Anti-teenager “pink lights to show up acne”

Pink lights in Mansfield. Photo from BBC

In a similar vein to the Mosquito, intentionally shallow steps (and, superficially at least–though not really–blue lighting in toilets, which Raph d’Amico dissects well here), we now have residents’ associations installing pink lighting to highlight teenagers’ acne and so drive them away from an area:

Residents of a Nottinghamshire housing estate have installed pink lights which show up teenagers’ spots in a bid to stop them gathering in the area.

Members of Layton Burroughs Residents’ Association, Mansfield say they have bought the lights in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour. The lights are said to have a calming influence, but they also highlight skin blemishes.

The National Youth Agency said it would just move the problem somewhere else. Peta Halls, development officer for the NYA, said: “Anything that aims to embarrass people out of an area is not on. “The pink lights are indiscriminate in that they will impact on all young people and older people who do not, perhaps, have perfect skin.

I had heard about this before (thanks, Ed!) but overlooked posting it on the blog – other places the pink lights have been used include Preston and Scunthorpe, to which this quote refers (note the youths=yobs equation):

Yobs are being shamed out of anti-social behaviour by bright pink lights which show up their acne.

The lights are so strong they highlight skin blemishes and have been successful in moving on youths from troublespots who view pink as being “uncool.”

Manager Dave Hey said: “With the fluorescent pink light we are trying to embarass young people out of the area. “The pink is not seen as particularly macho among young men and apparently it highlights acne and blemishes in the skin.

A North Lincolnshire Council spokesman said: “[…]”On the face of it this sounds barmy. But do young people really want to hang around in an area with a pink glow that makes any spots they have on their face stand out?”

With the Mansfield example making the news, it’s good to see that there is, at least, quite a lot of comment pointing out the idiocy of the hard-of-thinking who believe that this sort of measure will actually ‘solve the problem of young people’, whatever that might mean, as well as the deeply discriminatory nature of the plan. For example, this rather dim (if perhaps tongue-in-cheek) light in the Nottingham Evening Post has been comprehensively rebutted by a commenter:

Trying to use someone’s personal looks against them simply because they meet up with friends and have a social life…

If this is the case then I would personally love to see adults banned from meeting up in pubs, parties and generally getting drunk. I would also love to see something making fun of their elderlyness and wrinkle problems.

I don’t understand why Britain hates its young people so much. But I can see it storing up a great deal of problems for the future.

Photo from this BBC story


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    • simon bromiow

      CRAZY IDEA: what about the genuine young people who need to use the facilities that don’t cause trouble. it effects them as well, don’t you think its unfair.

  3. metamorpheus

    Jeez, we’ll do this here in the states. God knows this little pimply bastards need to get a life outside of congregating on street corners. I vote YES for pink lights.

  4. Edward III

    Britain is a failed state. It gets worse by the minute.

    Get OUT while you still can!

  5. Ryan

    I don’t fully understand this. You can’t see yourself, so who would actually freak out after standing under a pink light that makes everyone else look ugly as well — and oh god, it’s not just teenagers with horrifying skin. Especially if it’s known to intentionally make people look ugly! I really can’t imagine kids being embarrassed about acne.

    Also, just wear green. It most likely would cancel out the effect.

  6. On the upside, it looks like it escaped from an annoying Hoxton nightclub, so the whole project might backfire in an amusing way.

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  8. It doesnt make sense because pink light would just wash out acne not highlight it, why do you think every bar has red lights, it makes you skin look better not worse, if they wanted to highlight your flaws they should just use flourescent lights and put mirrors in the halls.

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  10. Squirt squirt

    This should be researched for an anti-terrorism weapon to shame the terrorists into going somewhere else.

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  13. Reagan

    As a side effect, the pink light draws in gay dudes. Soon gay bars will open 🙂

  14. Yes colored lights have been proposed and used for several dubious reasons in the UK. I can clearly remember reading about the blue lights in bathrooms driving out junkies because they wouldn’t be able to see their veins and thinking hmmmm… My experience has shown vetern junkies can shoot-up in the dark by feel alone, not to mention while driving and other very dangerous and amazing things.

    When the town I was a teen in here in the US tried to discourage loitering of teens they proposed harrasment by police for groups over 2, sirens of various sorts, spotlights,the presence of dogs, and a curfew. That was a great time when, for the first time in years, social cliques started intermingling and everyone spent most of their time outside socialising all in the name of civil disobedience. The cops were forced to give up their practices about 6 months later after several hundred very angry parents petitioned the town council and in three cases lawsuits were brought against the borough.

    When the police first started recieving the backlash they had all sorts of whiney excuses “I dont understand why we are being demonized we only had the best interest of the community in mind”. Their statements on the matter were “any gathering of teens without official recognization like that recieved by church youth groups or little league sports is nothing more than street gang activity.” So there you have it, if it’s not the refreshing smiles of wholesome church and school related activities it’s a street gang.

