Home > Games, Gender, Gender Differences, marketing to women > Can Adding Pink Save Your Finances?

Can Adding Pink Save Your Finances?

This morning as I was sipping my mornig tea, I came across an article in the New York Times about the latest “pink” craze, financial advice to women by women. I have categorised this in the “pink” section thanks to the marvellous design efforts by the publishing companies in trying to reach a female audience – by obviously making the covers pink, as well as to the wonderful authors for making it “easier for women” to understand the “difficult” topic by throwing in some excessively girly elements into the language.

Hmm.. Upon reading this, part of me didnt even want to go there, while another part of me was just slightly disturbed by this invasion of pink into yet another area in life and was dying to speak up.

So that first part of me who didnt want to go there is actually quite in favour of this “self help” industry and the British world of publishing that churns out an impressive amount of guides on how to improve yourself in every way imaginable. This anglo saxon branch of self help books are mostly focussing on how to improve a mental skill that will  ultimately make you more valuable in the professional world, or a skill that will increase your creative skill set, used in things such as handicrafts, sports or plainly other forms of physical skills.

The anglo saxon publishing industry and media in general has an impressive ability to find a “fun” twist to everything and adding a cheeky wink into otherwise slightly dusty subjects, take for example the success of Freakonomics or The Undercover Economist that made economists out of the average Joe/Jane, or Top Gear who made cars fun for everyone, no matter what your knowledge level, by turning it all into entertainment under the guidance of Jeremy Clarkson.

Interstingly enough, this area has up till now been mostly unisex, with the occational “pink” or “blue” niches such as lets say knitting and car mechanics, but little by little the unisex topics, such as travel and finance, have started to see a turn towards becoming gender specific while other traditionally “pink” or “blue” topics such as cooking and gaming have changed sides and started playing for the other team.

As a massive fan of self help books and continuous personal development, I adore this anglo saxon world of publishing and purr every time I get my hands on another personal development book or detailed guide to xyz activity. According to me, you are a good writer (lecturer as well) if you can easily and in an intersting way communicate your message to a wide audience, something a lot of these “gurus” manage to do very well. In addition to this, I massively appreciate the efforts by the graphics and design team to make the books as aesthetically appealing as possible.

But pink??

What makes me growl is not really the feminine touch to things. Dont get me wrong, as a skateboarder and BMXer I loved showing up in sometimes excessively girly attire in order to add a whiff of oestrogen the the testosterone packed skatepark, pink works particularly well in breaking the status quo of dark colours and menacing prints. What gets to me is the simplification of the target group and lack of originality when communicating with women.

Even if I think its excellent that there now are fun books about dusty topics such as finance for women who have not done much budgeting in their lives, “Shoo Jimmy Choo” author Catey Hill and the reviews of her book claiming that “She strips down the intimidation that finance usually bring and uses situations that are very realistic to girls like shopping and going out for dinner that girls can relate to” are just slightly annoying to me.

Fair enough, even if I studied economics, I do find some finance topics slightly mind boggling and I am terrible at keeping a budget, but why would adding pink to this make it any easier for me to make changes to how I deal with my finances?

Personally I think some topics do need simplifying and its never wrong to add a bit of tongue in cheek when discussing and trying to teach people about topics that might have a slightly teadious feel to them. But I do not see why once again it is deemed appropriate to just slap on some pink and thus it is for a female audience.

Rather than forcing yourself through a self help book that focusses on how you can still fulfill your tasks as a woman and keep the shoe industry going, I find it much more rewarding to check out books that are not focussed on the gender of finance, but rather on just finance. My latest find on the net is Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich – a funny, clever and interesting take on finance. Thats actually all you need to make a dusty topic intersting, to either gender.

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