Pretty in pink
Yvonne: Hello — I'm Yvonne Archer, this is "6 Minute English" — and thanks to Rob for joining me today.
Rob: It's good to be here, Yvonne.
Yvonne: Great. Rob – how do you feel about the colour pink?
Rob: Pink? Well, it's not my colour but my four-year-old daughter loves it.
Yvonne: Well, she's got good taste because pink is the colour of choice for today's programme. But before we find out why, it's time for today's question. Are you ready, Rob?
Rob: I'm ready and waiting!
Yvonne: Good. In 1918, according to an article that appeared in The Ladies' Journal, what was thought to be the most suitable colour for girls? Was it
b) pink or
Yvonne: a) red, b) pink or c) blue
Rob: I guess as we're talking about pink, I'd say pink.
Yvonne: As usual, I'll have the answer for you later on in today's “6 Minute English”! Now, recently, a BBC Radio 4 programme called "Fight the Power of Pink" investigated why little girls have a preference for the colour pink, like young Imogen. She spoke to the BBC Breakfast team about her love of pink.
Insert 1: Imogen
It's not really an obsession, it's when you like, look at it, you feel like, quite dizzy and you go on day dreaming. It's like you're in heaven!
Yvonne: Imogen says her love of pink isn't really 'an obsession' — she's not so passionate about it that she doesn't have time for any other interests. But looking at pink has a physical effect on her.
Rob: Yes, Imogen says she feels quite 'dizzy' — weak and shaky as though she might faint. So, pink has quite a dramatic effect on her, doesn't it?
Yvonne: It definitely does, Rob. It gets her daydreaming — but what does she mean by 'daydreaming'?
Rob: Well, she imagines things and situations and can't concentrate or focus on what's actually happening around her.
Yvonne: For example, a little girl might be thinking about having a big pink wedding instead of thinking about her school work. So everything would be pink at her wedding, everyone would be dressed in pink, including the men and boys…
Rob: You wouldn't catch me wearing pink!
Yvonne: Oh no, Rob! I bought you a pink shirt for your birthday.
Rob: Oh no. Have you got the receipt?
Yvonne: Hmm — I'd better take it back! Anyway, we might be thinking that a preference for pink is only a problem for parents' bank accounts.
Rob: Yes, buying all those pink goods could be very costly for us parents. My daughter has convinced us to buy a pink doll's house.
Yvonne: No! How expensive was that?
Rob: Very expensive.
Yvonne: But a child's firm belief that pink is only for girls can also lead to more serious problems. Here's BBC Breakfast's Charlie Stayt with a story from a viewer:
Insert 2: Charlie Stayt, BBC Breakfast
Mrs Davies got in touch, she's in Kent, she says: "My 4-year old grandson refused to take his antibiotic medicine given by his doctor because it was pink! He said pink was for girls. He was really upset."
Yvonne: As we heard, Mrs Davies' four-year old grandson refused to take his antibiotic medicine. He didn't want to take it even though he was quite ill.
Rob: No, he believes that anything pink is for girls, even medicine — so that can be difficult for parents and perhaps dangerous in some cases.
Yvonne: That's true — but in this case, I'm happy to say that he did finally did take his medicine. Well, Greg Hodge, a research director, says that businesses certainly make use of the fact that children generally believe that anything pink is only for girls.
Insert 3: Greg Hodge, Research Director