The Colour RED

 As glass paints come in such beautiful jewel tones, let's look at our responses to different colours.....

Next in the series is my own favourite - RED!  A warm, positive, strong & powerful colour associated with our physical needs and will to survive - very masculine, perhaps?

Red is an incredibly positive colour, bursting to the brim with energy!  It excites our emotions and motivates us to take action! 
That’s why online shopping pages usually have red BUY NOW buttons...

We generally think of red as being THE colour of passion, sexuality and romance…

  • Red roses, red hearts, red ribbon, red wedding dresses in China and the Far East…

  • The Greeks and the Hebrews considered red to be the colour of love

  • and a French poem as far back as the 13th century associates the red rose with love...

Remember Bette Davis’s bold red dress in Jezebel?
And yes, she came to a sorry end, reminding us that passion brings notoriety with it

One reason that brings us to associate red with love and romance is that our sexual needs are greatly influenced by red.

In a study conducted by Elliot and Niesta (2008), male subjects were shown a photo of a woman and asked to rate her attractiveness.

  • A photo of the woman wearing a red shirt was shown to half of the participants

  • Whilst the other half were shown a photo of the same woman wearing a blue shirt.

Guess which women was voted the most attractive and sexually desirable?

Elliot and Niesta then showed the same woman to participants but this time they showed her standing against different coloured backgrounds:  red, white, grey & green.

Once again, the woman in the photo with the RED background was rated as most attractive.

(Interestingly, when asked if the colour had any influence on the woman’s attractiveness, none of the men stated that it did…)

Men would definitely appear to be influenced by the colour red:  but what about women?  In 2010 a further study was run in reverse with female participants - and found exactly the same results!

So BOTH sexes associate red with higher levels of attraction and more sexual appeal.

The advertising industry is well aware of this association – so watch out for the way in which they try to manipulate you!

  • Red products presented by women wearing red makes us think they’re sexier and more desirable...
  • Products presented by men wearing red (say a red “power” tie) signal that the product is powerful and has authority!


Now we must take note that, in the 2010 study where women were asked to assess the attractiveness of men, the women taking part actually saw a man wearing the colour red as being more confident and more dominant.  These traits gave the man power and authority – and thus made him seem sexier.

  Which thus beings us to –

Does the influence of power and dominance actually translate into reality?

Well – YES!
At the 2004 Olympic Games, the various martial arts contestants were randomly assigned red or blue uniforms / body protectors.  When the match results were analysed, it was found that the contestants wearing red won more often - a statistically significant greater number of matches!

A second study has looked at the performance of English football teams over the past 56 years – and has confirmed that teams wearing red are generally the winning teams (think Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Spain…..)

  • Does wearing red make a sportsperson more aggressive – and thus a better player?
  • Does the red intimidate the non-red-wearing adversary?
  • Does the red skew the referee’s perception to favour the person in red?
  • Or is it a combination of factors?

We just don’t know.  But the moral is – if you want to do better in sport, then dress in red!

And in life too.  Red is the considered the colour of leaders, as it inspires ambition & determination.

And now I’ve persuaded you into red, here are some fascinating facts:

  • Red stimulates your APPETITE & increases food cravings - why do you think restaurants are decorated in red?

  • Red has the longest wavelength of all colours and is thus the first colour babies see. This can happen at two weeks old.
  • Redheads require up to 20% more anaesthetic to be knocked out, compared to blondes & brunettes
  • The biggest sperm bank in the world turns down redheaded donors because, officially, “not enough people want ginger kids.”
  • The atmospheric debris caused by the eruption of Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia in 1883 resulted in blood red sunsets all over the world for months. Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” depicts a Krakatoa sunset over Oslo, Norway
  • As a deterrent to poachers, South African authorities inject a strong red dye into rhino horns, which is clearly visible and poisonous to humans
  • Blood Falls is a waterfall in Antarctica that comes from a water source that has never seen sunlight and is completely devoid of oxygen. It's also extremely rich in iron and sodium.
    When the water is finally exposed to air as it flows out of the glacier, it rusts, colouring the water blood red and making it look as if the glacier is bleeding.
  • Red is often considered a celebratory hue (just try to picture Christmas without it) and signifies good fortune in some cultures, particularly in the Far East.
    Thus, generations of people in Scotland have painted their front doors red when their mortgage was finally paid off. The red front door can thus be a symbol of pride.
    Here’s mine (though, alas, it does NOT symbolise the state of my mortgage!)

The best complementary colour for red is turquoise, though you can also use either green or blue to create balance in either your outfit, or else in your home décor

Most of MY wardrobe is red – I love it!  Is red YOUR favourite colour too? - why?  Or are you AFRAID of red? - it's certainly a challenging colour!

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