Posted by: christinelaennec | September 4, 2010

The importance of colour

Today is the first Saturday since the Dafter started school that she’s had a chance to relax in her room.  (Last Saturday we went to Edinburgh to see her older brother, so that was an early start and a long day.)  I’ve been relieved, the past two or three days, to hear her singing again in the mornings.  To me, that’s a sign that the stress of high school is lessening.  And this morning she was both singing and colouring.

The Dafter: Self-Portrait Times Three (one with glasses, two with contacts!). Made using Rainbow Magic Fairies stencils, outfits by the Dafter.

One of the hardest things about high school for her has been BLACK, and in particular black polyester.  Except for her white blouse and navy/dark green tie, her entire uniform is black polyester, and she finds herself swimming in a sea of similarly black-clad kids all day.  This doesn’t bother most of them, but the Dafter has always loved colour and avoided black.  This is a child who, when offered a pair of black gym shorts in John Lewis by a helpful salesperson, cried out:  “Black gym shorts! I’ll die of depression!  As if gym weren’t bad enough!!!”

What to do with old sweeties that you haven't eaten up? Make Smartie art of course! © The Dafter 2010

I am completely sympathetic (and also about gym).  I’m not totally averse to black, and I think bright colours against black are beautiful.  But I believe in the power of colour and I like to surround myself with it.  I told her a story that I once heard about a woman who worked in an undertaker’s, and of course had to wear head-to-toe black.  She invested in some beautifully coloured underwear so she could have some colour next to her skin.  But that’s not really an option for a 12-year-old.

Before starting high school, she thought white was boring.  Now she tells me she likes white, because white is actually all the colours of the spectrum (you just can’t see them!).  Her white blouse is the saving grace of the school uniform.  She tells me she always leaves her school cardigan unzipped even when it’s been cold, so she can get a glimpse of white.

Just to round off, here’s another thing she was in the middle of making earlier this morning (also with stencils):

Flowers and bows begun (by the Dafter)

So hooray for the weekend and hooray for colours!



  1. Whereas my daughter LIVES in black and complains at having to wear a white shirt for school!

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