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"Not just a colour": pink as a gender and sexuality marker in visual communication

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Visual Communication
Issue number4
Number of pages29
Pages (from-to)395-423
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article investigates the functions of the colour pink as a marker of gender and sexuality in cultural models and the multimodal texts they inform. To this end, tendencies suggested by a pilot survey on colour associations are traced in a number of visual texts such as leaflets, advertisements, websites and magazines, where pink functions to gender textual referents, attract female readers' attention and index both sexuality and sexual identity. Both informants' associations and the multimodal text analysis show evidence of an emergent schema that relates pink to post-feminist femininity. This is seen as complementing and extending conventional and counter-cultural associations of pink with stereotypically feminine characteristics or gayness, respectively. Ultimately, the author argues for an approach to colour that combines social semiotics with cognitive semantics.