Just Let Me Color! The Debate Over Adult Coloring Books

I came across an article on Dose where Hannah P. called out coloring books as a scam. (Full article here.)

First and foremost I would like to start this response by saying I appreciate and respect the article as well as the person who wrote it, their opinion, and their right to their opinion and choice to not color.

I also happen to disagree.

In the article coloring books are called out for being scams, that perhaps for the mentally ill they’re great, but for the average person they aren’t necessary and, quote:

“You’re fooling yourself if you think coloring is going to make you feel better about your $35.12 bank account balance, or the fact that the guy you’re seeing hasn’t texted you back in four days.”

I believe that coloring can actually do just that. Coloring has been shown to lower anxiety, manage, stress and can be an effective mindfulness tool. Sure there is a nostalgic throwback element there, but the draw, I believe, is for the 10 minutes, 40 minutes or hour you give yourself to color, the stress in your life can fade away. I’ve experienced it first hand.

The fact it’s a best seller should be celebrated because it would suggest millions of people are seeking affordable, low stress and low cost avenues to add moments of serenity and peace into their world. Brene Brown, a shame researcher, further supports the importance of partaking in anything that makes you feel happy and at peace in her book The Gifts of Imperfection


Source: Amazon

When we let go of who we think we are supposed to be and embrace who we truly are, we allow our imperfections to be limited, we let go of shame, and we simply live. Wholeheartedly. One element of wholehearted living is the explicit act of not being too ‘cool’ for play and fun. Adult coloring, building sculptures with Play Doh, blowing bubbles, and dancing around to your favorite oldies are all options to keep the kid in each of us alive and well. As the wisecracking, lovely Amy Poehler once said:

My greatest concern and disagreement with the article isn’t that the author doesn’t believe in coloring books. That’s fine. Everyone is entitled to like and dislike what they want. I don’t care for steak but I still love and hang out with people who do. The portion that made me want to write a response were the sections that mocked people for participating in an activity that brings them relaxation, (much of the article), discrediting people’s right to try using ridicule and shame as tools to quietly push people away from something that could allow them to be living happier, fuller, wholehearted lives. By saying they’re okay for those with mental illness but not needed for ‘normal’ people adds additional layers of shame and stigma to mental illness and coloring. Two things that have saved and soothed more lives than cleverly mocking people ever has.

I can appreciate a good point, a well placed GIF, and a perspective different than my own however,  I do not care to stand idly by as shaming, stigmatizing remarks are made against wholehearted living, playfulness, and mental health. There is nothing shameful about any of those things. All people benefit from play and mental health care and every person is entitled to try to live their lives in the pursuit of happiness and if coloring is a part of that, wonderful!

Regardless of where you fall on the preference and opinion towards adult coloring books I believe, wholeheartedly, both be given a place to exist shame free.

Let us know. what’s your take on the adult coloring book craze?

YouTube Channel: Fox News


Featured image via Inquistir 

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