Who Else Loves Yellow?

I am a sucker for anything yellow, including these orchids in the conservatory at the Arboretum.

How did the color yellow become so maligned? It’s connected with two unattractive “-ice” words — cowardice and jaundice. But to me, it’s the color of playfulness and joyousness. I love yellow. It’s the only color that makes me smile just looking at it.

In the early 90s, Prince seemed hell-bent on getting away from purple and eventually, even his identity as Prince. He wore a lot of yellow during a string of early 90s albums that included Diamonds & Pearls and the Love Symbol album and then morphed into gold with The Gold Experience, which was released after he dropped his name and adopted the Love Symbol as his name. In the early 90s, Prince was working to make a comeback after the commercial failure of Grafitti Bridge and was bursting forth with the energy that came from having a new band called the New Power Generation that could seemingly play anything. He even had a yellow BMW that featured prominently in the videos for Gett Off and Gangster Glam.

Prince’s yellow period is cemented in history with the infamous yellow lace “butt out” suit that he wore to perform “Gett Off” on the MTV Video Music Awards in 1991, two years after Andrew Dice Clay had been banned for life for a routine that included two of the seven words you can never say on television. Prince’s yellow butt-out suit was one in a long history of shocking VMA stunts, from Michael Jackson’s awkward kiss of Lisa Marie Presley to proclaim their love (1994), to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” writhing on stage in a wedding dress in the show’s inaugural year, 1984 (and many years later, kissing Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears).

I’m not much into butt-out suits but I am considering buying this yellow sweater in honor of my month of color and in my undying optimism that spring will one day arrive. I don’t know if I look great in yellow, but who cares! If it makes you happy …

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