Confession time. I don’t get this adult coloring craze (or the crazy day planner thing for that matter). I’ve tried. My boss bought me the Art Therapy Star Wars coloring book for Christmas, and even my love of Star Wars can’t make me get into it. My favorite page is this one full of Yodas (the only page I’ve come even close to making any real progress on) that one of my best good friends J. and I colored while waiting for a verdict to come back (guilty on all counts, yay me!).
Now, what I’m going to say may sound indelicate, is adult coloring the death of women’s intellectualism and creativity? It’s clearly been branded a ‘woman thing‘ and we are eating up the marketing like no one’s business (or perhaps more accurately big business). Now, I’ve seen the countless articles on how allegedly therapeutic it can be. But the fact is, that the science doesn’t seem to be there to support it.
“Some people are adamant that coloring books are a path to mindfulness, meditation and some kind of psychological nirvana,” Malchiodi said over the phone. “I find that many of the loudest proponents are actually those that create the coloring books.”
-Cathy Malchiodi, art therapist
So back to the death of women’s intellectualism and creativity, I certainly consider myself a work-a-holic in a relatively high-stress profession. What did women used to do to de-stress? I contend they used to read. They used to knit, crochet, play piano, and yes, create art through painting, drawing, sketching, or even doodling. They used to write. Work crossword puzzles. Now. We’re coloring. I’m not saying that moms and work-a-holics alike aren’t still doing these things, but for every hour we devote to coloring is an hour that we are not doing these things. We are spending our hard earned dollars on prefabricated art for us where our greatest thought is only to choose colors and shading to fill in at our leisure. To me it’s a bit of infantilization that my generation has been seeing it it’s men for a long time.
Is this our fate, ladies? Are we to continue to prop up large corporate publishers only to allow our minds to atrophy? I don’t know. I’m not a therapist or a doctor. This is clearly only my opinion and despite it, I have no wish to shit on people who this works for to help them relax from the increasing stresses of modern life. As usual, this is just me airing another unpopular opinion.
Finally, a word of warning to my dearest colorists out there. Remember my best good friend J.? She colored so hard she ended up with trigger thumb and is looking at the possibility of surgery (I laughed, I confess). So be careful.
So, Reader. Thoughts? I’ll end with a paraphrase from the wise Amy Poehler. If this is your jam, that’s great for you! Not for me.