PINK is generally associated with females. For example, a baby girl generally receives gifts that are in different shades of the colour.
However, I prefer blue to pink and I am not surprised if many girls have the same liking. So why is it such a problem when guys wear pink?
In September 2007, a ninth grader (14-15 years old) in Canada wore a pink polo T-shirt on his first day of school. The shirt could have been a gift or he thought it a nice, bright hue. Bullies harassed the boy and accused him of being a homosexual.
David Shepherd and Travis Price, two older students from his school, decided to take action against the bullying.
Both of them headed to a discount store and bought 50 pink T-shirts to wear to school the following day. They then spread the news among their friends on the Internet. They called it the “sea of pink” support.
Word got round and more than 50 people wore pink to school the next day to show support for the student who was bullied. What was even more astonishing was that many schools in Canada began to follow the trend.
It spread to the United States and now it has arrived in Ireland.
My schoolmate Eimhear Lynch went to Canada for a holiday and met Price. Lynch decided to mount the same campaign when she returned to Ireland.
“I was so inspired by Travis’ motivational words. With cyber bullying taking place among my age group, this issue is very real and relevant. A campaign like this raises awareness about bullying,” says Lynch.
She proposed the idea to our school principal who approved it immediately. The principal agreed to let students wear our uniform and pink accessories such as a jacket, bracelet, hair pin and hot pink tights on the specified date.
Lynch and her classmates went to each classroom to explain about the Pink Day and its significance. Students began to plan their outfits and looked for pink items. Some even bought pink jewellery.
Everyone came speckled in pink on a Friday. There were pink scarves, socks, glasses, hats, flowers and bags. Some even dyed their hair pink!
The teachers were the most enthusiastic. As they did not wear school uniforms, they were decked out in pink! Pink high heels, skirts, tops and one even wore a pink afro wig.
It was a heart-warming sight to see the school come together in support of an anti-bullying campaign. St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe, County Clare made history by being the first school in Ireland to take part in this movement.
Lynch says: “I was blown away by the number of students who were willing to take a stand against bullying. It gave me hope that we could spark off a move among secondary schools in Ireland.”
Wearing a certain colour should not automatically label a person a homosexual. It just means he likes that colour. It is as simple as that. Bullying is an excuse for someone with insecurities to lash out at others.