Pink Tax: Things You Should Know Before You Shop

It is quite funny how people associate colours with gender. When one says “Pink”, automatically one assumes it to be related to women. And if it is “Blue”, then it is definitely masculine. Gender discrimination laid the foundation for many such baseless assumptions. To those who are new to the term “Pink Tax”, you will be amazed to know what it is.

Pink Tax refers to the upcharge in the cost of products targeted to women. Surprisingly, the same products for men come at a lower price. But why such discrimination? Let’s dive in deep into the sinister plot behind the Pink Tax.

The ‘Pink’ Story

Go back to your childhood. Growing up as a girl meant possessing a lot of pink/purple toys, dresses and more. From an early age, girls are unknowingly brainwashed to think of pink as their colour; a colour that was made for the female population. This is why many women have an eternal love for this shade. Unintentionally, this colour being attached to feminity, and related segregation of products based on gender paved the way to Pink Tax.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a “real” tax. This refers to a concept where women are charged more than men for the same product. Pink Tax is an invisible cost that women have to pay for products specifically targeted at them.

Also Read: Should Women be Treated as ‘Divine’ Beings?

Gender Discrimination Smirks

This tax underlines the prevalence of gender discrimination. Products from the same brand cost different prices for men and women. This is also vaguely based on the assumption that women love to shop more than men. Be it garments, personal hygiene products and cosmetics, women pay more than men.

Price discrimination exists because many women don’t know that they are being overcharged. This lack of awareness yields many companies huge profits than one can imagine.

Why Women?

The basic answer to this question is their lack of knowledge. Even though the term ‘Pink Tax’ was coined in the 1920s while drafting sales law in the US, this tax is hardly acknowledged. People don’t realise that it exists.

Another reason is that fewer comparisons are made with similar products for men. For example, when you plan to buy a razor, do you compare the price with a men’s razor brand? You don’t, most of the time. You compare the product with a different women-centric brand. And there lies the main problem.

The other reason is colour-based choices. Many surveys show that most women buy things in pink and purple. So, this obsession is exploited by companies.

Also Read: Are Malayali Women Addicted To Serials?

It is also said that women give more importance to fashion. Thus, they are a part of the broader consumers list. Their requirements are more and this gives firms a chance to charge them more.

What Products And Services?

This is a broad spectrum; from toys for kids to other personal products for women, all are on the Pink Tax list. Take women’s cosmetics sites, for example. Have you noticed their colour palettes? If not, then please take a quick peek. You will notice what we are talking about. The products basically talk in pink – pink posters, pink labels, purple boxes and don’t forget the invisible Pink Tax.

Pink Tax

The next reference is that of the fragrance line for women. The cost difference exists for every prominent brand that segregates its products into men and women ranges. Why? We assume you know the answer by now.

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The services dedicated to women aren’t different either. Next time when you visit a salon, just go through their price charts for services offered to men. These are only some examples but many social experiments suggest that the rates of many services and products are directly proportional to the gender of the customers. Weird but true. Combs, watch, wallets, sunglasses, bags, t-shirts, sportswear, undergarments, jeans and skincare product ranges exhibit the same thing.

Just to confirm what we are pointing out here, open an online cloth store, go to the T-shirt ranges for men and women. The same products will have different price ranges.

How Do We Tackle Pink Tax?

The pink tax is unfair. A population who experiences a pay gap with their fellow colleagues are made to pay extra just because of their gender. It leads to diminished purchasing power. And since the roots of this problem go deep, it won’t be easy to irradicate it. But one can plan around it though.

Also Read: The Culture Of Shaming Women & Their Fashion Choices

The trick to tackle the Pink tax lies in analysis and smart spending. You have to plan better. Invest earlier and save more. Women should act with more awareness and spread the word about Pink Tax. Our voice against it can spark off the change we seek.

Padma Nair
Techie in pursuit of a passion. I live on a shore with scribbles, stories, sarcasm and people who like to smile often!

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