“Today, charting your own course isn't just more necessary than ever before, ... it's also much easier -- and much more fun.”-Pink Pink is one of my favorite artists and thought a blog dedicated to her 8ness would be enjoyable and particularly illustrative of the 8w7.
Of the 8w7 Thomas Condon says: "Awakened Eights with a 7 wing are often expansive and powerful. Gregarious and generous. They may display a cheerful bravado. Can be forceful but with a light touch. Funny. Often have a good sense of humor about themselves. Generally more extroverted, ambitious and materialistic. May talk loud and be sociable party goers...Sometimes driven to bring the new into being. Can be visionary, idealistic, enterprising. Willing to take risks...When entranced aggression combines with gluttony to form an almost virulent tendency to addiction. Many entranced 8w7 have problems with drug and alcohol problems or tensions around addictions...can be moody, egocentric and quick to anger."-Thomas Condon, The Enneagram Movie and Video Guide
Of the Sexual 8 Susan Rhodes says "They tend to be larger than life characters who believe in the values of a bygone era. Values such as honor, courage, integrity and justice. They expect others to live by such values, too...SX 8s are extraordinarily intense and need good outlets for that intensity-usually physical outlets, since they're gut types. They're well aware of the power of their energy and take it seriously, because they see what happens when it gets out of control. Sexually they seek intense, over the top experiences that take them right to the edge. They like to take on a dominant role and often seek their opposite: someone willing to take on a submissive role. On a deeper level, though, SX 8s actually long for submission..."-Susan Rhodes, The Positive Enneagram
Pink has a rough and raw energy that speaks to the power of the 8. She is creative, visionary, and reactive and she takes this energy and channels it wholeheartedly into her musical expression. She has a visceral energy about her (not unlike most gut types), that reads to me intuitively like a boulder wrapped in fire. The sexual subtype is smeared across her eyes in which her gaze is glued, intense, laser like, and intimidating. Many 8s exhibit these "laser" or "dart" eyes that scan whomever they are talking to for weakness and vulnerability. Often this happens without the 8 even being cognizant of their probing nature. It is this scanning for weakness that contributes to others being intimidated by the 8 even when this is not the intention.
Her body language is relaxed and rarely is she nervous when interviewing or performing. She's spoken of the incredibly amount of adrenaline she gets from performing, and the dangerous aspects of her performances are what contribute to the "rush" she feels. Pink was admittedly addicted to various drugs in her youth and in some respects her physically demanding shows are a replacement for the artificial high from drug use. The video and song for Sober illustrate this tendency quite well:
In the song she speaks to her addictive demons and expresses knowledge and awareness of her excessive tendencies:
Ah, the night is calling. And it whispers to me softly come and play Ah, I am falling And If I let myself go I'm the only one to blame
I'm safe Up high Nothing can touch me But why do I feel this party's over? No pain Inside You're like perfection How do I feel this good sober?
One can also see the influence of the 7 wing, and the effect that has on her hedonistic, excessive qualities.
Of course no discussion of an 8 would be complete without speaking to the characteristic "toughness" that they typically exhibit. Pink is no exception. Perhaps it seems more evident because of the juxtaposition of her gender and the societal pressure to conform to more feminine standards of appropriate behavior. Nonetheless, Pink feels as though she has no problem backing up her claims of toughness with swift and powerful action. I think that her toughness is a source of pride and one of the reasons she sings about it with such gusto. For her, the ego identification lies in knowing she can protect herself and others should this be necessary. She sees herself as a survivor and willing to overcome any obstacles necessary in order to avoid being controlled or dominated in any way. The public got its first glimpse of the defiant and subversive Pink on her second album, which, according to her was the first time we got to see who she really is:
"I was always in a fight, cause I can't do nothing right." This line is pretty indicative of how her rebelliousness and unwillingness to take direction often found her in opposition to authority. She had a rocky relationship with her parents as an adolescent, which is not uncommon for teenagers in general, but seems to be amplified with a rebellious 8 (or sometimes 7 or counterphobic 6 kid). However, in keeping with her value of truth and honesty we see the awareness of her own ego limitations and the willingness to take risk despite consequences from the outside world. Katherine Fauvre states that one of the tantamount points of 8 is the willingness to act on one's own accord without care for the consequences of the actions, it's sort of a "fuck you, I'm going to do it anyway" attitude that screams in the face of authority and says "I'm the boss, not you!"
