Examination in Pink: A Case Study
The moment a girl is born in the United States, society begins to determine her gender role. She is inevitably bombarded with some form of the color pink — pink garments, pink toys, perhaps a pink bedroom. That early imposition of a simple color sets a precedent that can spill over into adulthood. Pink becomes a symbol of what she is expected to become as a woman.
According to the most recent U.S. Census, women earned a yearly average of 77% of what a man was paid for the same job. The Census Bureau also reported that women account for 24% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs. A little less than 7% of commercial airline pilots are women (U.S. Department of Labor), and only 4.6% of S&P 500 companies have women CEOs at the helm (Dow Jones). The Pentagon is examining the possibilities of women joining front-line combat units, in spite of several service leaders doubting their capability. Women currently make up about 15% of the U.S. military (CNN).
It Starts With Pink utilizes color to evaluate the current state of gender equity and the wage gap. Each object in the study represents a male-dominated role, and each object is coated in pastel pink. Through the use of this symbolic color, I ask why we are not encouraging more women to aspire to take on these roles. It Starts With Pink is a starting point in a larger conversation as to how gender equity plays out in our current social climate. The series points to the origins of how the color is set to be a stand-in for all things feminine, but forces viewers to question why women are largely missing from these roles. Each titled study is an answer to the roles: she can lob a grenade, she can fly you across the country, she can run your company, and ultimately, why should she not?