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Colour personification


Personifying colours is an example of the personification of series or sequences of concepts. It is an uncommon type of synesthesia that consists of automatically associating each colour with human characteristics such as gender, personality, physical appearance, feelings and also friendly, romantic or family relationships. The associations are formed during childhood and are stable, tending to show no variation over the synesthete’s lifetime.

Here are some descriptions written by people with this type of synesthesia:


“Colors have genders and familial relationships. Red and blue are married, red is a girl, blue is a boy. Purple is their kid. Green and orange are a couple, but it's contentious, and they're not married. And I swear by everything I love it's been this way for literally as long as I can remember.”

(Source: a conversation in the Facebook group Synesthesia, 2020).


“I also assign gender and personality to some letters and numbers and colors. Red is a girl, but a tomboy and outspoken. (…) Blue is a boy. (…) All of the usual colors are assigned genders and some are given personalities.”

(Source: a comment in this blog. 2012.)


“The only personality traits seem to be relationship status. Certain colors go in pairs in a human type relationship. Red (female) and blue (male), green (m) and yellow (f), orange (m) and purple (f), black (m) and white (f). Poor brown has never found love. Any colors that are combo colors (like yellow green or reddish orange) it depends on the shade. When they switch dominant colors they switch genders. Some colors are gender neutral and some are gender fluid, too.”

(Source: This post on the online debate platform Reddit/Synesthesia. 2022.)


If you perceive colours as having gender but not any particular personality characteristics, you might like to read the page on Gender as a synesthetic concurrent.


Go to the page on ordinal linguistic personification and personification in general

Go to the pages on personification of:

Letters

Numbers

Sequences of musical sounds

Days and months

Sequences of objects


This page last updated: 8 February 2021

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