Pinkness seems to be everywhere in the Magic Kingdom. Surprisingly enough it doesn’t look like Saudi men have any problems living in pink houses, wearing pink clothing, going to pink mosques, pumping gas at pink gas stations or even driving in pink cars. Coming from a culture like mine where men are too “macho” to even glance at pink stuff, this strikes me as odd to say the least.
me weird, but I find this fascinating. The more I have started to think about it, the more I’ve begun seeing pink stuff! Everywhere. Maybe I’m just a nutter and this whole pink fixation is in my head. Or then it’s those rose colored glasses on my head?don’t mean to say ALL Saudi men dress in pink clothes but it’s not totally uncommon to spot pink items on men. Unlike in the west, it seems to be socially perfectly acceptable here.
Also, pink houses and buildings are common. I started paying more attention to it on our road trip to southern Saudi. Special mentions go to Abha, Kahmis Mushayt and Gizan for men living in pink accommodation. What’s up with that? Did Saudi-Arabia just get an enormous amount of pink paint for free? Do the wives love pink so much they insist on it?
This got me thinking.. What might be the reasons behind the use of color pink in so many places? I mean I have never seen men so comfortable with pinkness anywhere in the world before or so much pink being used on buildings. For example a man driving around in a baby pink car in Finland would get VERY long stares, perhaps disbelief and laughter from women and in worst cases even land him in a fight.
Paint the house bright pink and people will think this dude also sees flying pink elephants. Or alternatively that he is a mere doormat and the wife obviously made the final decision on the paint color. Showing up at an ice hockey game in tight pink jeans and pink tennis shoes would be almost suicidal. The cultural differences of how people perceive pink are striking!
So are men in my country and in the west in general just so insecure that they are terrified of using the color pink in fear of it somehow diminishing their manhood? Are Saudi men more secure in their manhood? Is it a cultural thing? Is pink just perceived as a gender neutral color in Saudi-Arabia? Why so much pink but not for example red, another “feminine” color? Is it only in the west that pink is perceived as a women’s/girl’s color?
This pink mystery reminds me of a true story that happened to my american friend who lives in Riyadh. She was in a shopping mall with her 1,5yr old son. His hair is a little longer which is unusual in Saudi but many parents in the U.S. find cute. A Saudi woman with a baby stroller stopped to talk to her asking, is this your daughter? My friend said no it’s a boy. So this Saudi lady dramatically threw her hands in the air looking toward the sky and began praying: “Oh Allah guide this woman to the straight path!” “Guide her to cut the sons hair!” “He looks like a girl, guide this poor woman!” She told my friend she MUST cut his hair because he looked like a girl. My friend was appalled at the woman’s behavior. Nevertheless she tried to be polite and said pointing to the woman’s baby dressed up in an all-pink outfit “What a beautiful girl you have mashallah”. The woman replied: “It’s a boy.” My friend asked why is he dressed up in PINK? She replied: “Oh, I don’t believe in colors being gender specific.” Btw my friend is an Arab Muslim. So long hair on boys=big problem, haram, makes boys look like girls=haram. Pink outfits on boys=no problems, doesn’t make boy look like a girl at all. Maybe Saudi men are dressed in pink as babies and get used to the color as being part of their wardrobe? So what do you think? Have you noticed this phenomenon? Why do you think pink is so popular?
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Hello there! I’m Laura, the founder of Blue Abaya- the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia, established in 2010. Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 75 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Follow my adventures in Saudi and beyond on instagram: instagram.com/blueabaya