Real Men Wear Pink
"The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be."For some reason, gritty loners, hulking brutes, and all around uber-manly characters tend to gravitate towards at least one decidedly un-manly interest or hobby. Usually, it involves baking, sewing, or the color pink. While oftentimes this hobby is kept under wraps alongside the Embarrassing Middle Name, Mr. Badass quite often shamelessly enjoys it. Even more often, it's just one of those things you never bothered to ask about. Plus, apparently he was never instilled with the Pink Girl, Blue Boy archetype when he was growing up. Or maybe he was, and couldn't be bothered with it anyway. It's a safe assumption that he cares very deeply for his mother. The basis is that someone who's self-evidently "masculine" doesn't need to demonstrate his masculinity in the stereotypical ways. If the Manly Man sees something as manly then it will become manly as he himself is the definition of manly, kind of like how celebrities tend to change fashion in Real Life. Then some men just like to use this as a practical reason to start fights or enjoy the fact that no one will dare to mock him. (Would you?) As late as the 1950's, pink was still considered a "boy colour". Pink was seen as a shade of red, which relates to manly concepts like blood and war. Blue was associated with the Virgin Mary and was seen as a more serene colour reserved for girls (in fact, the traditional colour for wedding dresses used to be blue before Queen Victoria popularized the white dress; all that remained of that is the line calling for "something blue" in the rhyme). Early in WWI, the French Army uniform included bright pink trousers. This was changed when the leaders realized it made them easy targets. In Japanese culture, pink is the traditional colour of pimps therefore, when an adult man is wearing that colour, it's often assumed that he has something to do with prostitution, or that he himself is a male prostitute. This trope doesn't work on extremely feminine looking Bishōnen or Gender Benders, as it's about manly men. If a character has enough girlish traits or hobbies that it starts to compromise his manliness, especially if they have an effeminate appearance, then the character may be In Touch with His Feminine Side. If he looks macho but never acts it he's just a Gentle Giant. A primary character trait of the Cultured Badass and some House Husbands. Compare Less Embarrassing Term, Princesses Prefer Pink, Emotional Bruiser, Real Men Love Jesus, Agent Peacock, Gay Bravado, Purple Is Powerful (when people think just Graceful Ladies Like Purple), and Tomboy with a Girly Streak. Liable to overlap with Papa Wolf if the 'pink' in question is a loving nature. Silk Hiding Steel is this trope's Distaff Counterpart — a feminine woman who can nevertheless be tough as nails when she needs to be. Contrast Testosterone Poisoning, Real Women Don't Wear Dresses, Sissy Villain, Pink Is for Sissies. If someone has these sort of characteristics, but is trying to hide them, then they may have an Unmanly Secret.
— Elbert Hubbard
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- Real Life
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- Toyota Racing did a "Sponsafy Your Car" contest that asked fans to go the Toyota Racing website and design their own paint scheme. In the commercial, a young girl named “Kimmy” designs a pink racecar for NASCAR star Kyle Busch. "Who doesn’t like kittens, bunnies and little baby seals?" Fiction has now become fact. He actually drove the pink car from the commercial in the 2010 NASCAR season.
- In New Zealand in the early 2000s, Tararua Milk ran adverts featuring a 'macho-looking bloke' describing himself engaging in decidedly un-manly activities: "I wear a pink shirt, but not at the rugby... I'll ask for directions, but only if I have to!"
- Oddly enough, "Real Men wear Pink" is a promotional tagline for Joop! cologne.
- There is a classic TV commercial for the "real" Yellow Pages that used the slogan, "Get Connected With the Real Yellow Pages." The ad featured a huge, bearded, brutal-looking, tattoo-encrusted Hell's Angel who is upset because he simply is not getting what he needs hanging out with the guys drinking beer. So he consults the yellow pages. A moment later, we see the biker all smiles and sunshine, surrounded by gray-haired old ladies, happily a part of their quilting circle.
- These two commercials for Southern Comfort.
- In The World in Black and White Ichigo is like this. How manly is he? He is a Vasto Lorde class hollow and it is greatly implied that he is the one doing the household chores and cooking while not gallivanting around Hueco Mundo. Not to mention he's apparently a popular writer of Shoujo Manga...
- Gabriel Blessing's brilliantly done The Hill of Swords is a Fate/stay night and The Familiar of Zero crossover that has FSN's Emiya Shirou gain a reputation for being murderously competent on the battlefield... and enjoying washing dishes, clothes, and cooking. Those who know of his reputation usually have to fight their way past a BSOD moment the first time they encounter him humming along while performing such tasks.
