Gender Color Photography: Jeong Mee Yoon


What happens when we take the stereotypical visual differentiation of gender (pink and blue) to the extreme?

What began as a thesis project in 2005 has grown into a much larger endeavor, exploring "the color preferences of children and their parents across different cultures and ethnic groups, probing into gender identity as a socialized construct." Observing how advertising and the media has played into color preferences across the world, Yoon's The Pink and Blue Project is an interesting examination of gender and its evolution historically.

"Pink was once a color associated with masculinity, considered to be a watered down red and held the power associated with that color. In 1914, The Sunday Sentinel, an American newspaper, advised mothers to ‘use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.’ The change to pink for girls and blue for boys happened in America and elsewhere only after World War II. The switch happened as twentieth-century political correctness took root and, in an effort to promote gender equality, the colors began being used with the opposite genders. This trend was so purposeful and explicit that it ended up overcompensating for the superficial connections attached to the symbolism of each color, not eradicating them but merely reversing their direction on the gender spectrum."

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