Last week, Lauren Schwartzberg over at New York Magazine's The Cut unleashed this pretty delightful timeline of the rise of “Millennial Pink.” Millennial Pink is a blushy and faded hue that's easier on the eyes than your garden variety highlighter pink. It's managed, somehow, to soak into every crevice of the American market in the past five years.
Like any good trend piece, Schwartzberg’s article tells us how far we’ve come, with a nod towards where we're going. And as far as trends go, this one’s pretty stubborn. Millennial Pink is everywhere, as Schwartzberg details: on sofas and couches, toasters and toast spreads, coiffed hairstyles. It's a color that represents the gestalt of our moment. For one, pink is agender now, detached from archaic notions of femininity that may make puffy-chested men who posture as “masculine” bristle.
Schwartzberg also, rather astutely, points out that there’s a marked difference between this shade and those that are anointed Colors of the Year by the ultimate color gatekeepers, Pantone. The colors marked as trends by Pantone don't usually tend to have the lasting imprint on our cultural consciousness the way Millennial Pink has. When they declared Rose Quartz to be the color of 2016, perhaps they were onto something.
Personally? I’m a fan of Millennial Pink, in spite of its ever-stretching definition. It’s soothing; it stands out. I maintain this love in spite of the fact that the name “Millennial Pink” makes me go into a full-body eye roll, mainly because of the increasing association of that very descriptor with laziness and entitlement that manages to mischaracterize a whole generation.
Thankfully, it’s got a few other names that are easier to stomach, like Tumblr Pink and Scandi Pink. Call it whatever you’d like. Just get used to it. I doubt it's going anywhere.
Millennial pink: love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.