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  • Michelle Buyer

#70: Life in Pink


I used to think that pink was obnoxiously girly. One of my close friends is obsessed with pink, and I didn’t understand it until recently. After she left Seattle, my life began turning pink. At first, I thought it was because she rubbed off on me, but I realized the reason is much deeper: If I’m going to do everything “like a man,” pink is my way to maintain femininity.

Men are socialized to be strong, career-focused and independent. Women are socialized to be kind and soft. Of course, this is a gross oversimplification, but you get the gist. My goal is to be as strong and capable as any man. I lift weights for fun. I value my career more than anything. I’m direct and competitive as hell, but society doesn’t respect these traits in women. I’m still proud to be a woman, and I want to show it while breaking down the boundaries. Therefore, I do everything like a “man” because that’s what we consider to be strong and successful, but I do it in pink to remind myself that I’m as female as it gets. I have no idea if she shares similar reasoning, but that’s mine.

Am I overcompensating? Totally. I don’t think about "being a man” on a regular basis, because it doesn’t really matter, but people around me in my personal life like to bring it up and question my desire to have a kick-ass career and family. I’m sure people at work have similar doubts, but they know better than to ask. I don’t interact with a single female at work on a regular basis unless I go out of my way. I don’t care about the gender of my teammates, nor am I going to spend energy being concerned with it. Rather, it’s an opportunity to break boundaries for the women who do care about working in an environment with more representation. Being one of few women in my space just gives me more to prove, which motivates me to work harder. Same thing goes for being one of few women in the weight room.

Anyway, pink is sexy. It gives me confidence that I make working sexy. I genuinely think my desk setup is hot, and I don’t care if that makes you think I'm weird. Besides, it's the little things we get excited about that make life special. Living in pink is a constant reminder of who I am, where I come from, and where I’m going because I’m a woman – not in spite of it.

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