A Defense of Beige
February 4, 2011 § 2 Comments
Tonight I rid my closet of another unmentionable in the shade of beige. The color beige has been under some serious attack in the past several years. Whether individuals believe it to be the most boring (non) color or merely associate it with corporate yuppies, tonight, I am going to discuss why it may have become scum on the lips of the masses.
According to a little site called Amplicate.com, 44% of people hate beige. This sample of 213 people was taken directly from twitter and facebook comments merely using the word with the word “hate.” Not “dislike,” or simply “not care for,” but rather some intense hatred. From comments on the color of jeans to bathroom tiles, to a simple misspelling of “being,” people hate this color for being drab. What did beige do to get this type of abuse?
The term beige actually came about in the English language in the late 1850’s referring to the natural color of fabric as it appears undyed. In a little over 100 years it became a slang term synonymous with boring and insipid. We can blame the psychedelic generation for their love of loud colors. However beige is a much more powerful color than we give it credit for.
In our modern conception, ‘beige’ can be any part of speech. That in and of itself creates a lot of power. But the color itself has come to be defined as a classification in its own right. According to our sage source of collective wisdom, Wikipedia, we can cite that beige was acknowledged as a ‘color’ in 1887 and has since risen to be classified as the average hue of the universe donning the term ‘cosmic latte’ by Johns Hopkins University, ‘desert sand’ and ‘ecru.’ To me this is evidence enough that beige is a mighty enough force that educated collectives have created so many words to mask its incessant hatred.
Is a beige by any other name as foul?