It is said; The apple from the garden of Eden, was none other than the purest of reds, enticing and damming.
My favourite colour.
We can’t see it, but it’s the colour that courses through our veins – we bleed red.
What is it about this colour that affects us so? What makes it so sublime?
Sex. Rage. War. Love. Fear – it’s the colour that spills into many of our cognitive emotions. Adaptable and universal in a way that no other colour can be.
Every shade of the colour is an embodiment of emotion.
Crimson, Blush, Scarlet, Candy, Cherry, Burgundy, Oxblood, Wine, Pink, Raspberry, Rose, Rust, Vermillion.
That youthful glow of plump cherry lips produced by pheomelanin – the pigment that makes certain parts of our body pink and encoded to allure. The blush of embarrassment on our cheeks; a signal of the effects one has on another – an emotive response physically manifested.
The play of colour on psychological processes largely depends on the context, of course, but have you ever seen the way a man focuses on a woman wearing red lipstick? It’s as though they’re hypnotised, mesmerised by some type of hidden magic.
The day after he had spent the night, I received a text; “Do you always match your nails and lipstick to your underwear? Because, red does things to me”
I knew very well what the contrast of red on creamy skin does to certain men, I had just never had it put to me so bluntly.
“If you’d like to come over tonight, you can certainly check” I responded with a smirk on my face.
“I’ll see you at 7” he responded immediately.
The argument began no less than fifteen minutes after his arrival, we were like two soldiers, battling to win the war. His rage further infuriated mine, I felt my body overheat, my blood rise to the surface of my skin, his hand balled into a fist causing his skin to redden. A glimpse of myself in the mirror revealed that my chest was painted in patches of red. The sounds coming out of my mouth even sounded red, crimson – with wrath; his, rust – with vitriol. We waited to see who would bleed first, words as our weapons.
A funny thing then happened. Crimson and rust turned into fire engine red – rage to lust – then several moments later – fire engine red to soft pinks – lust to love.
How are these emotions interdependent of each other? How does that line blur?
What was it that took us from war to lust then to love?
In those moments of change I felt the colours crash over me, I could see the reds altering in my mind, his anger, then blood rushing to certain places, then his lips flushed a deeper more vibrant colour than they usually are.
I can only imagine the changes he would have seen in me.
Are these signals? Does the changing pallet of our skin make a symbolic, subliminal communication to another person? And if this is the case, can we ever hide it? Will someone always know when we’re angry or lustful or even in love?