- Ryan Lee from Futari Wa Pretty Cure Dragon is a tough-as-nails martial artist who will go to any lengths to protect his friends. He also attends a girls' school, wears ballet shoes with his school uniform, and has been studying aikido, which is a graceful and dance-like martial art, for years prior to the story. He even wears pink in numerous episodes (not counting the pink skirt he wears with his school uniform), including a couple of episodes where he wears a leotard.
- There is a Pokémon ROM-hack called "Manly Pink Version". Its mascot is Audino.
- In The Cracks That Show Harry's goblin account manager was secretly fond of crocheting, while a goblin elder admitted to having enjoyed baking once upon a time.
- Surprisingly, this trope is Older Than Feudalism, at least. As punishment for killing somebody, Genius Bruiser Hercules is forced into slavery to Queen Omphale for a year, who forces him to wear women's clothing◊ and help with the weaving, while she wears his lion pelt and waves his club around. He doesn't complain too much, because, honestly, who's going to make fun of Hercules for wearing pink?
- He ain't the only one, either. Achilles spent a good part of his life Disguised in Drag per orders of his overprotective and worried mother, who wanted to keep him from dying in the war. Odysseus unmasked him by disguising himself as a vendor and exhibiting swords and jewelry to the local girls — Achilles was the only one in the crowd who chose the weapons.
- Dionysus is the god of wine. He parties all the time and dresses like a woman (how can you tell if they all wore robes? It was the color). Oh, and if you fail to show him the proper reverence he'll have his minions (drunk, horny women) tear you to shreds and eat you.
- In Norse Mythology, Thor and Loki had to dress up like girls to trick the Jotun giants into thinking Thor was Freia, whom the giant Thrym wanted to marry. This is one of the oldest, best-known and funniest of the Edda poems.
- Played with in Pickles: Nelson wishes he owned a unicorn, and his grandparents question his burgeoning sexuality. It turns he made the wish "because it has a sharp horn and kills things."
- Exalted's Malfeas; fallen king of the Yozi, font of unending and eternal rage, and lord of the dance. When lesser beings channel Malfeas' powers, they must be used for destructive, ruinous, needlessly brutal, overwhelming, intimidating, terrifying and cruel (and so on) purposes — and for playing music and dancing. His powers do not work for any other purposes. Ligier, his core aspect, is embarrassed about the fact that Malfeas likes dancing.
- Warhammer 40,000 uses this frequently:
- The Emperor's Children are sadistic, evil, merciless, traitorous junkie rapists. They also wear hot pink armour and have a thing for velvet.
- The Dark Eldar are even worse than the Emperor's Children... and they wear a lot of purple and take pride from how classy and cultured they are.
- The regular Eldar are nearly as bad, and they're even more cultured and classy than their Slaaneshi kin.
- The Blood Angels Space Marine chapter have a strong appreciation for things like art, poetry, and music, when they are not on the battlefield.
- In The Rose Tattoo, Estelle Hohengarten orders Serafina to make a man's shirt out of a piece of rose-colored silk. When Serafina objects that it's not a man's color, Estelle tells her, "This man is wild like a Gypsy." Serafina is not pleased to hear, years later, that Estelle was The Mistress of her late husband.
- Homestar Runner:
- Strong Bad enjoys bubble baths and baking. And owns a pink shower cap with a cherry-red heart print. In his case, however, it's more proof of how he fails to be as cool as he thinks he is.
- His big brother Strong Mad. 7 feet tall? Check. 100,000 pounds of muscle? Check. Ability to lift A.T.M.s, chomp computers, and bash your face in? Check to the third power squared. Purple singlet??? Check mate. He also has a lot of affection for small fuzzy things (like The Cheat).
- In the Lady Lumps VS Boy Bumps video Metro City, Mike Haggar's clothes are burnt off in a car accident, so he makes a skirt out of the fire like any real man would.
- RWBY's Lie Ren is a stoic, badass martial artist who goes to a school for professional demon hunters. His sigil is a pink lotus flower and a lock of his hair is also dyed pink.
Nora: Let's break his legs!
- His combat partner, Nora, also counts. She's a gleeful, hyperactive Genki Girl who is enthusiastic about everything...including beating demons to death with her combination gun-hammer.
- Flippy from Happy Tree Friends dreams about riding unicorns over flower meadows and having tea parties with pink penguins, and the Collect Them All feature on one of the DVDs mentions he knits sweaters. He's also a war veteran who can (and, if his Ax-Crazy Split Personality is in control, will) kill you three times before you hit the floor.