Sunday, December 8, 2013

Color is The Warmest Lover

Blue is, apparently, the warmest color. In an interview for Salon.com, Julia Maroh, the writer for the Blue is the Warmest Color, said, "Among the black-and-white imperfect memories of Clementine, the touches of blue are there to evoke the strong details that left their mark on her." Though I have only watched the trailer and some of Blue's clips, the color successfully resonated beyond the screen. Yes, I am not at the prime position to critique the film, whether it is the sex scene, Abdellatif Kechiche's directing, or the entire story line, but I am not here to talk about the movie, instead I am here to talk about colors and its resonance.

As a bald child, in a time of LDs (long-disks), I'd sit calmly in front of the screen to watch a video of an orchestra. The details did not matter. I did not know who the conductor was, which orchestra played, and what songs were being performed. All my eyes and memory could fixate on was the colors. Ballerinas entered halfway through the song in different colors. They taught me color theory as they diluted one color to the next. The sight of tint falling into water, gradually losing its pigments made my jaw drop. The gradience hooked me and I was in blissful heaven. Who would have known that color could evoke so much emotion? Or, actually, who did not know the power of color?

How do we choose the colors in our lives?

In junior high, I defined my ambitions with the color black. Many quickly labeled me a goth, as if I were a virus that had to be diagnosed straight away. Though I love Emily the Strange, black lipstick, black eyeliner, fishnet gloves, and vampires, way before Twilight ever came around, I did not constantly wear black to be gothic. On the contrary, I wore black to identify myself with the theatre. "The official color of the theatre is black!" my drama teacher once announced before proceeding to provide us with an elaborate explanation. I associated with black and clung on to it, as I wanted to be part of the theatre. I had the desire to make magic without anyone noticing me. I wanted to walk around the dark stage without anyone being able to point me out. I saw myself as the person behind the smoke and mirrors. I was home. But, the world is permeated with stereotypes, which oftentimes needlessly reduce the world's riches into dust.

Color has also played an immense part in our history and culture. Skin color defined our stations in life and when given meaning, separated the haves and the not-haves, the educated and the non-educated, the free and the caged. Even now, we fall into the trap of diagnosing one another based on our skin tone. To not have enough yellow in one's skin is not to be of a certain race. To be white and caucasian is to be called Bule. Somehow color has defined us, defined how our perception, behavior, and opportunities.

Who knew that color kept so much meaning?

Who knew that something so innocent as color, something that we learned as toddlers could impact each one of us in such disparate, yet meaningful ways? Of course, it would be unjust to blame it all on colors as what is at play here is not the sheer phenomenon of pigments and tints and black and white, instead it is the meaning that we instill in each gradient. As a child, I remember grasping one color and clinging on to it. I liked it and it defined what I would buy, my favorite characters, as well as my behavior. All these things were malleable, too. If my favorite color changed, my mood and overall look would somehow transform slightly. We make love to color and create relationships with it. Though, they rarely stick around for longer than a few years, they are still in our lives, defining our every move, and influencing it subtly.

Now, I am left to wonder. How has other simple aspects of life defined and changed us? And if there is something to do about it.


References
Salon.com Article http://www.salon.com/2013/09/21/blue_is_the_warmest_color_author_im_a_feminist_but_it_doesnt_make_me_an_activist/

*Author owns rights to all the photos above

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