Another song that showcases her feelings of being a survivor and her belief that she is sort of constantly pushing against the grain. Many 8s see life as an uphill battle and perceive opposition and control where there may be non. With counterphobic 6 in the tritype the fear of being controlled or taken advantage of is amplified:
You can push me out the window I'll just get back up You can run over me with your 18 wheeler truck And I won't give a fuck You can hang me like a slave I'll go underground You can run over me with your 18 wheeler but You can't keep me down, down, down, down
Here she speaks again of her unwillingness to just "lay there and let you come first", which speaks to the desire of the 8 to make sure that they are satisfied at all costs (lust). This is certainly excerbated again by the 7 wing (gluttony).
In her more light heartened pop songs we see Pink poking fun at her own over the top personality. Another marker of the healthy to high functioning average 8 is the willingness to poke fun at their own aggressive and dominant tendencies:
My rims are 23 inch And they're black on black No they're not his Diamonds all over my teefs You can try and try you can't beat me
So I'll cash my cheques and place my bets And hope I'll always win Even if I don't I'm fucked because I live a life of sin But it's alright I don't give a damn I don't play your rules I make my own Tonight I'll do what I want Cuz I can
Again the explicit recogintion of her hedonism (7 wing) "I live a life of sin", the desire to overcome over the war that is life, "I'll cash my checks and place my bets, and hope I'll always win", and the defiance and unwillingness to be controlled by others' rules; "I don't play your rules I make my own, tonight, I'll do what I want, cause I can."
The analogy of life being a war often comes up with 8s, in which they literally see the world as a battlefield in which one must protect themselves and one's fellow soldiers in order to survive. The war anaology shows up in a couple of Pink's songs but most explicitly in My Vietnam. In this particular song we also see the tendency for the gut type (8,9,1) to not know how to adjust themselves to the demands of the parents/world at large. Each of the gut types deals with this differently, 8s by refusing to mitigate the fiery energy of the gut center, 9s by repressing the energy, and 1s by controlling the angry energy of the gut center. Life becomes Guerrilla warfare in which only the savvy, bold, and tough survive, however in the last stanza we see her awareness that she is not what people expected her to be, and the pain this causes:
I get the impression that Pink finds it exceedingly difficult and unacceptable to mitigate her own energy because the force of her own bravado and intensity is not likely to be squelched, however since she found music it seems that this became the main channel in which she channels the anger and aggression that boils inside of her. Pink's adolescence was about as rebellious as one can get and she exhibited a fearlessness and recklessness at a young age that was terrifying for parents who didn't know how to handle a young, aggressive 8 child.
The ballsy outspoken nature of Pink can be seen in this "Choose or Loose" interview in which she speaks to her own belief in her own convictions (often thinking those who disagree are wrong, another common and amusing feature of 8), and her fearlessness at expressing what she believes:
Pink, like most reactive types (4,6,8) value truth above the cloaking of emotional or threatening content. As she speaks about each song on her latest album Funhouse there is frequent mention of the values of truth, honesty, and a great emphasis on the beauty of emotional honesty and expression. This sort of artistic sensibility often accompanies the sexual 8 whom I like to conceptualize as the "Boxer Poet" archetype (as suggested by Tom Condon). One can see the intensity and desire for creative catharsis of the sexual subtype mingling with the strength and veracity of the 8 to support a creative process that has a rawness and visceral quality that captures a very "real" moment in time. Pink has 4 in the tritype which contributes to the confessional style of her music (as the sexual 4 is the confessional subtype), and amplifies the desire for emotional truth and honesty as displayed through art:
Her adventurous 7 wing is displayed throughout the above interview as she mentions her desire to be kept in the dark about the future as well as her mention of the energetic aspects of the creative process. I often see the idiosyncratic style (talking about energy, vibing, etc) with 8w7 as opposed to the 9 wing as the visionary, inventive nature of the 7 wing adds a slightly mystical bent to the usually very grounded and practical 8. She speaks of the frequent writing of songs spontaneously and often in the company of the very person she is writing about, (husband Carey Hart-either a 6w7 or 9w8). Exposing the rawness of their relationship to the public and close friends by writing revealing songs personifies the confessional nature of the sexual subtype and the need for truth and realness of the 8.
Here again she speaks to her impulsive song writing style. As a side note, I am particularly struck by the sardonic look on her face throughout most of her interviews, there is an implied threat even when she is seemingly quite cheerful (a state she admittedly inhabits frequently, due to the influence of a strong 7 wing) one still gets the sense of strong, impenetrable, invisible boundaries:
Her primary inspiration comes from personal angst and relationship turmoil (not uncommon for many artists). However, in some respects she needs this tension in order to create (another testament to 4 being in the tritype). In fact, it is the tension of her most vulnerable life area (the sexual arena) that allows her to channel her vulnerability into creative expression. We all experience the most pain in our primary instinctual arena, and it is there that we find the inspiration for creation. Nonetheless, though she speaks about her vulnerability and sensitivity after the fact, and we are very rarely allowed access to the softer Pink in interviews. We can however see it in her lyrics and videos.
