I hate the color pink. It is Pepto Bismol branding for girls and women, assigned to us before we were born. We are bred into choosing pink by virtue of the clothing put on us from infancy. Rebel that I am, my favorite color has long been the shade of blue most like the Gulf of Mexico at sunset. I used to avoid wearing pink until I admitted that it complemented my shade of brown.
But I still hate pink in principle, if not in practice.
For the past month, I have been shopping for WordPress templates to give the blog a makeover. (More news on that coming soon!) The world of blog design is a wide and wondrous place, with dozens of flashy offerings clamoring for a click the minute you enter the search term, “WordPress template.” Choosing the right one is not so easy. From what I’ve read, web development is still a very male-centered field and the landscape reflects that.
~Here’s how to recognize a Guy Blog: lots of angular shapes, bold use of screen space, primary colors, focus on the utility of the website.
~Here’s how to recognize a Girl Blog: Pink. Lots of it. Everywhere. Roundness and circular icons. And ribbons and polka dots and pastels.
Le sigh. What is a pink-phobic girl who doesn’t want a masculine Guy Blog to do? I have searched blog demo after demo hoping to find functional, attractive sites that do not scream Girl Blog with “pops of pink” offending my eyes. But most blog templates that advertise themselves as feminine don’t skimp on the femme. Strangely enough, I find them beautiful, oohing and aahing and wistfully sighing at whimsical clip art.
So what’s the problem? I write about life, race, culture, and occasional nerd activities, subjects that appeal to both genders; the design should reflect the message. Honestly, I am afraid that if I make my site too pretty, men won’t read it. My friend calls girly sites “cupcake blogs” and this-blog-right-here, as you well know, is not about cupcakes. As much as I love them. I am of the belief that if a guy sees something feminine, he will click the X button faster than Olivia Pope drops drawers for President Fitzgerald Grant. I’ve heard men say they will avoid something just because women like it.
I think that men and women, including myself, dismiss pretty things as trivial. Recently, I was watching a What Not to Wear episode that featured a cute, curvy woman (Vanessa) who dealt with the insecurity of having a willowy model for a younger sister. Throughout the show, Vanessa, a chemist, threw subtle, almost subconscious shade toward her sister and other attractive women. She said (paraphrasing), “I thought if you put a lot of effort into looking pretty, you must not have a hard job. If you are pretty, people won’t take you seriously and will think you’re not smart.” Or: you only got where you are because you’re pretty.
As problematic as those statements are, I admit to sharing some of those misgivings. I am just coming around to dabbling in “girly-girl” trifles after spending much of my adolescence and adulthood emphasizing intellect over eyeshadow. My concern is for people who would encounter my blog, see “pops of pink” and dismiss me offhand as a woman who doesn’t “have a hard job.” Or assume I write just for women. I am spinning my wheels trying to market myself as guy-friendly but still womanly enough to be me.
Ultimately, I have made my peace with my girl parts. Whatever blog design I choose will be reflective of my personality, which is apt to gush over fantasy football and nail polish in the same breath. Just know that there will be no baby’s breath clip art on my site. And no pink.
So, ladies and gents, be honest with me. Do you frequent any “cupcake blogs” and does the notion of a pretty website turn you off? Am I off in my assessments?