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The Red Hot Color Red

Mon Jan 10 2011 | Author: Carol Olmstead
Feng Shui practitioners know that the color red is the Fire Element that represents passion, emotion, and power. The Fire Element is the reason why you never have a long, leisurely meal in a restaurant decorated in shades of red, and why wearing a red dress is associated with a "hot date." Now, scientists have conducted studies to prove this. Researchers at the University of Rochester, Syracuse University, and other institutions found that women think men who are wearing red are more appealing and have a higher social status than men wearing other colors.

In a multicultural study involving almost 300 women in the US, Germany, England, and China, researchers asked the participants to look at photos of men wearing different color clothing. In one test, images were digitally altered so a man wore a red or green T-shirt, and in another test, black-and-white photos were placed on red or white backgrounds. In each case, the women reported that they found the men in red more desirable and powerful.

According to lead study author Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, the charm of the color red is its ability to make men appear more powerful. "We found that women view men in red as higher in status, more likely to make money and more likely to climb the social ladder. And it's this high-status judgment that leads to the attraction," Elliot says.

Feng Shui practitioners already know this from working with clients who add some red accents to their life – including wearing red clothing – and find new “fire” added to their love lives, and now it’s good to have some scientific verification for this effect.

According to study co-author Richard Gramzow, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Syracuse University, “It's the color used to signify wealth and power, so it may convey a subconscious signal to women that a man will be a better provider.” The researchers found that the red effect made the man seem more powerful, attractive, and desirable, but did not make the man seem more likable, kind, or sociable. Perhaps that’s why in Feng Shui we recommend that you wear something red to a job interview, audition, or important meeting — like a red tie, scarf, or jewelry — to activate the Fire Element and ignite your personal power.

In Feng Shui the color red is considered hot, passionate, rich, and full of celebration. In Chinese culture, wearing red is the color of luck and happiness, in India it’s the color to wear for marriage, and in Western cultures it’s the color to wear as a symbol of love and romance. Red is also the color of protection in Feng Shui, so wear red whenever you feel the need to ward off negative energy, when you need to make a tough decision, or when you have to face down an adversary. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a red dress, red underwear, or a pair of ruby red shoes, the color red will empower and attract. Just try to avoid wearing too much of the color red at holiday dinners and large family gatherings when it’s heat and power could lead to arguments.

As fashion design Bill Blass said, When in doubt, wear red.

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Posted in: Colors | Tags: feng shui, color, red, fire, fire element

© Copyright 2022, Carol Olmstead