Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



pink +‎ -wash +‎ -ing. The LGBT-related sense derives from the fact that the colour pink is often associated with homosexuality and LGBT culture. The breast cancer-related sense refers to the pink ribbon, an international symbol of breast cancer awareness.


pinkwashing (uncountable)

  1. (LGBT) The practice of a state or company presenting itself as gay-friendly and progressive to downplay its negative behavior.
    • 2012, Tim Murphy, "A Gay Community Center's Middle-East Problem", New York Magazine, 6 March 2012:
      Several protesters, many of whom said they were Jewish, invoked what they called pinkwashing, Israel's alleged touting of its progressive stance on gay rights as a way of deflecting global attention away from its treatment of Palestinians.
  2. The practice of a company using support of breast cancer-related charities to promote itself and its products or services.
    • 2011, Our Bodies, Ourselves, Touchstone (2011), →ISBN, unnumbered page:
      One such pinkwashing campaign was KFC's "Buckets for the Cure," an attempt by the fried chicken franchise to raise breast cancer awareness in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
  3. The practice of making a toy pink to signal that the manufacturer is marketing it toward girls.
    • 2014, Elizabeth Sweet, "How Did Toys Get Stereotyped by Sex?", The New York Times, 22 December 2014:
      Today, the pink-washed versions of toys that had been marketed solely to boys for decades are touted as a shift toward gender-neutrality.





  1. present participle of pinkwash

Related terms[edit]