This song was written as a call for people to be more open about their mental health. "'Rose-Colored Boy' is a song about feeling pressured to look at the world with blind optimism when you actually feel very hopeless about the world and your part in it," the band explained "There is so much social pressure to be (or appear to be) "happy" that we can actually feel shame when we aren't."
"Adding shame to sadness is a pretty toxic cocktail," they added. "It's hard enough to deal with sadness, depression, or any type of anxiety without the added societal expectations. It's important and more healing to meet people where they're at – EMPATHY – than to try and paint everything rosy."
The pretense of pretending to be happy in order to mask sadness is a recurring theme throughout After Laughter, especially on the single "Fake Happy."
The song's music video was directed by The Weeknd and Haim collaborator Warren Fu. The clip features Paramore hosting a cheery local morning news program. The happy, upbeat nature of the show is juxtaposed with the drama happening behind the scenes, as the band are hounded by TV executives to "smile more" to increase ratings.