Pretty Pink, Please

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Hot pink. A very tough color to pull off, unless you’re Lady Gaga, of course. Or Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 2, but not the original Legally Blonde, because who are we kidding: for at least the first half of that movie, we all thought she was dumb.

Hot pink has the reputation of being too girly. Also, age-inappropriate for those of us old enough to have actually worn it in high school, in the form of spandex tights and in combination with neon green spandex tube tops.

But I digress.

The question is, if I feel that way about hot pink, then why is my entire store-bought running wardrobe in that color exactly? (Note the “store-bought” qualifier, by the way: I exclude from this category race T-shirts, which lately have been overwhelmingly medium to dark grey. Big mistake, that grey, but let’s get back to this later.)

Seriously, though, look:

A hot pink dress. A hot pink skirt. A hot pink visor. A hot pink bra. A hot pink racerback top. OK, so there’s also a black dress, but it does have pretty purple flowers. The black/ purple tights are to be worn under the dress, so they don’t count. They were on sale, 60% off, and guess what: the hot pink version was sold out.

Any time I have the urge to shop for running clothes, I gravitate towards hot pink. No exception. Whenever is running a sale, the hot pink items are first to go. (The same likely applies to regularly priced stuff, I just don’t monitor that as obsessively.)

Why that love for hot pink? Has it always been that popular among female runners? Or did it take sportswear manufacturers that long to figure out that we, ladies, want to look cute while running, thank you very much? (No, really, Thank You SkirtSports, the first company ever to start making running skirts back in 2005. I bought my first one in 2006. It was hot pink!)

For answers to those questions, I flipped through Leatrice Eiseman‘s aptly named The Color Answer Book. Eiseman, a color specialist and consultant to Pantone®, writes that those who like vivid, bright and hot pinks match the personalities of people whose favorite color is red: the key descriptive words for whom are “winner, achiever, intense, impulsive, active, competitive, daring, aggressive, optimistic, emotional, and extroverted.”

No wonder there’s so much hot pink at races, especially women-only ones, like the Wahine Half Marathon in Honolulu earlier this year:

Now let’s contrast all that hot pinkness (or is it pink hotness) to what seems to be, as of late, the most popular color for race T-shirts: the dreaded grey! (But no, I am not getting into a 50 shades conversation at this time, thanks.)

Really, people — sports clothes manufacturers, race organizers, et. al. What. Were. You. Thinking. Dullness aside, have you not seen what happens to grey when combined with moisture, as in sweat?

On T-shirts, it shows immediately in the form of humongous dark armpit stains. There is, also, the underboob area: should it be that evident that we sweat there? And my personal favorite, shorts or pants: it just looks like you peed all over yourself.

Please, please: forget all shades of grey. Make light-color T-shirts as race giveaways (white is perfectly fine). And in women-only races, be bold: bright red, yellow, or — you guessed it — hot pink!

Take a cue from the Divas Half Marathon series (T-shirt above) and just let us be girly and cute. You’ll be pleased to see us wear those T-shirts on training runs, and best of all, at your competitors’ races. Especially if theirs are grey.

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