It is time to stand against the ‘privileged’ minority in this country and fight for true colour equality in Jamaica. The majority has been marginalised by the ‘popular hues’ of society. The ‘Oranges’, the ‘Reds’, the ‘Yellows’ and the ‘Beiges’ have dominated for too long. We too can join the ranks of first world nations that have embraced the diversity of the colour wheel and done away with the ‘colourism’ that has plagued our island for decades. The change begins with you: the architects of society, the designers of the modern world, the creators, the home owners, the shopkeepers, even the hand cart man. We can all make a difference. Start with these simple steps:
1. Don’t Follow the Trends …
But instead be inspired by them. Burnt orange walls were trendy ten years ago; but trends are, by definition, always changing. Don’t get caught in the trap of making huge investments (both in time and money) based on colour trends. Instead apply them elsewhere in your space. Art, Accent furniture, Curtains and Throw Pillows are a few of the ways you can implement trends without experiencing remorse when the colour wheel makes its annual spin.
2. When in doubt, stay neutral…
Let us be clear here, Neutral DOES NOT mean Beige. Grey, black, white, brown, beige and any combination of these are all members of this family. Thanks to modern Technology, we can select neutrals that also have a hint of colour. There are hundreds of variations to choose from. Still not sure? Take your cues from nature. Look outside, the earth, tree limbs and most metals are neutrals accentuated by the broader spectrum of colours.
3. Don’t be afraid to stand out…
Take a trip around our beautiful island and you’ll come to one obvious realisation: more than half of our roadside shops, stalls and bars are painted in blue. Is blue paint cheaper? Does someone intentionally distribute the same hue of blue paint across the island annually? Did Pantone decree blue the roadside shop colour of Jamaica? Whatever the reason, rational business principles would suggest that, in an island with the most bars and shops per capita, having one that stands out is an advantage. Get creative with your décor and encourage clients to come inside.
Fighting colour bias is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Don’t allow society or trends to dictate how you should live. Let us actively change the hue of the Jamaican landscape, and move towards a society where we won’t ever have to submit to another Orange wall again.