Happy National Pink Day! Can you tell it’s my favorite color? There’s a reason for it, too. Maybe if I tell you, you’d think oddly of me, but I don’t mind. 😉
I was a girly girl, but growing up, I was reprimanded for being too girly. There’s a Filipino word for it: malandi. It means flirty, and you’d think it wouldn’t be used on little girls but it is. When I twirled in my dresses or wore them when there was no special occasion. When I played with my mom’s makeup. When I laughed too loud. I was malandi. I was flirty. I was too girly. And that was a no-no, especially because I was fat.
Thin little girls who twirled in dresses, lived in dresses, played with makeup, and laughed freely were maganda, beautiful. They fit in their clothes and the cultural, societal image of beauty. It was like they had the right to act girly, but chubbier girls did not.
The chubbier girls in my school were the tougher chicks. I know. They were my friends. We were the outspoken ones. We were the ones who kept up with the boys, found them annoying, and so forged our own paths, and left the boys in the dust. We were the ones who rebelled just enough to prove that “we don’t care” what our classmates thought, but we never crossed the line so we won’t get in trouble and labelled as bad kids.
At first, looking back, I think that’s great. We were tough and strong. We were our generation’s feminists. But we also grew up with insecurities about our femininity, a messed up view of guys and men, and issues accepting a big part of who we are. We were the ones who grew up hating the color pink because it represented everything we were reprimanded not to be or taught we can’t have.
There are memories I wish I could change. Middle school picture days. Pretending to like the Niners. Picking the basketball as my raffle prize. Moments when I wanted to wear a dress, but put on overalls instead. Moments when I wanted to pose with the pretty ruffled umbrella, but chose the haystack instead. Moments when I pretended to like sports. Moments when I wore a lot of blue, and even said it was my favorite color.
I think it was in high school when I started to let a little pink into my life. My cousin took me shopping for a skirt. It was pink with tiny flowers on it. I loved it, but pretended to only tolerate it. I started to say my favorite colors were baby blue and baby pink. I started to wear more skirts. I also started a relationship with Jesus.
I started reading the Bible, having a prayer life, going to youth group, and volunteering in the ministry. Basically, growing spiritually. I can’t tell you for sure when it happened or how it happened, but God started to heal my heart and give me the freedom to love pink. To enjoy femininity. To be pretty and beautiful because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Because I was created in the image of God and He found it very good (Genesis 1:27,31).
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well” Psalm 139:14 (NIV).
Putting a lot of stock and meaning into a color may seem superficial. After all, God looks at the heart. The Bible warns us about vanity and outside beauty. In our entertainment-driven society, it’s really no wonder how physical appearance can easily become our downfall, men and women alike.
The Bible also warns about pride. Many people assume the woman who doesn’t put a lot of thought into her outside appearance is humble. Not true. Been there. Done that. Pride can reside in the heart, but not show up in your actions. Many people have called me humble, but many of my inner thoughts have been downright mean girl nasty. Mean to others girls. Mean to the girl in the mirror. Mean to those God created, the ones He loves.
Like this post, it was a long road to today, but I got here. To place of Love and Grace, and you can get here, too. God heals hearts, chips away at walls, and removes callouses if we’re open. If we let Him into our most vulnerable spaces. Let Him in.