Monday, January 8, 2018

The Color Purple Rocks

In past years, I have come across announcements of the Color of the Year. Again this year I spotted a bulletin broadcasting the 2018 color selected by Pantone, manufacturer of color dyes used on everything – clothing, furniture, home and fashion accessories and more.

I am not planning to buy anything in this year’s Color in an attempt to be an up-to-date cool cat. The only reason I can think of for a Color of the Year is as a marketing device, an excuse to get people to spend money. And there are lots of folks who eagerly purchase the latest electronic gadgets or clothes fashions and announce to the world they are ‘in’ dudes.

I am happy to be out of the loop and don’t mind NOT being stylish, sophisticated, trendy. Ask anyone, my grandkids for example, and they will tell you I am as uncool as they come.

This year’s Color of the Year is Purple. A color with an interesting history. Reaching back thousands of years, purple represented wealth, power and royalty. The color was originally derived from a snail, an intensive, long and difficult process, therefore expensive and reserved for the rich and powerful.
Purple is popular for
costumes and uniforms-such as
this cheerleading uniform
modeled by my granddaughter.

Alexander the Great wore purple. Roman generals and magistrates donned purple. The royal families of the Byzantine, Holy Roman, and Japanese Empires embraced purple. Roman Catholic bishops chose purple for their vestments. Queen Elizabeth I allowed only members of the royal family to wear purple.

By the 20th century purple took on different meanings. In the early 20th century purple, green and white became the colors of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and the 70’s feminist movement adopted purple. The color symbolized the rock and drug culture of the 1960s and 70s - remember Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze and Prince’s Purple Rain? More recently the color became associated with the LGBTQ movement.

Purple is the honored color in a favorite book of mine and children of all ages – Harold and The Purple Crayon.

The color purple rocks. 

But I am still not going to buy purple stuff. Right now the economy is doing just fine without my money.