50+ shades of emotion

crayI have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

If only. The world would certainly be a better place if color enhanced rather than divided. In most parts of the world, our neck of the woods included, shades of skin tone can hold an over-important meaning to some. The funny thing about that is the color pendulum regarding color bias swings wide and not only both ways, but all ways. Even today, people born with albinism are killed for their body parts. Other people take issue with hue in their own races. 

On the spectrum, I must mention here that redheads were once collected for harems (and dumped a lot of latent redhead genes in the middle east). We were also burned as witches. I hear there’s a negative ginger bias in parts of the world too. But the flip side — just the other day I read the words “ginger fox” in reference to England’s Prince Harry. I can’t keep up.

Because I’m shy, my hair color has always drawn some kind of uncomfortable attention to me. You wouldn’t believe the variety of comments made about my hair through the years — everything from compliments like your hair is so pretty and autumn is your color, to weird ones like hey carrot top and copper top, or your hair matches my golden retriever’s. I’ve gotten many rude ones too, such as this toned-down version: is it true what they say about redheads? That last one always gets me. There are a LOT of things said about redheads. But I know what that one means. It’s a collar matching the cuffs bit of snark. The first time I’d heard it I was 13. Having a vague idea what he was talking about, I did ask the boy what he meant. Watching him turn bright red and say never mind, it’s not important made my day. lol Love me, hate me, I’m a redhead.  I really must get that publicity shot taken before it all goes silver. Then I’ll deal with ageism!

But what if the dividing factor in the world wasn’t skin color at all, but things like eye color or the whiteness of your teeth or number of freckles on your face? How about “outie” vs. “innie” belly buttons, free or attached earlobes, or Roman vs. round noses? Surely in following whatever criteria exists that says one skin color is better over another, these things must be as divisive. Nonsensical stuff, no? That’s because skin color bias doesn’t make sense. 

There’s more to color than what meets the eye.

A big proponent of using art as therapy, Carl Jung, psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, believed  color choices held deeper insight about true personality traits. He felt his patients could better understand their psyche if they used color. Studying this, he found introverts and extroverts predictably did this: Extroverts chose red. Introverts chose blue.

We’re all familiar with colors being symbols for personality traits and emotions. Think about it. How often do our characters metaphorically see red with rage,  turn yellow in fear, turn white as a ghost, or go green with envy”? How fun to insert colors into scenes to hint at the emotion in that moment. It could be something small, like a red wine stain on a table cloth is noticed just before an argument ensues. Or the sunset out the window could be banded in purple just before your character’s audience with the king. If you read my books with an eye to such things, you’ll be surprised!  😀

Here’s a list to ponder~

Red: all things intense and passionate ~ excitement, energy, passion, love, desire, strength, power, heat, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, sincerity, and happiness.

Yellow: jealousy, joy, happiness, betrayal, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, friendship, summer, dishonesty, cowardice, illness, covetousness, deceit,  and caution.

Green: nature, vigor, youth, good for the environment, healthy, good luck, renewal,  spring, generosity, fertility, or jealousy, inexperience, envy, and misfortune, .

Blue: Peace, sky, water, tranquility, cold, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty,  and depression.

Purple: Royalty, nobility, mourning, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, honor, arrogance, and temperance.

Orange: demanding of attention, vibrant, energy, balance, enthusiasm, warmth,  and flamboyance.

Brown: earthy, stability, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, endurance, simplicity, and comfort.

Black: sexuality, sophistication, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, unhappiness, depth, style, sadness, remorse, anger, anonymity, detachment, underground, good technical color, mourning, death, austerity, power and powerful.

Gray: security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, maturity, solid, conservative, practical, old age, sadness, boring, and calm.

White: purity, birth, sterility, virginity, reverence, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, winter, snow, good, marriage, death, and cold.

Aquamarine: water.

Pink: love and romance, caring, tenderness, and acceptance.

Lavender: mourning, femininity, grace, and elegance.

Beige: unification and simplicity.

Ivory: pleasantness.

Tomorrow: More!


Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 79 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Sarcinarious (adjective first appeared 1656)

serving to carry a burden or load

4 Us iconToday we have author Renee Vincent’s interview.

All through January the RB4U authors are doing interviews. The thoughtful questions are a great way to get to know us. Commenting that day gives you a chance to win a collectable t-shirt. Come see!

Right now the COLD SNOW, HOT ROMANCE CONTEST is on! Three winners will each receive a $25 gift card for Amazon/Barnes & Noble, and split the other prizes randomly picked from prize list. Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/



Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.

Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~
We’re booking late spring now.

Coming soon ~ Tempt Us Tuesday

EQ-RR.banner Today’s author: M. S. Spencer
A new place for your old stars to shine 😀


all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Sample my love stories for free!



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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12 Responses to 50+ shades of emotion

  1. Marianne Stephens says:

    You did lots of research about colors. Thanks for sharing this…some I hadn’t thought about!
    So red hair means you’re a passionate person…someone who should write romance books!

  2. Very interesting! We have a number of redheaded girls in my family. Blondes as well. Love the natural hair colors!

  3. rosgemmell says:

    Great post and list of colour symbolism, Rose – I used red quite a bit in a winning short story some years ago!

  4. melissakeir says:

    Love the post. I’ve looked up color and feelings within texts and found that there is something about colors and emotions. I like to use them in my stories.

    • Don’t you wonder why that is? What purpose does it serve? I can understand needing to know when food is ripe as being a biological use for color association, but why the rest?

  5. This post is right up my alley. We do aura photography on a regular basis and work with colors all the time. Sadly, the “judgmental” aspect of color flows from skin to aura. So many people perceive purple to be a more worthy color than red in the auric field and are disappointed if they get red, like they’ve flunked a test. It makes me sad and I try to re-educate them, but it’s a color caste system in chakra colors I’m up against. People only hear what they want to hear. Yes, I’m a redhead, too!

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