I Love Red Lipstick.

lips-562555_640Everyone has an opinion about red lipstick. And probably, most of those opinions are wrong.

Let me explain.

An extremely unprofessional (their words!) study at Huffpost  suggested that men do like it, don’t like it, are turned off by it, are turned on by it, are scared of it…

Studies have shown that women wearing red lipstick get the most prolonged gazes from men…

And another study showed waitresses wearing red lipstick got higher tips than those who didn’t…

What’s wrong with all of the above?

They are coming from the perspective of the VIEWER, not the WEARER.

I don’t wear red lipstick for anyone else’s enjoyment except my own. And I love it. To pieces. For me, a dash of mascara and a pair of full red lips, and I’m good.

red-lipstickI really don’t care if you think it’s hot or alluring or a turn-off or whatever. I do it for me.

However, lipstick has seen its fair share of use for purpose – from declaring your wealth, to declaring your profession, through to declaring your suffrage. Women, and men, have been wearing it for thousands of years.

Lipstick was invented (they think) in Mesopotamia, and it was a sign of wealth. Something rich people wore to make it clear they were rich.

However, somewhere along the line, someone decided red lipstick was bad. By the end of the classical Greek period, prostitutes wore it to visibly mark their occupation and status.

Then, in the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I brought red lipstick back into fashion. I’ll guarantee she wore it for no one except herself.

In the 1770’s red lipstick was demonized – and I mean that literally. Wearing any cosmetics at all was illegal for about eighty years in some parts of England, because women could use it to bewitch men into matrimony. Yes. Your red lipstick could force a man to marry you. Force him. With Lipstick. And Face Powder. And – oh my lord – Rouge. (PS: To begin with, I thought this meant men in England in the Georgian era were really dumb – you mean they couldn’t tell the beautiful girl they were marrying was just an ugly hag with a bit of lippie on? Then, I changed my mind. They were actually kinda smart to come up with such a bogus excuse to annul a marriage – “But your lordship! She magicked me into it with her white face and red, red lips!”)

However, across the ditch in France, both men and women were wearing lipstick. Apparently, it’s witchcraft only worked north of the Channel. Go figure.

By 1912, bright red lippie was de rigeur as a sign of female strength. According to Madeleine Marsh, author of “Compacts and Cosmetics,” “The first and most famous manifestation of red lipstick was in fact in New York when the suffragettes took to the streets, banded together, and as part of their defiance and fight for the vote, they all wore bright red lipstick.”

Through the second world war, women were encouraged to wear it as a mark of patriotism, with colours like “Grenadier Red” and “Patriot Red”, following through in the fifties and sixties with it being worn and loved by the sex symbols of the silver screen – Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball… all sported a scarlet smacker.

Red lipstick goes in and out of vogue a few times, but now, with artists like Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry favoring it, you could say it’s back, but this time without any purpose except because those who choose to wear it like it.

An article in psychologies.co.uk from October 2011 says wearing red lipstick is a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario – women nowadays wear red lipstick to be confident, but you have to be confident to wear it…

KeepCalmPersonally, I think we are all thinking a bit too hard about it. I like to wear it, because I feel good when I wear it. Sometimes, I don’t think I would feel good wearing it, so I don’t. Apparently, the feel-good-about-yourself-based-on-what-you-wear is a fairly universal feeling across both men and women (although it seems women take it all a little further…) and, let’s face it, makeup is just another layer of what you are wearing.

So go out! Wear your red lipstick with pride! Or don’t! It’s entirely up to YOU – not everyone else who is looking at you.

What’s that? You want to wear bright pink lipstick instead?

Then you’re nothing but a limelight stealing, man grabbing whore.

 

 

I Love Red Lipstick.
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