A Flash of Red

From red as a rose to red as a beet, when we see red it affects us emotionally. Scientific experiments have shown that people asked to remain in a room with red walls become more passionate, aggressive, and easily aroused than people in rooms with muted backgrounds. Research has even shown that exposure to red can make the body temperature rise. Red may be at the low end of the spectrum of light, but it has power to move us like no other color.


Imagine three women, each of whom is fond of the color red and uses it to accent her appearance. The first of these women has her nails painted red, the second wears red lipstick, and the third has her hair colored the same shade. Now imagine their personalities and describe each in detail.

Key to A Flash of Red

Although in some ways we all react similarly to the color red, there are also significant differences in our psychological responses. This is not simply a matter of taste or acculturation but seems to have roots that sink deeper into the mind. In the natural world, red is the universal sign of danger, a way for one animal to let potential foes and competitors know, "Careful, I bite and I'm poisonous." But this same shade is also powerfully seductive, and for animals attuned to the same sexual frequency, it can signal that the mating season has begun. In nature as in fashion, it's not the color itself; it's what you do with it.

The images you had of the three red-accented women reveal the kinds of women you view as friend and foe. This results in different interpretations, depending on whether the respondent is male or female.

Female respondents.

The woman with red nails is seen as a threat and represents the type of woman you can't imagine yourself ever getting along with. On the other hand, you feel a strange and compelling attraction to the woman with red lips. The woman with red hair is an image of the type of woman that you hope you will never become.

Male respondents.

The red-nailed woman is the kind of person you fear will use or make a fool of you, while the red-lipped woman is the type you can imagine yourself falling wildly in love with. The redheaded woman represents the type you can't see yourself being attracted to, no matter how physically beautiful she may be.

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