Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved the color pink. It started out so innocently. By day, I would play in my pink Barbie house, dress my dolls in their wardrobes of magenta, and brush their hair with a sparkly, crimson brush. By night, I would snuggle into my rose-colored bed sheets, wearing my bright pink footy pajamas. If you had asked me then, I’d have never expected what would come next. You see, what started out as a blissful life of pink escalated into a deadly disease. By the time I reached middle school, I had a full wardrobe of pink clothes, complete with pink Converses, pink Uggs, and even pink velour sweatpants. Through every phase of my life and every fashion trend, pink followed me. It wasn’t until one day when my mom discovered me masturbating with the pink dildo I had lovingly named “the cherry popper” that she knew I desperately needed help.
Hearing someone else diagnose my whole life was numbing. The words “addiction,” “obsession,” and “possible overdose” stung my ears. Could this really be happening to me? I was the perfect girl, voted best dressed, and selected to be class president, but now I was that girl — the crazy one, the outsider, the pink freak. At first, I shut out everyone and found solace only in my familiar world of pink. It was hard for me to reach out to others who just didn’t understand the importance of pink. My family encouraged me to join a support group. There, I learned that I wasn’t alone in my addiction. I felt welcomed and comforted around others who also struggled to refrain from asking the forbidden question: “Does this come in pink?” After a few weeks of group therapy, I knew I was ready to attempt the treatments my doctors originally suggested.
My first treatment, called “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses,” ended all too quickly when I realized it was just a stupid metaphor. After recognizing that my illness was at a very serious stage, the doctors decided to use a more invasive method and explore other color options. I was prescribed lavender scarves, yellow sweaters, and peach handbags, which helped ease me into a separation from pink without hurling me into a harsh withdrawal. I took it slowly at first, but with time, the treatments started working. I even had a full season where I was completely obsessed with royal blue. Things seemed like they were finally coming together. Then, just like that, with no warning, I relapsed — and this time, I had overdosed. After spiraling back into a life of pinkness and maxing out all my credit cards, I pinked out.
pink • out
1. the act of blacking out when the body’s sensory organs are overloaded with excess amounts of pink
2. what happens when a white girl is surrounded by so much pink that she literally can’t even
My life was in shambles, but then I learned the most important lesson of this journey. I didn’t have to live without pink; I just had to learn how to control it. When shopping for a planner, I didn’t need to get the pinkest pattern I could find. I could simply use my pink pen to add color to the boring pages. When planning my party outfits, I didn’t need to adorn my body in the magenta sequins I loved so much. Instead, I learned how to accent an outfit with pink pumps, earrings, and bubble necklaces. When summer was over and the colder months approached, I didn’t need to wear my hot pink rain boots every day. I learned that waiting for pink to come back into season made it even more special when spring collections were finally revealed. Yes, my possessions, my outfits, and my dorm room could be merely complimented by pink and still look beautiful. Finally, I could live as a free girl who was not overcome by pink, but instead as a girl who used it to bring out the best in herself (and her accessories.) It was an ending fit for a storybook — kind of like A Million Little Pieces, except no one dies. Finally, I was happy. Finally, I could live with pink..