The first Pink Week took place in 1993, when Gioia Fonda, a student at the California College of Arts and Crafts, decided she would wear pink clothes for a week. Eric Wood, who was later to marry her, publicised the event around campus, and other people asked if they could take part too. Gioia started giving away small pieces of pink fabric to let others join in.
In later years she has taken to giving out pink paper tags, and Pink Week has become a national and then an international event. In 1999 it even reached Amsterdam. It has no political, campaigning or fund-raising element, it is more of a piece of performance art, or an excuse to wear brightly coloured clothing. You can enjoy it as a festival, and seek out other strangers who wear pink, or you can ensure your friends participate by giving them pink gifts.
The focus of the event has expanded: no longer is it a matter of just wearing pink clothing for a week. There are many ways in which people can play a part, and enjoy the colour pink. Some choose to celebrate with pink food, from marshmallows to lobster, and an official Pink Week cookbook is available from Gioia Fonda. Or simply look around you at all the pinkness on offer - lips and tongues and storefronts and stationery and tropical fish. An exhibition of pink art is even being held in North California for Pink Week 2002.
Some perverse souls even choose to abjure from pinkness for a week, not merely in clothing but "no lox on your bagel, no pink grapefruit juice, no steaks ordered rare. Don't wash with pink soap, don't look at flamingos, don't walk on pink carpet and don't enter pink buildings."1
If you don't care about clothes and can't make the art show, you could always watch pink movies like:
Or listen to nothing but pink music:
If you're one of those awkward bastards who really don't like pink, you could still join in the fun by wearing another colour, such as yellow, brown or aubergine. Something bright would be more in the spirit of pink week, so you can't just wear the same Jean-Paul Sartre black you have on every other week. But Pink Week isn't about narrow rules and excluding people, it's about fun and silliness. Go on, you know you'll enjoy it. Men too, don't you know that real men wear pink.
Or, in the mighty words of Steve Tyler:
Pink - it's my favorite crayon!
In 2002, Pink Week is taking place from November 10 to 16.
For more information, see:
1 "What if I don't like pink?". Pink Week. http://www.pinkweek.org/nopink.html Viewed November 6, 2002.