I will get offended if you call me a girly girl. I hate chick flicks, chit lit and romance novels. When a sappy scene in a movie comes on, I usually pick up my phone and go through my social media feeds because sappy sweet talk is so ZZZZ. What about those scenes when the world is about to end but a couple just has to stop and make out for 5 minutes?! That stuff drives me crazy and I’m sure Boyfriend is sick of me yelling, “omigod! they need to die” every time. Yes, I know I am cold-hearted and have no appreciation for sappiness. I didn’t even watch The Notebook until last year and thought it was meh (actually, I forgot what it was about already).
Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up and LOOKING girly …but my girly is usually a mix of edgy so that it’s not all frills and lace, which definitely does not suit my personality at all. That goes with workout gear as well.
Remember those days when we were little girls and rode Barbie-pink and white bicycles with floral decals, tassels on the handlebars and a pretty basket? These days, I have to admit I would rather look more aggressive on the road, with gear that is dominated by more masculine colors and blacks. Why is that? Sometime I wonder if I am sub-consciously denying my femininity because cycling is such a male-dominated sport. I mean I LOVE my bright pink tops when I’m at the gym or when I’m running I use to run— but why not when I’m on the road. It really just doesn’t seem like a “roadie” thing. Why??!!
Is it because pink is unfortunately associated with weakness and passiveness? With Barbies, blonds and airheads? And since cycling is a male dominated sport, is it because I feel as if I need to fit in with the masses?
There was an article published a couple of weeks ago on The Guardian, Why must cycling companies saddle women with pink? which argued that all the pinkified cycling gear saturating the market is leading to a less assertive riding style for women which is also compromising their safety.
Why do girls need to prove that they fit in with the guys?
Why do girls feel the need to assert their femininity and separate themselves from the guys?
Why do some girls hate pink?
I don’t think the problem here is pink, rather, it’s choice. Clothing is a form of expression and there simply isn’t enough choice for women when it comes to cycling gear. Everyone has different styles, some love pink, some hate pink, some are indifferent.
But the market is saturated with pastel pinks, baby blues, lilacs, florals, psychedelic swirls and PINKS and although there are neutrally designed gear for women, there are not many choices or they are ridiculously expensive, especially for a casual cyclist just looking for something functional to wear. I’m sure there is a market for both so companies need to start catering to all women.
Me? I am NOT anti-pink! I love embracing my femininity and I do love wearing [certain shades of] pink. Although I prefer to wear more neutral gear when cycling, I will usually have a subtle hint of pink on my cycling jersey or gloves, a pink or red sports bra peeking out or maybe even pink socks. And the problem is maybe that I’ve never seen the perfectly-fitted jersey in the right shade of pink yet either.
I’ve never noticed it but sub-consciously, I think I do it to stand out in a male dominated industry— I only wear pink when working out but I don’t have pink in my daily wardrobe. I don’t want to be one of the guys nor that girly girl but somewhere in between; I’m female after all and have no shame in embracing my vain girly self. And when on the road or at the gym with a bunch of guys, it’s great to be visible as a woman who can lift as much or bike as fast as they can… or even more. Harharhar.
Here are my thoughts to companies that develop women’s cycling gear:
- Don’t stop producing pink gear! Some of us still embrace pink even though there are those that think “pink is not cool.” Not everyone feels the need to be cool. *insert sad face here*
- The shade of pink really matters. Pale and pastels ain’t that great yet hot, bright pinks are awesome and bold. They are still feminine yet shocking. Love it.
- Floral designs, swirls, psychedelic prints are harder to sell but I’m sure there is a small market for it. Just because I’m the kind of girl who says, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that” doesn’t mean I’m speaking for the general population. But again, design has to be thought out carefully and not just plastered on a jersey just because it looks good. As a designer, I am biased but some companies obviously need to hire better designers.
- Pinks can be extremely shocking— great for visibility on the road but not psychedelic enough to cause accidents.
- Pinks can be integrated into designs more tastefully. Especially if balanced out with more neutrals or if hinted subtly.
- Aside from pink, women loves all colors as well from bright yellow, orange to lime green, red and blue.
And since we are talking about cycling, my dream bike would be matte black with hints of shocking pink and bright yellow or lime green. All black bikes are too masculine, don’t stand out enough and I dislike red and blue bikes. I can’t hold in my inner girly self! Also, my favorite workout tops are my bright pink Under Armour and Nike tanks and long-sleeves and I wish they had back pockets so they’re more functional when I cycle. Those tops are perfectly fitted and a nice, shocking pink that’s not pastel or pale. What about you?
Pink is just another color and I’ll continue wearing it because I think I look good in it (at least way better than the clown costume). After writing this entry, I think I’m going to start wearing my pink tops more often when cycling (except that it doesn’t match my bike… Sigh. Must not be vain. Must not be vain.). In the end, if you feel good in something and it gives you confidence, fuck what everyone else says and just do it!