't become gendered until the early 1900s. Back then, the colors' meanings as we know them were actually reversed! "[P]ink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl," read a 1918 article from Earnshaw's Infants' Department. More proof that gender is just a construct and we should express ourselves however we want!

Now that we've learned a little something, let's look in the pop culture rearview mirror and honor some of the best uses of pink in music, movies and television over the years:

gwen stefani no doubt pink hair

When I think pink, my mind immediately goes to Gwen Stefani's hair circa 2000. She was promoting No Doubt's Return of Saturn and getting back at her then-ex Gavin Rossdale by looking fine as hell (and started a trend in the process!). Manic Panic owes her a lot of money.

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pink ranger

My inner 10-year-old would be so pissed if I didn't pay homage to Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger. She taught a lot of us that doing sequential backflips should not be tried at home and also taught us how to spell pterodactyl (big ups to the only non land-bound dinosaur on the show!). And no, I do not count the blond Aussie or anyone else who came after Amy-Jo Johnson as true Pink Rangers because I'm old and persnickety.

britney justin

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake used to be in love and play charity basketball games together, while wearing jerseys featuring their nicknames for each other. Brit's was Pinky. This is a safe space; cry if you must.

tumblr_li4ql2744x1qds3dr

This girl from Rebecca Black's "Friday" music video. No explanation necessary.

wednesdays pink mean girls

Wednesday was easily the worst weekday of the bunch for years and years. And then Regina George and the Plastics from Mean Girls reinvented it with a simple maxim: "On Wednesdays, we wear pink."

Anyone who watched Dumbo as a young child probably still has night terrors starring some of the pink elephants the title character hallucinated after accidentally getting hammered on champagne. You might also recognize them from that time you "accidentally" ate some funky mushrooms in Golden Gate Park.

duckie-and-andie-pretty-in-pink-style

Pretty in Pink gets a mention because duh, but also because we all need to bring back using "volcanic" as a congratulatory adjective.

divine filth pink flamingos

I would lose my Baltimore cred if I didn't mention John Waters' classic Pink Flamingos, which starred Divine—the reigning queen of on fleek eyebrows—and proved that filthiness is next to godliness. On a semi-related, scarily timely sidenote, the man who created the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament died today.

sofia grace ellen pink

Sophia Grace a.k.a. that little British girl who's always crawling on Ellen's couch in a tutu makes no secret of her love of pink. And I make no secret of the fact that I loved her last single so much that I remixed it.

nicki minaj pink

And we obviously can't talk about Sophia Grace without mentioning Nicki Minaj (SG's claim to fame was a cover of "Super Bass"). Nicki loves pink wigs, outfits, nails, lipsticks, perfumes, etc. and even called her last album The Pinkprint. It's so good and you should listen to it right now:


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