The vulnerability of the 8 is kept well hidden as this is what is to be protected at all costs. I especially appreciate Condon's analogy that states that the 8 takes their own vulnerabilities, places them in other people, and protects it there. I think this is incredibly appropriate and accurate for the way in which most 8s explore their softness. However, the sexual 8 can show a bit more softness and vulnerability than the other 8 subtypes, thus contributing to the sort of boxer/poet archetype mentioned earlier:
Whether it's the pain of her parents separation and tumultuous relationship:
The vulnerability and sadness she feels while alone, and a recognition of her own schema that life is a battle to be won and the toll that position can take on one's emotional state:
Or the vulnerability and confession of her fears of abandonment, rejection, and loss of romantic love:
In all three videos we not only have soft, poetic and vulnerable lyrical content but we also see a softer Pink; her vulnerability and grief are expressed visually through the softening of her surroundings and a smoothing of her typically sharp, hard-edged Pop-punk style. Whether it's the expression of the scared and hurt inner child as in Family Portrait, the burden of being everyone else's pillar of strength as in Nobody Knows, or the woman who just wants to be reassured of her value to the beloved in I Don't Believe You, Pink shows her vulnerability to us through her artistic expression.
However, it is not always sad and serious. The ability of the 8 and particularly the 8w7 to play with their own "psychosis" (to use Pink's terminology) points to the playful energy of the 7 mingling with the strength of the 8. We see the expression of vulnerability in a much more playful albeit macabre way in Please Don't Leave Me:
The juxtaposition of the vulnerability of the lyrics and the playfulness of the video likely helped to ease her uncomfortability with expressing her insecurities about her relationship to the world. It also shows the strength and forcefulness of the sexual 8 in relationship mingling with the push pull tendencies of 6 and 4 in the tritype. The result is a tumultuous and rocky relationship.
In many of the interviews you can see a sort of go to hell silliness that feels as though at any moment her bantering and witty playfulness could erupt into rage. In the following interview with Jimmy Kimmel I was struck by how comfortable she felt, the expansiveness of her energy as well as the visceral sensualness of her body language which reeks of sexual 8, it is as though at times she just wants to allow herself to love everyone in the room but catches herself and jumps back into a defended body armor that keeps people slightly away. I once saw a sexual 8w7 at a Condon panel discussion at an Enneagram Conference who exhibited this same body language and expressed the desire to "have sex with" everyone in the room and a subsequent fear of letting anyone get too close lest they take advantage of her, and push her out of that loving feeling.
I also find it curious that her favorite nickname given to her by her friends is "fat mama", which to me points to her awareness and desire to be a protective figure for those in her life. I get the sense that she protects her friends and family fiercely and requires undying loyalty in return (exacerbated by counterphobic 6 in the tritype). In the following clip she talks about her childhood admiration of singer/songwriter Linda Perry and the anger she felt when she thought Perry had betrayed her through working with artist she didn't like (namely Christina Aguilera. This is not uncommon for the sexual 8 (or 8 in general) who needs complete confidence and loyalty from intimates. Pink even states that her relationship and professional split with Perry parallels the feelings of being slighted by a lover; "I took it really personally when she started working with other artists, particularly artists I didn't like." The following clip also helps paint a more complete picture of the Pink the artist and the expression of her art through the forceful energy of the 8.
In this clip she speaks to her boldness and brashness as it related to her adolescene and early music career:
"I remember when we got into Tommy Matola (president of Sony) office and we were singing and he was like fiddling around on his desk and he wasn't even paying attention and I just stopped the music in the middle of our first song and I said 'can you at least act like you're paying attention and not look out the fucking window while we're singing, cause I didn't smoke today.' I'm like 15 cursing out Tommy Matola, that didn't go over well"
Even the gritty and soulful sound of her voice seems to speak to her personality structure. Pink's voice has the rawness of Janice Joplin (someone with whom she identifies with), and the soulfulness of an R&B singer mixed with the sharp, pointy edges of a punk rocker (a la Debbie Harry or Chrissie Hynde).
This clip really shows the rawness of her vocal styling, the song Unwind was written about Joplin, in which she states she channeled the troubled, rogue artist:
And this video because I just love the song and performance:
I think you all get my point. I could go on and on. All in all I think Pink is a great representation of the sexual 8w7. I believe she has 4 and 7, so she is compelled to be outspoken, creative, and out of the box original.
Pink: 8w7 Sexual subtype 8-7-4 Tritype: