"I don't even like pink," said my sister across the table, "but I can't help but smile when I look at you."
Whilst I might be baking cupcakes or wandering through Selfridge's, you would be more likely to find my sister on the rugby pitch or up a tree. Studying zoology at Cambridge, you could even say we were polar opposites. And it is safe to say you would never find Alex dressed head to toe in pink. Yet when I met for lunch with my family in Cambridge today to celebrate her birthday, my pinkness was greeted with open arms.
Over this week I have been met by so many responses like my sister's. Some people look bemused, yet the puzzled expression is usually accompanied by a smile. It is an incredible thing that a colour, a simple pigmentation on fabric, can conjur emotions strong enough to cause a parting of the lips or a sudden splutter of laughter. A colour can cause heads to turn, and brows to crease into frowns.
Dressing so conspicuously has made me realise all the more how influential the clothes we wear can be. Just like light travels faster than sound before we even have a chance to open our mouths our clothes have spoken for us. You might say you are not interested in fashion, yet you are engaged with it every time you wake up and open your wardrobe in the morning. And people really do judge books by their covers, sometimes in the most obvious of ways. Watching people watching me has been a fascinating exercise. As I walk down the street I can see the passing eyes starting at my feet, scanning me all the way to my head and all the way back down again. It is amusing how obvious these flicking eye movements are when you look for them. You may think you are being discrete in your judgements, but trust me: you're not.
On the train coming back to London I was assessed by another rabble of school girls. Like the bus-stop girls of day 1 there were giggles tossed my way.
That has been another interesting and surprising part of this week - despite wearing a colour that shouts femininity it has been the men who have responded the most positively. Perhaps the colour of little girls reminds them of their grandchildren, because I have lost count of the amount of kind smiles I have received from elderly gents this week. I expected to read 'EEEK' on the faces of the men I passed this week, but instead I have seen smiles.
Instead it is the women that throw me the funny looks.
Only 2 days left until I leave the rosy world behind and step out in red instead for part 2 of my fashion experiment.