A paint brand is dropping shade names in its range of pinks because they use outdated gender stereotypes.

Paint brand Valspar has announced that it is scrapping some of the names for its shades of pink because they believe they are outdated.

“We understand the power of words and we could see that some of the colour names in our pink range were using stereotypes that felt outdated. We might have given pink a bad name up until now, but we want to change that and with International Women’s Day approaching, we’re asking the nation to get involved and help us bring our names up-to-date so they can proudly choose them for their homes.” – Jane Ryder, European Marketing Director, Valspar

Valspar is holding its hands up and acknowledging that some of its pink paint names are formed of old-fashioned gender stereotypes that no longer have a place in modern-day society. Soon to be brushed out of existence are the names of pink hues including Dollface, Sweet Angel, Girly Girl and Ladylike.

In their place, the brand has turned away from gender stereotypes which have given pink a bad name and selected empowering, gender-neutral terms including Woke Up Like This, Anything You Can Do, Fearless and Like a Boss.

Ahead of International Women’s Day (Sunday 8th March), Valspar is announcing four new names today and launching #RethinkPink, where it is asking the public to take to social media to comment on the new names and also help them rename a further four paint colour names.

“Traditional ideas such as ‘pink is for girls’ often contain stereotypes about gender that restrict aspirations and opportunities. These stereotypes are out of place in the 21st century where gender equality is expected. The language we use matters. It not only reflects the world around us, it also helps us construct it. Progressive nomination, how things are named or re-named, has an important role to play in building a healthier and fairer society” – Jane Sunderland, Honorary Reader in Gender and Discourse at Lancaster University

Pink Make-Over

Before                                    After

Dollface                                  Woke Up Like This

Sweet Angel                           Fearless

Girly Girl                                 Anything You Can Do

Ladylike                                  Like a Boss

“With our customers’ involvement, we’re committed to ensuring the labels on our paint don’t put labels on people.” – Jane Ryder, European Marketing Director, Valspar

Social media users will be able to vote on the new names as well as help select names for the remaining four – Shy Girl, Dolled Up, Faint of Heart and Dainty Delight – by heading to Valspar UK & Ireland on Facebook and @ValsparPaintUK on Instagram.

The new colour names will appear on Valspar’s website in April 2020 and will start emerging in-store later this year. Valspar® is a Sherwin-Williams brand and has been in the paints, stains and coatings business for over 200 years.

“The name Dollface suggests both an object and a possession, and Girly Girl implies someone who can’t really be taken seriously. This is a very positive move by a mainstream brand. Valspar is taking responsibility, taking a step in the right direction and contributing to progressive change.”  – Jane Sunderland, Honorary Reader in Gender and Discourse at Lancaster University

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