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The Color Purple, What It Means
Why are purple and blue the top 2 favorite colors of most people? Is the meaning of the color the reason for this? Let’s find out.
In a poll with 378,806 respondents, 16% chose blue while 15% chose purple as their favourite colors. http://desktoppub.about.com/gi/pages/poll.htm?linkback=http://desktoppub.about.com/od/choosingcolors/p/color_meanings.htm&poll_id=7979890264
Even in my hub on the color yellow: http://hubpages.com/hub/My-Favorite-Color-Whats-Yours, most of those who commented also answered that their favorite color is either blue or purple. I wonder why?
Shades and Tints of the Color Purple
Before we look at the meaning of the color purple however, let us first clarify the many nuances of the color purple.
Purple is actually a shade of the color violet. While lavender, mauve and lilac are tints of the color violet. As I mentioned in my color yellow hub, tint is the lightness of a color while shade is the darkness of the color.
Purple is produced by mixing red which is a warm and stimulating color, and blue which is a cool and calming color. Thus, the color purple embodies a duality: warmth and coolness as well as excitement and calmness. The dominant effect depends on which color (blue or red) predominates. Thus, if there is more red than blue as in the color magenta, then the effect is warmer while in the color lilac, the effect is cooler because there is more blue than red.
In this hub, I am using the color purple as a term to include all shades and tints of violet.
The Color Purple, Its Meaning and History
Roman emperors as well heads of the Christian church usually wear purple-colored ceremonial robes. It is not a surprise therefore that purple has come to be associated with wealth, royalty and authority.
Actually, in history, the purple dye or specifically Tyrian purple, is only obtained from certain species of sea snail belonging to the genus, Murex. According to Wikipedia, "twelve thousand snails of Murex brandaris yield no more than 1.4 g of pure dye, enough to color only the trim of a single garment." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple. The dye is thus very expensive to produce. It is no wonder then that in olden times; only the royalty can afford to wear purple-colored robes.
Fortunately, aniline dyes which are the sources of the color purple have been successfully extracted from other sources and are now obtained synthetically. Now, purple-colored clothes and other things are accessible to everybody and not just to the royalty.
Purple is also associated with spiritual as well as earthly powers. This is the reason why higher spiritual development is illustrated as a purple-colored aura. Purple thus represents purity of thought and deep spiritual understanding.
For those who are into chakras, purple is associated with the crown chakra. This chakra is located at the top of the head and it is connected with the nervous system.
On the downside however, purple is associated with mental disorders.
Some Trivia About the Color Purple
- The color purple is well-liked by highly creative and eccentric people
- Purple is the favourite of many teenage girls
- The birthstone for those born in February is Amethyst which is a purple-colored gem
- Other purple stones are: Ametrine, Iolite, Lavender Jade, Lavender Quartz, Lepidolite, Selenite and Sugilite
- Purple represents the planet Jupiter
- Tinky Winky, the purple colored character of the television show “Teletubbies,” became the center of a controversy when Rev. Jerry Farwell, an American televangelist, claimed that Tinky Winky is homosexual. He based his claim on Tinky Winky’s purple color and triangular antenna, supposedly symbols of the Gay Pride movement.
Effects of the Color Purple
If you need the following:
- Calmness of mind and nerves
- Enhanced spirituality
- Unlimited creativity, then incorporate the color purple as part of the things that surround you. You can start with purple colored flowers like lilac and lavender.
If you also want to create an air of luxury, mystery and magic, then wear something purple.
The Purple Lotus
I am devoting a whole section to the purple lotus flower because this has a sacred meaning to many. Also, it is believed to symbolize all that man desires to achieve especially in terms of consciousness, spirituality and triumph over evil. Why? Well, it’s the way the lotus grows and flowers.
The lotus germinates and grows at the bottom of a muddy and filthy pond. When it starts to bloom, a bud slowly emerges and lifts its “head” above the filthy water and turns its “face” towards the light where it opens up in full bloom. Thus, this represents what man wants to achieve – to rise from the mud and face the world with beauty.
The Color Purple - Novel, Film, Musical
When I was doing my research on the color purple, I discovered that there is actually a novel titled, The Color Purple. This was written by American author, Alice Walker in 1982. It was later adapted into a film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg. Later, it was also made into a musical.
So the next videos come from the film and the musical.
Purple in Language
Purple in language has both good and bad connotations.
- Purple cow means something remarkable, unusual, eye-catching
- Purple prose has both good and bad meanings. The good side means the writing is highly imaginative. On the bad side, it can mean highly exaggerated or full of lies.
- Purple speech also has a bad meaning. It means profanity or raunchy language
- Purple haze of course indicates confusion or euphoria and may even mean a drug-induced state of euphoria
Odds and Ends and Summary
Light purple usually evokes romantic and
nostalgic feelings. This probably explains why young girls love light purple.
Dark purple meanwhile evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration. Thus, according to Feng shui, purple should be used sparingly.
So to sum up, the color purple means: elegance, power, royalty, nobility, luxury, sophistication, spirituality, mystery, magic. Did I cover everything?
This hub is dedicated to all you purple lovers and especially to my good friend Phebe who after reading my color yellow hub asked if I could do one on lilac which is her favorite color.
This is also for my hubber friends who said that their favorite color is purple - James Watkins, Tony0724, TattoGuy, Lady Libris. Did I miss anybody? If I did, I'm sorry, but this is of course for you too.
By the way, I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s wrote a purple related poem and linked with this hub. Here's the link.