|W. W. W. Dot. Myspace. Dot. Com. You type into the location bar on the school computer. A large red screen warns you to stop! Forbidden Access from the server. Oops. From there the Official Teletubbies site loads up. Great. Your face heats up with embarrassment. You hope no one saw that. Within that 40-second time period, the color red has showed up twice, and both times it has negative connotations. Red screen, red face.
Red is an extremely intense color, both in looks and symbolism. You can’t look at it for very long, and it stimulates a fast heartbeat. From early on in human development, red seldom appeared, and it symbolized danger in the forms of blood and fire. Now, red often is the devil, anger, and communism. Matadors use red flags to aggravate their opponent, soccer players who are shown the “red card” cannot return to their team, a red herring deceives people and detracts from the main focus.
Green is an abundant color, frequently appearing in nature. It is easy on the eye, in fact in color therapy it is shown to improve vision. The opposite of red both in the color wheel and effect it has on the brain; green has a calming effect. In most theatres, TV shows, and concert halls, you’ll find a generic “green room” somewhere backstage for frazzled performers to sit and relax before (or after) their show. Green may be used to describe someone who is young and inexperienced. But what’s wrong with that? Green is youth, fertility, and life.
Red clothing is aggressive, and if worn in abundance can give off a competitive air that may not be welcomed by the people around you. It is a pretty, bright and attention-grabbing color. Car thieves are more likely to break into a red car than any other color, and you are more likely to be mugged in the streets of Italy if you have a red scarf. In 17th and 18th century Europe, wedding dresses were often green, the embodiment of the bride’s fertility and youth. People wear green for luck, to express healthiness, to promote peace and “environmentally friendly” ideas. Green is free, it grants permission to go, red is restricting, it stops you in your tracks and makes you frustrated. Green is better.