Does the color pink really even exist? *Brain explodes* at controversy

There seems to be a small tempest in a pink teapot going on in the scientific community, about whether the color pink really truly exists. Thanks to reader Heidi who tuned me into this pink panic. The controversy seems to involve a lot of talk about wavelengths and frequencies and gamma rays, etc. I got lost real quick. However, the whole basis for the discussion all seems to be ridiculous, because it is built on the premise that pink is a combination of red and violet. But that’s not pink. That’s, like, fuchsia. Pink is red + white. Like, I take a pot of red paint, I add white, and I get pink. Who’s the dummy? Who’s the smarty? And what if smarty had a party and no one came? Even if the video-scientists are *right* by the way, they point out that their pink “replaces all the hidden grandeur” of the gamma rays etc. that we cannot see. That sounds pretty good to we protectors of the pink. In any case, I have hijacked this opportunity start to leave comments on all the stories — NPRScientific AmericanTime Magazine… — to Save the Pink Bathrooms. Amuck with the esoteric, on to the practical: Pink is a lovely color for a bathroom.


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    • hannah says

      EXACTLY what I came here to say.

      Though, I did read a spiritual book on colors in the 80s sometime, and it said something along the lines of ‘man did not have the ability to view the color blue until…..” some sort of spiritual progression.

  1. Kay says

    Pink IS a lovely color for bathrooms, but the difference between what you are discussing vs. what the scientist is demonstrating is light vs. pigment. In pigments, red + white = pink. But he’s right about light. For example – in pigment, blue + yellow = green. But in light, blue + yellow = white or gray. So … you’re both right!

  2. Lynn-O-Matic says

    Ha, ha, Pam, I had the same reaction to this video and those articles. It’s not “pink, or fuchsia, or magenta, or whatever you want to call it.” Those aren’t synonyms. Like Fancy Nancy says, fuchsia is a fancy word for [a certain shade of] purple, not for pink. (Webster’s calls it “a vivid reddish purple.”) Pink is light red just like sky blue is light blue and mint green is light green, or like lilac is light purple. It’s like saying seafoam or lavender don’t exist.

    He’s really saying fuchsia doesn’t exist, which may be the case when you’re talking about wavelengths. But magenta is one of the four standard colors for full color printing (CMYK, for Cyan Magenta Yellow blacK/Key), so it definitely exists on paper everywhere.

    • midmodms says

      I was just about to say the same thing. Pink is just a pastel red, like violet or lilac are pastel purples.

  3. ChrisH says

    Somebody needs to tell the Pink Panther he isn’t real.

    I’m a guy, so I’m not that much into pink, but my answer to the scientist is this – We paint his house pink. Paint the outside pink, and paint every room pink, and if he complains, it’s all in his head – pink doesn’t exist.

    I have always wondered why we don’t just call it light red.

    • JKaye says

      Light red — we have a family joke about that phrase. When we moved into this house, and discussed paint colors for rooms, my daughter and I were using phrases like light gray, light blue, light green. My husband said, How about a light red? We burst out laughing, and he said, What? We said, That would be PINK! He got aggravated at us and muttered that surely there was some shade of light red that wasn’t pink. Ever since, whenever we talk about paint colors, one of us always jokingly suggests a light red.

  4. Colleen Pollard says

    Pink Pink Pink ! I have been working on restoring my Mid Century Pink and Turq bthroom and just found this pretty groovy new shower door at Home Depot of all places…229.00 after getting a bid from a glass place for $1250.00 to put one in that wasn’t even anything special.

  5. Melanie says

    I’m trying to see pink on my daughter’s house. I think she’d just as soon pink didn’t actually exist. LOL! Maybe I’ll tell her we need to paint the trim light red and see if that changes her mind. 🙂

  6. cheryl m says

    Slightly off topic from “pink”, but the new color Le Creuset has just rolled ouot for their enameled cast iron cookware is a shade of blue they are calling “Marseille”, that is very in line with your Retro color of the year…

    • pam kueber says

      Very cool! I think someone else sent me this too. I was JUST planning my next “new in blue” story — will add this! thank you!!!

  7. drbeanie2000 says

    Yes, pigment, vs paint. Like, in paint, white is the absence of color (pigment), and black is all colors (pigments). In light, white is all colors of light and black = no colors. That is why when you split “white light” with a prism, you get a rainbow. The prism makes the white light components go through the glass differently. Blended, the rainbow makes “white.”

  8. Hugh says

    Thanks, trying to fit pink into the color wheel has always been a puzzle for me. I was beginning to think it might be one of those ‘created’ colors like mauve, beige, or taupe.

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