Shocking Pink

Why is a very bright shade of pink “shocking”? Is it because little girls are supposedly made of “sugar and spice and all things nice” and bright, vivid pink is too LOUD and NOT nice? What other colour is called “shocking” .. I don’t recall the term being consistently applied to any other colour!

Flower pics taken at Maple Glen garden, Southland, New Zealand ~04 April 2021

Abutilon flowers are sure to please people who prefer a gentle pink ..

Some folks are apparently shocked (and even offended) by the vivid pink hair of a woman scientist in New Zealand who’s been very prominent in science communication to the general public, most notably in the response to Covid-19. Her name is Dr Siouxsie Wiles. Her name and appearance are familiar to practically all New Zealanders and were even before she was awarded 2021 New Zealander of the Year on 31 March. The vast majority of us are enormously grateful to her but she’s suffered ongoing hate attacks over the past year. Remember to appreciate and support high profile people like Siouxsie who work hard publicly for our common good – there’s so much more going on for them than what we know!

These two articles about her are good introductory reading and really interesting:

1. Siouxsie Wiles stepped up as New Zealand locked down ~via University of Auckland

Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles is New Zealander of the Year after explaining the science of the Covid-19 pandemic to this country and sometimes the world.

2. Siouxsie Wiles: Reflections from the rollercoaster, one year after my first collaboration with Toby Morris ~via The Spinoff

On March 9 2020, the first Covid-19 collaboration by Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris was published. Twelve whiplash months on, Siouxsie ranks the good, the not so good, and the downright ridiculous.

Fyi here’s the paragraph about the hate:

“As a woman with opinions on the internet, I’ve obviously come across haters before. But it didn’t prepare me for what I’ve experienced over the last year. Some days the deluge of hate has been overwhelming. I’ve had threats and hateful messages via email, text, my work voicemail, as well as on social media. I’m a fat pink-haired witch. A clown. A Satanist. A Covid celebrity. There’s even a guy in Dunedin who thinks I’m lying about my PhD because he can’t find it on the internet. The thing is, I haven’t done anything wrong. So, I’m just going to keep being me, and try to remember that while they may be loud, the haters are in the minority.”


PHOTO CREDIT for the last photo …

Siautu Alefaio and Siouxsie Wiles /18 Nov 2020 /Royal Society Te Apārangi /cc-by-3.0 /wikimedia

Text and flower photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

21 thoughts on “Shocking Pink

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  1. You make a good point: I don’t recall a color other than pink being called “shocking”. However, I just searched for “shocking green” and got over 80,000 hits. I also learned there was a Dutch rock band called Shocking Blue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love what you’ve found! When I’ve got the time I’ll look into ‘Shocking Blue’, sounds fun! Of course I might also be in for a shock 🙂


  2. While the internet has offered us so many benefits, one of the darkest parts of it is the freedom to express hate so many avail themselves of. Such malice with impunity is really making life difficult for good folks. Add to that the lies that so many are willing to believe and it cannot be a lot of fun for people who try to make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful pinks, Liz!

    I’ve just read both those articles, wow on Siouxsie–such creativity, and in service to humankind! It makes me very sad that she’s had to endure such hate, that so many people automatically hate what they don’t understand. Continued kudos to NZ for your COVID response!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, those flowers are real eye-openers! Heck, it’s fun to go overboard once in a while. Nice photos! I’ve never seen anyone spell their name like that scientist, except for a really good punk-rock band from years ago, Siouxsie & the Banshees. And in high school my (younger) sister liked a singer here whose stage name is Pink.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s wild, never would have expected that band as the source for a nickname. If you’ve never heard the band, my favorite tune is “Kiss Them for Me” And I just looked at the lyrics when I pulled up the video, and it mentions “In the fountains pink champagne,” so this is definitely kismet for your post.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh definitely Robert! I Iove “In the fountains pink champagne,” how beautiful is that? I watched the video and enjoyed the song. Nigel’s originally from the UK and a friend of his liked this band so instant recognition when I mentioned the name!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this posting, Liz, and the way that you approached so many different aspects of “pinkness.” I like bright colors and for much of my life I felt constrained from wearing pink, because it was a “girl” color. (At a certain point in my life I had a fondness for wearing bright orange socks.) I now have multiple pink shirts and don’t really care what others think about that. I remember being introduced by you to Siouxsie Wiles almost a year ago and was immediately impressed by her approach to covid-19, which was in sharp contrast to what was going on in the US at the time. A lot of folks are too afraid of standing out, in my humble view, and I am in favor of people expressing themselves in individual ways. I think that I have mentioned to you before that my current car is an Ignition Orange KIA Soul and my previous one was a Solar Yellow Toyota Matrix. One of the advantages of having a brightly colored car is that I can find it easily in a parking lot full of drab colors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You got me wondering, so I googled it and the term ‘shocking pink’ came from an Italian designer named Schiaparelli in 1937. During WWII, when fashion colours were restrained, she used bold designs and bright shocking pink. It led to her being hired as the costume designer for the film Moulin Rouge in 1952. Interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The aster in the first photo looks like one I have here. I love its blaze of colour – and Siouxsie Wiles wonderful pink hair too. Hope she manages to ignore the ridiculous haters! They really need to keep their noses in their own business and let her get on with hers!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Impossible to tell if it is the same aster, because there are so many, but it certainly looks it! I’m glad that there are good folks who appreciate Siouxsie too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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