Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Stopping on red

Yesterday evening I was watching television and suddenly in the corner appeared a huge red sign. Everyone knows that after that we should remove children from the room because this programme is not for them. I donít have any children so instead of moving them, I started thinking, what is wrong with the colour red, why do we always have negative associations with red? Itís probably an unwritten rule, but why was red chosen for this?

Itís worth paying a visit to the animal world and checking how red is received there. It appears to be well received because animals use red to scare other animals or to draw attention to themselves. So, on the positive side, itís good that the colour red informs parents of the dangers of children watching particular programmes, but on the flip side, if this colour is used to draw attention to something this can pique the curiosity of children. So, the effect of moving children from a room by using this red button is not that good. Anyway, it works.

Some scientists claim that red is the colour that has the greatest effect on the human psyche and theyíre not taking into consideration the cultural meaning of this colour, but they are simply speaking of the natural characteristics of red. One noteworthy thing about the colour red is how commercials and huge supermarkets use it to show off their latest promotion or great sale. Itís always written in red.

For me, the most important question is why this colour has so many different meanings? On one side we have hell, which is depicted as red, and we also have the red-light districts. On the other side, red is the most romantic colour in the world, especially on February 14th. Another example of two different reds is that in China red is the colour of love and brides wear red dresses. Yet, in South Africa, red is a popular funeral colour.

My conclusion is that itís a terrible idea to paint your bedroom in a bloody red colour because no one will know if itís a room for great passion, easy love or great sadness. I have to confess that itís my favourite colour, maybe because it has so many meanings or maybe because itís full of emotion. Very often the colour screams Ďnoí, red lights, stop signs and it can also make us really happy, for example red roses from lovers. So, the next time my dear reader you become flushed, donít be sad, just think how beautiful the colour red is.