“The social imposition of visual preferences upon genders is the element monopolising my mind, since I am a graphic design student who dreams about becoming a competent aesthete, when woman identity is the topic of discussion. Truly, I am just an ordinary woman. Similar to the vast majority of my fellow female designers, I tend to reflect the public expectation of a female designer through my style, which is precisely the part I always try to readjust. In my mind, any style of design shall not become an enforcer of stereotypes about women. Label? never!
Here come two questions: How was the stereotype formed? Why did I, myself, become its testifier?
Let’s say, most young girls, including younger me, once were preoccupied by the pink colour, because our parents regarded pink as the colour for little girls to wear, to be in. I doubt that a baby before three would be able to differentiate genders. Instead, a more plausible explanation is that the environment around constructs one’s perception of the society and oneself. So far, we have only been talking about colours, without much effort, while, I am afraid, there is a massive iceberg underneath the surface of water.
This society used to make me feel indignant. However, through the accumulation of experiences, I started to feel the complexity behind its simple veil. For instance, Jane, my mate from Singapore, is excessively crazy about pink stuff, or something involving “daydreaming”, basically everything “girlie”. She even has her hair pink! Is it, then, proper to view Jane as a victim of stereotype? Nay, not in my eyes. For colours are just colours, what shall be condemned is labelling colours.
Thus, I do feel uncomfortable when my supervisor comments my works, insolently, “Aye, what an emblematic work from the hands of little girls!” However, at the same time, I am motivated to amend my works with great passion so as to fit the voice of clients if I am reminded by a piece of advice like this: “I think the colour chosen this time is not neutral enough for our client.”
I am a woman. I am a woman designer who is in favour of a dainty and soft style. However, after all, I am still a woman who always disagrees with the judgment made upon me and my gender, because of the colour we choose.” －Samantha, 20, Chinese, Graphic Design Student