The Pink T-Shirt Factor

I have nothing against the color pink. I like it! I am wearing a bright pink tank top as we metaphorically speak. I look hella good in pink clothes. But boy-oh-boy if there isn’t something about pink fan gear that just really gets to me.

There are a lot of women who are fans of sports: 44% of football fans are women, 45% of baseball fans are women, and 36% of men’s basketball fans are women. And every single one of us knows what I’m saying when I bring up the pepto-bismol-I’m-gonna-hurl pink that seems to be the go-to color for the majority of women’s fan gear. Yeah, who doesn’t want a hot pink shirt when the team’s colors are orange and green?

To be honest, my biggest problem with pink shirts isn’t that they’re pink when the team colors have nothing in  the world to do with pink. I mean, take a gander at the fan gear offered at your local store or online retailer. If you don’t see at least one utterly bizarre clothing choice (say chinos with mini-logos sewn on, southern-prep style), I will eat my hat. It’d be unfair to pick on pink clothes just because they go above and beyond the team colors T-shirt model.

But there’s something about that color pink that just smacks of condescension. Like, us womenfolk were just running to the store for awesome team T-shirts, money in our manicured fists, shopping-crazed eyes lolling in our heads, until we saw that none of the shirts were pink, and then we immediately refused to ever patronize the establishment again. It’s like the creators of these shirts think that women respond to pink the way bulls respond to red. It’s our Bat Signal, but way less awesome. It’s condescending and manipulative, and completely misinformed: I’d rather be saving Gotham than looking like cotton candy.

I know that manufacturers try to put out a range of options to reach a variety of consumers, but let’s not play the “but the ladies want pink” game: even the vice-president of apparel for the NFL, Tracy Bleczinski, admits that the fan gear for women model was “pink it and shrink it” for a long, long time. Now, the NFL is looking to reach out to female fans and listen to what they want instead of just shoving pink-splotched gear in their general direction. Listening to women? What a novel suggestion.

7 replies on “The Pink T-Shirt Factor”

Ugh. My college colors were red and black. Both perfectly lovely colors that look nice together. It annoyed me to no end that half the lady section in the campus bookstore was full of pink and brown or purple and brown gear. Don’t get me wrong. Those are nice color combinations in other contexts. BUT MY SCHOOL COLORS ARE RED AND BLACK THEREFORE I WOULD LIKE RED AND BLACK GEAR.

And don’t get me started on the “shrink it” part of things. Women in double-digit sizes like sports teams, too. When your XL barely fits over one of my boobs, saying lady t-shirts run small is a serious understatement.

Ugh. Pink fan gear is so condescending and infantilising. What’s the point wearing pink if it’s not your team colours (Stade Francais fans aside, of course: I salute you, wearers of pink!)? Part of being a fan is identifying yourself as part of the group; it’s like the one time in your life that you don’t want to stand out, except perhaps for the lengths to which you’ve gone in face-painting and whatnot!

Though at the moment, I’m in the sad position of wishing I had any fan gear at all. Ireland’s Rugby World Cup jerseys were released today, and I cannot for the life of me find women’s sizes ANYWHERE. And no, a large men’s jersey is not going to work, because rugby shirts are tight, and I guarantee my FF-cups are bigger around than the chest of even the largest prop. It’s ridiculous – do they not realise how much money they could make off idiot fans like me? I’m gutted, praying that the women’s cuts are released in the next few weeks.

I have never purchased any pinked fan gear and I own a decent collection of NFL and NCAA clothing. However, I once debated buying a pink visor with my college team’s logo on it because I wanted something to match my running gear and that being said all different colors would be welcome. Alyssa Milano and those people at VS know what’s up when it comes to team gear… Not that hard! I also love . The bedazzlement is over the top but I like it for game days!

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