    Treat youths like you treat vermin and they grow up hardened and weary of authority. The police always complain that youths do not respect them but do not see anything wrong with addressing said youths as an infestation.

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  16. RidiculousCalamity

    Want to drive all humans away? Just install Low Pressure Sodium lights! No colour at night, just shades of gray. Great for video surveillance too! DoublePlus(Un)Good!!!

  17. teh_kr4x0r

    all that will happen is that pre-teens and teens will wear hideous amounts of make-up and look like pornstars …

  18. suuuure

    just turn the pink lights into a rave. you’ve taken the club scene and brought it outdoors. now kids can do ecstasy in broad daylight (or pink light)

  19. eastcoastresident

    so that explains the lights at the bus stop. but honestly, no one noticed any change in acne. we were like oh, pink lights, how interesting, and moved on with our conversation. some ppl just might to decided to screw it and stay there, where there are pink lights

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  21. @Squirt squirt oh god the terrorists don’t talk to me about them terrorists we can’t move on our estate for terrorists and another thing…

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  23. Anonymous

    So they want to “stop them gathering” as a way to “curb anti-social behavior”? They want to make them more social by not letting them meet?

    Oh, the irony.

  24. Greg

    so they’ll just start wearing their little droogie maskies out for an evening of ultraviolence brought on by all these antisocial govt. policies … and those pink lights, reminds me of the moloko bar. they should start playing Beethoven over big loudspeakers too, teens hate Ludwig Von, welly welly well …

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  26. Erasmus

    How much do these lights cost? It seems to me that from a teenager’s point of view the easiest and most obvious solution to lights that point out their acne is to simply break the lights. If they are expensive to replace I’d imagine this strategy will backfire pretty quickly.

  27. Lita

    Yeah. That’s a great solution. Instead of dealing with the kids that cause problems AS they cause problems, come up with hair-brained ideas like this to try to run them all off.

    Psh. I’d just wear a hat to shade my face.

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  29. Animality

    Funny thing Greg: At the bus stop outside the local mall, they’ve started playing really loud classical and operatic music to deter youth from hanging around. Ironically, I had an old man waiting for his bus omplain to me about the “dreadful noise”.

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  33. Clarice

    You think we don’t hate ouur skin already? you try to embarrass acne sufferers? I’m a 26 year old, who, frankly, thinks you’re disgusting. It’s not just teens who suffer from this. It’s adults who have the problem too. You sicken me. Get some lifes.

  34. The Village Idiot

    It’s going to be interesting to see how things go when today’s problems, er… I mean kids, are all grown up and the people coming up with these ridiculous ideas get old and it’s time to think about nursing homes and all the rest.

    “Well, it’s off to God’s Waiting Room for you, and not a moment too soon! Thanks for making our childhood constantly annoying and seeing us as your enemy, now it’s your turn to be swept under the rug!” And the crusty old bastards won’t even understand why no one except other crusty old bastards want to spend time with them. They can be prevented from escaping their assisted living facility by surrounding it with loudspeakers playing (at high volume) whatever the kids of the future like listening to (or surround it with a skateboarding park full of hoodlums, heheheheh). Hell, that might even be a good idea right now; after all, kids and the elderly are always just getting in the way and are essentially useless consumers of valuable resources that could be better used by young and middle-aged adults with perfect skin. I am being sarcastic, but I fear our society means it.

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  36. I think our childeren are our most precious rescource. shame on you british hooligans for pinkifying them like this. They’re ALREADY PINK GODDAMN IT. idiots. and another thing, government officials are drawn to pink because it reminds them of their underarms. You dont want them around do you???

  37. Anonymous

    HA! Me and my friends love Mosquitos: heres the game, you take it in turns to run as close to the Mosquito as possible as possible then stay there for as long as you can while someone times u! It’s so addictive + the winer gets some gummy bears!
    There was a pink light a bit like this somewhere in town – like a tester one; went down a treat! We loved it! So what ur friends can see u all spotty and everything but, who cares – their all spotty too! we spent about 15 minutes just laughing at each other…
    please make a light that make ginger hair glow bright orange! lol we luv u guys!

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  39. Joshua

    Well in a jobless society for youths (because grandad is the one working at Mcdonalds and every other teen job) what are these kids supposed to do. It sounds almost like Nazi Germany in the 30’s, “any gathering not sanctioned by the state is a crime”. Are you people so ignorant that you can’t see a correlation? If so, you deserve those very same teens you have demonized to go all Clockwork Orange on you one night.

  40. Wow, that’s quite an interesting solution to a problem… not sure how effective it will be over time, but definitely creative!

  41. Anonymous

    Why does being a teenager automatically make one an anti social trouble maker? Teenagers shouldn’t be discouraged from gathering, in the same way any other age group isn’t. Someone’s age is not an accurate measurement of their actions, in the same way that sex or race aren’t.

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