A Fascination of Colors

Who can say why we like a certain color or not? It’s as much a whim as a default for some. But there are certain factors that will affect people’s choices for favorite color. The biggest would be cultural. If we were a society where we’d always worn pink and there was no emasculation to pink then men might be listing it as their favorite color. Our cultural fads will affect certain predilections to color.

In North America, sleek and sophisticated is represented by black and silver. Techy or electronic is black or grey. Pink is considered a feminine color. That old adage of blue for boys and pink for girls is annoying and who gives a hoot what color your baby is dressed in? They certainly don’t care and categorizing children isn’t really needed. Thankfully it’s dying out.

Wavelengths of the actual color can affect how it appeals to people as well. In paintings (and tarot cards) in the middle ages to the renaissance, you would see a lot of white, red and blue, especially if there were religious images. Red is the color of our blood and therefore vibrant and representing life. It is a bright color and very active. Blue is a soothing, cool color, and is shown in our water and our sky. It was used in many paintings to represent the passive and the spiritual to the earthy and active red.

Green is another earth color for us. Leaves and grass are green and it holds the hues of blue.  I found the following study on the internet which puts blue as the most popular color. It was far more popular for men than women but green remained at about 14% for everyone. Orange and yellow are not favorites but reversed from men to women. And women like purple while men don’t, though most people equated it with bravery and nobility (cultural conventions again). The problem with the study is that it was a relatively small group (232 people) from the internet and mostly North American. I’m sure we’d see other colors depending on the country.  http://www.joehallock.com/edu/COM498/preferences.html

The study also looked at pure colors: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, black, grey, white, brown. My sister’s favorite color is pink, hot deep pink. Mine is turquoise, a combination of blue and green but definitely on the green side of turquoise. Turquoise is also known as teal or peacock though they can be a little more blue.

I have always loved turquoise to the point where I just would love to eat it. It’s a deep visceral feeling and gives me an almost full feeling looking at it. Weird, isn’t it. Some people like a color or wear a color because it looks good on them. The best colors on me are purple and red but I love turquoise so I wear that too. But I do love bright colors. Why? I have no idea. Alberta didn’t have peacocks running around and I wasn’t near any teal colored lakes. There were no giant hunks of the stone laying about (which, by the way, can range from blue to green, and the greener the turquoise the older the stone). I just love turquoise.

So yes, I have clothes that are turquoise but not all of them and I have jewellery but not the majority. If I had to be immersed in an environment of one color, it’s turquoise I’d choose. Orange is my least favorite color, and yellow, which follows the survey’s trend, but I do have a wall by my entry way in a deep burnt orange. I just don’t wear it much. But why? Maybe deep in my psyche is an event or an emotion that correlates to my first turquoise introduction. But I suspect that like most of us, I’ll never know why I choose that color above all others.

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Filed under art, Culture, people

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