Teal Can Heal: Support This Colour for Women’s Health

Heart and Music: Teal Notes!

November 29, 2010 is the second annual Heart and Music Event in support of Ovarian Cancer Research.  It will be taking place at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre in downtown Toronto. This important musical and dance event raises money and awareness of Ovarian Cancer.  The colour of Ovarian Cancer Awareness is Teal, so I thought it fitting to have a look at this colour more closely and the role it plays in our world today.

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The Word “Teal”

The name “Teal” is a relatively new word to describe the cool colour that lives between green and blue on the classic Colour Wheel.  To create Teal you mix two parts blue with one part yellow. The term was first used in English in 1758 and comes from “The Common Teal”, a widespread duck which breeds in Eurasia, and which is closely related to the Mallard here in North America.  In England, the slang use of “Teal” is occasionally used as a nickname for someone resembling a duck!

Teal and Culture

In ages gone by, Tibetans used this colour to make prayer shawls as they believed the colour strengthened their concentration and spirituality.  Throughout history the Aquamarine stone, which comes in light blues to blue-greens and teals, was thought to endow its wearer with foresight and courage.  In the Middle Ages, this stone was thought to reduce the effects of poisons.  Today, this stone is the birth gem for March and the stone for the zodiac sign of Scorpio.

Perhaps more fascinating however, is that the colour Teal ranks # 35 out of Crayola’s Top 50 Crayon Colours in America.  It was introduced in 1990 and included in the 64 pack of colours.  Crayola notes that Teal is a “sophisticated, self-assured and stable colour”.

Teal and Fashion

Teal has been a popular colour in fashion certainly in the 1980s (remember teal-coloured cars?) and has definitely seen a resurgence over the last few years.(Did you know you can get a George Forman Grill in Teal??!)  And a close colour-relative to Teal is Turquoise which was announced to be the colour of the year by Pantone, just a few years back!

Of course, no discussion of fashion would be complete without mentioning the ubiquitous Mood Ring, first created in the late 1960s.  Here we see Teal added to the original collection of colours as the trends leaned in this popular colour’s direction.  By the way, if your ring does turn Teal, it’s an indication that you are feeling calm and relaxed….not quite ‘happy’ as that is the domain of Blue!

Teal and Ovarian Cancer Awareness

But the most significant use of the colour Teal today is as a symbol of the courage to cope with the diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer and to spread the message about preventable measures that women can take against this disease.  Ovarian Cancer is one of the major causes of death among women.  It can be treated at an early stage but currently there is no effective test for finding ovarian cancer early.

The next time you buy something Teal, think of all its variety of meanings, its uses and of course, its symbolism to women around the world searching for a cure to this deadly disease.