Pink is not a color!

Yes, you read that right; your favorite color only exist in your mind.

Toba Akande
3 min readOct 1, 2023
Photo by Rizky Sabriansyah (Source:

I just watched the Barbie movie, and it was a whirlwind of vibrant colors, glamorous fashion, and sparkling adventures.

It was fantastic, but it got me thinking: pink, that lovely, quintessentially girly hue, is not a real color.

Wait, what? Pink doesn’t exist?

Before you dismiss this as sheer madness, let’s dive into the captivating world of colors, perception, and the fascinating tale of how our brains conjure up the color pink.

Take a moment to envision a rainbow in your mind.

Roy G. Biv, right? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

No pink, right?

That’s because pink is not an actual color of light in the traditional sense.

Instead, it’s a product of our extraordinary visual system, a product of our imagination, if you will.

To understand the magic of pink, we must first acquaint ourselves with the biological marvel that is our eyes.

Nestled at the back of our retinas are three types of color receptor cells, aptly named cone cells.

These cones are like our color detectives, each specialized in picking up specific wavelengths of light.

- The red cone cells detect long wavelengths (red and similar shades).

- The green cone cells respond to medium wavelengths (green and its neighbors).

- The blue cone cells are tuned to shorter wavelengths (blue and close counterparts).

Now, when we gaze at a colorful world around us, these cones play a symphony of colors, activating in response to the light they detect.

The real magic happens when we encounter mixed colors, like yellow or cyan.

You see, the colors we perceive aren’t a direct translation of what our cones detect.

Instead, our brains perform a remarkable act of color blending.

For instance, when red and green cones both signal to our brain, it blends the information and we perceive yellow.

Similarly, when green and blue cones are activated, we see cyan. So far, so sensible.

Now, let’s unravel the enigma of pink.

When red and blue light simultaneously stimulate our cone cells, our brain calculates an average, resulting in the interpretation of green light.

However, here’s where things get intriguing.

Our brain notices something peculiar — it’s receiving signals for green light, but there’s a problem.

The green cones aren’t firing. Panic ensues. “I should be seeing green, but I can’t,” our brain thinks.

To solve this perplexing dilemma, it resorts to a creative solution — pink.

Yes, you read that right. Pink is a product of your brain’s ingenious attempt to reconcile the contradictory signals it’s receiving.

It invents pink out of necessity, as a workaround to the conundrum of green light without green cones.

Isn’t that utterly fascinating?

Pink is like the whimsical brushstroke of a master artist on the canvas of our perception, a testament to the creative ingenuity of our brains.

It’s a color that doesn’t exist in the spectrum of visible light but comes to life through our mind’s artistry.

So, the next time you see a vibrant Barbie doll or bask in the rosy glow of a sunset, remember that pink isn’t real in the way you might think.

It’s a delightful illusion, a charming quirk of human perception, and a testament to the infinite wonders of our minds.

In a world where science and imagination converge, pink is a testament to our brain’s incredible ability to bridge the gaps in our perception and create beauty where none exists.

Stay curious, my friends, and embrace the fascinating world of colors that our minds so creatively paint for us.

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Toba Akande

Master of sarcasm, keeping my profound thoughts safely contained in words. Serious issues? I address them with a twist