CAROLINE LINFORD, 46, is an artist and lives with her partner Marc, 47, in Poole.
Here, she reveals what life is like as a real-life Pink Lady after becoming obsessed with the musical Grease as a kid.
“As I walked down the street in my pastel-pink tights, fuchsia boots and floral pink dress, people stared in amazement, and a window cleaner shouted: ‘Hey, Pink Lady!’ Thanks to my obsession, it’s become the norm for me to attract attention, and I love it.
“I didn’t always dress this way or have such self-confidence. As a child growing up in Bournemouth, I was a tomboy, always in dungarees – until I watched Grease in 1985, when I was 11.
“I was instantly hooked, and unlike the other girls at school who idolised Sandy, I wanted to be like Frenchy, one of the Pink Ladies.
“I loved that she was beautiful, creative and kooky, whereas I was shy and always wanted to blend in wearing jeans and jumpers.
“I was 20 in 1994 when I finally plucked up the courage to change my image.
“Working at a cosmetics shop, I was inspired by a colleague who often dyed her hair a rainbow of colours. So, on a whim, I asked my hairdresser to dye my brunette hair a shocking shade of pink like Frenchy’s.
“When I looked in the mirror, I felt like I’d finally found myself, and couldn’t stop smiling. My friends and family were shocked, but I loved my new-found confidence.
“Over the next few years, I dyed my hair every hue of pink, from strawberry ice cream to a vibrant raspberry shade, and I also started to ‘pinkify’ my wardrobe.
“Out went the plain clothes I’d worn for years, as I scoured local charity shops and boutiques for pink items. I also bought a sewing machine and began making my own clothes.
“In 1998 when I was 24, I bought my first home and decked it out in pink. I painted each room a neon shade, and upcycled boring white tables, cabinets and homeware so everything matched.
“Friends and customers in the shop I worked at called me ‘Pink Caroline’ and I earned a reputation as Poole’s ‘Pink Lady’, with people often waving as I walked down the street.
“Men I dated seemed impressed by my confidence and as I’ve always been attracted to creative people, my style wasn’t an issue.
“In 2001 I got married and then had my son Noah, now 19, but the relationship broke down. Life was so busy as a single mum, and for a while I didn’t have as much time to indulge in my passion. Unable to maintain the dye job, I let my pink hair grow out .
“With Noah due to start school in September 2006, that March I started selling a few sock creatures (something I’d also made for him when he was younger and he’d loved) on Etsy.
“When Noah started school, I had more time for myself and I realised I missed the real me. I started selling hand-illustrated cards and other crafts in an array of bright colours through my Etsy shop, including lots of pink, which resurrected my passion for the colour.
“Having my hair dyed again was an amazing moment – I felt like I’d recovered a part of myself I’d lost along the way. Soon, I updated my wardrobe with lots of new pink clothes I’d made, as well as knitting my own jumpers.
“As Noah got older and more aware of how I looked, he used to joke that he could always spot me in the playground.
“Luckily, it never bothered him. I let him choose his own clothes, and he loved clashing patterns and bright colours, too. Of course, I realise not everyone is a fan of my look.
“I’ve seen the raised eyebrows and heard people whispering, but I’m proud that I’m brave enough to dress exactly how I want.
“Recently, I’ve swapped the fluorescent pinks for candyfloss shades, and I now have more than 70 pink items in my wardrobe, plus my home is still a homage to pink.
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“My favourite colour played a large part in me meeting my partner Marc at an animal rights protest in January 2019 – he loved the one-piece pink waterproof suit I was wearing. He now lives in my pink home and has no issue at all with how it looks.
“Pink makes me feel positive and ready to take on the day, plus I hope my love for it also cheers others up, too. I think Frenchy would be proud.”
- For more about Caroline, follow her on Instagram @Kittypinkstars and visit Etsy.com/uk/shop/kittypinkstars
When Gwen Stefani married Gavin Rossdale in 2002 she wore a pink custom-made Christian Dior wedding dress designed by John Galliano.
Pink has been scientifically proven to have a calming effect on the brain.*
Source: *American Institute for Biosocial Research
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