The Wall Street Journal just published an article stating that ‘Eight of the top 20 selling books on Amazon currently are coloring books designed for adults.‘
Well, it’s hard to know what to make of this one. Fair enough, if you like colouring as a way of relaxing then by all means. But making colouring books this whole ‘thing’ like it’s some sort of movement is just daft. You don’t see adults banding together every Sunday morning to watch Dora The Explorer in the name of relaxation, or companies enforcing mandatory sandbox time to reduce employee stress.
‘In San Diego, Elizabeth Mansur, a health and wellness coach, holds monthly two-hour “Color Yourself Calm” sessions in her home for up to 10 people. The fee is $5. First, she said, “we sit and meditate for five minutes to calm everybody down.” Then come introductions, tea and cookies. Cellphones are turned off. Ms. Mansur plays calming music and lights lavender-scented candles. After the coloring, the participants show one another their pictures and discuss “their feelings about it,” Ms. Mansur said.’
Manufactured calm spaces and discussions about feelings, now with colouring books and lavendar candles. Call me crazy, but my impression is that this fad is very much riding on a wave of female momentum. In this era of third-wave feminism, I would think women would be more sensitive to the infantilisation and ‘unaccountable child’ image this activity perpetuates. Proudly regressing to childhood in organised groups in the name of relaxation is frankly, embarrassing, and I would struggle to take seriously anyone that took part.
‘What happens when adults tire of coloring? Little, Brown & Co., a publishing division of Hachette Book Group, thinks it has the answer. In January, it plans to bring out the first two books in a series of connect-the-dot titles for grown-ups.’
I honestly have no response to that. I’d make a joke along the lines of ‘what comes next, <insert something childish>?’ but I’m struggling to come up with anything more ridiculous than connect-the-dots books for adults. Put the wooden blocks in the correctly shaped hole?
‘“A lot of people think that’s where this will go,” said Carina Guiterman, an assistant editor. “We haven’t seen the end of creative expression.”’
Nothing like meticulously drawing inside the lines of someone else’s picture to show off your creativity.
© 2015, Gavin Zanker. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Photo by @Doug88888 licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.