Colourful Perceptions

As already shown yesterday science is integral in colour. And ultimately, with my very limited knowledge, it could be imagined that the way in which all our eyes see colour is down to genetics. Therefore, the way in which I see would presumably be similar to the way in which my parents see as I have inherited my genetics from them. Scientists would probably tell me it’s a lot more complicated than that.

However, if the physical way in which we see is down to genetics then the emotional way is on the other side of the spectrum. The society where we have all grown up creates this whole different take on colours. It stems from our upbringing, our experiences, our likes, our dislikes and our culture; essentially how we see colour is caused by environmental factors.

My favourite colour is teal. That deep bluey/greeny colour. Until now, I have never really given much thought as to why that is my favourite colour. However, after some thought I would guess at the fact that it is because it reminds me of calm. Why? I absolutely adore the seaside. For me, my safe space is a beach with the sound of the ocean in the background and the sand between my toes. That teal is like the deep, calming waves that lap against the shore.

That made me feel happy just thinking about it.

Colour is emotive because essentially colour is life. Our everyday lives are bombarded with colours, even if we don’t notice it, and our society has certain perceptions of it. For example, the typical pink/girl and blue/boy debate. Isn’t it a tad ridiculous that we associate a certain colour to a certain gender? Taking it back to science, pink is just a certain wavelength and in no way means ‘girly’. Yet, I imagine from a young age you’ve been taught that men don’t wear pink… How absurd when you think about it.

I’m not entirely sure the way in which we feel about colour is something we can unlearn. I’m not sure that I can ever dissociate the calming colour of teal with the ocean. It’s something that’s ingrained into me now. How we see colour is inherent within us now. So, instead of trying to change it, maybe let’s become more aware of it. What’s your favourite colour and why? Have a good deep think about it and it might surprise you.

Certain colours are actually inherent in our nature. For example, red means danger because normally red things are poisonous or black and yellow means danger because wasps and bees will sting you. The hover fly which is black and yellow is actually harmless but has evolved to be black and yellow as a defence mechanism. It’s remarkable isn’t it?

Yet, I’ve often read things about how we should paint our bedrooms neutral colours as they calm us down. Whilst this has some truth behind it, I think colour is a personal thing. Personally, neutral colours are my thing so that sounds great but for others a bright red bedroom would sound wonderful. As much as society has a play in how we view colour, our own personal experiences also do.

Society hasn’t determined how much I love the ocean yet I have a lovely teal wall in my bedroom and that makes me calm enough to fall asleep every night.


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