Wednesday, April 11, 2012

in defense of lipstick

 for two weeks in march, i didn't wear lipstick.

this may seem trivial to some, but for a girl who relishes in that morning swipe of color, it was...different.

i did it because i read an article in an old allure magazine while sitting in the doctor's office for my second unsuccessful visit to curb my unflinching cold. it was the "guys tell all" article, riddled with countless statistics on what men find attractive, ugly, hot and just plain ridiculous.

a vast majority of them disliked bright lipstick. they found it distracting. messy. bold.

i let the insults linger there, then considered the deep shade of ruby on my lips. did my doctor find it distracting? what did my husband really think? was it too bold for the office? i questioned every bright color i'd ever purchased (always with great excitement). my little red change purse, my arsenal of lip products, stayed in the deep abyss of  my oversized pocketbook. i went to the bathroom and dabbed lightly at the crevices of my mouth.

but i realized something. a little nugget of truth that made me reach for my favorite shade of fuchsia this morning, when the world was asleep and i was puttering around in my robe.

it doesn't matter what they think. it's easy to say, but to digest it took a bit of time. i don't wear it for anyone but myself. because it makes me feel pretty. like my mama. it reminds me of a time when women wore tights and high-waisted skirts and put up their hair in pin curls. it's the working girl's best friend. a way to wake up a face filled with stress, deadlines and no sleep.

and my husband has yet to complain, which makes me think he must be in the 40% of men who like it, or simply don't give a rats tail what's on a woman's lips as long as they are on him, or pursed into a compliment.

so fill those lines with a pretty plum. wear that big red hair bow, those platform heels, that blouse with a million ruffles. do it for you. and if someone happens to like it along the way, well then that's all well and good. but if they don't? then just consider the source and saunter away. and wear it that much brighter next time.

24 comments:

Victory Garden Yarn said...

YES! Yes yes yes! I wholeheartedly agree! (In case you can't tell already.) Boyfriend says the only reason he doesn't like lipstick on my pout is because then he can't smooch me good & proper...and that's just so adorable that I think I'll just have to live with it. ;)

Deer Little Fawn said...

Yay for you! Those statistics are full of nonsense anyway. I wear a lot of brightly coloured nailvarnish because it brightens up my day and I genuinely don't care whether other people like it or not. If something little like lipstick or nail polish or hair accessories etc makes you feel better in the day I think you should happily embrace it!
...plus you always look fabulous in your blog pictures! :) x

larisaa said...

It looks fabulous on you, so obviously those men hadn't seen your gorgeous face. Maybe they're thinking of their grandmother whose lipstick is caked and cracked and mostly flaking their teeth. Maybe that's not attractive. But the point is not that. The point is do what makes you feel beautiful.

ginanorma said...

Oh I love this, amen sister! And what an interesting article because I think I have heard something similar, ...we aren't here for guys and for what they find appealing...so THERE! I like your take on it, wear it for you, and as long as your husband hasn't said anything, and I can't imagine he would, it looks darling on you, then keep the shades comin, love this!

Michelle said...

Love this, Courtney! I'm starting to be bold and wear bright lipstick, and nothing makes me feel quite as good :) Who cares one bit about what people think! It's been a long, hard, good lesson for me to learn.

beka said...

"and my husband has yet to complain, which makes me think he must be in the 40% of men who like it, or simply don't give a rats tail what's on a woman's lips as long as they are on him, or pursed into a compliment."

love that part.

so. true!
what a reminder. thanks, love :)

Thisisme. said...

Fantastic post and, yes, let's do it for US!!! It certainly makes me feel better and brighter when I have my make up on.

Ruthy said...

Lipstick looks good on everyone and it is something different. I don't wear it everyday but when I do I feel extra pretty that day. What matters at the end of the day is that you love to wear it and it does not matter what you read in some magazine because to be honest we don't know how many individuals actually took part of that survey. It could have been 10 individuals or 500 but that is only a fraction of the population. So go wear that lipstick if it makes you feel happy.

Anna said...

Yes. A million times, yes.
Well said friend! Xo.

LittleSilkDress said...

Love this! You're right - it doesn't matter what a magazine says. Lipstick is beautiful. Keep rockin'

LittleSilkDress said...

...it. Sorrry. Silly phone posted before I was done.

Blondie's Journal said...

I am totally behind you on this, Courtney! I love being a girl and it shows! My mom always wore bright red lipstick, even if she was cleaning house and I always thought she was SO pretty! When I see women with lipstick and nail polish on, my first thought is that they take time for themselves. And I would never go out without lipstick...EVER!

XO,
Jane

Jessica Wray said...

love this! Lipstick just makes you feel so... pretty


Peony

Ana Magdalena said...

I always tell myself "you can't please everybody, so you might as well please yourself." It's a great reminder.

Becca said...

Exactly! Lipstick is like a symbol of 1940s Hollywood glamour - what's not to like? I'm also a believer of tiny blessings that make you feel fab, regardless of what anyone else might think. Let's get our lippy out! :) x

Claire said...

i like to wear lipstick or my lips feel dry! and i think i look pale...and not interesting lol mostly i wear a browny red (if that makes sence! but for work i wear a coloured lip gloss in a more natural shade. you look good!

Anonymous said...

I am known for my various shades of vibrant, red and pink lips....my mom was a stay-at-home mom of the 50's and before my dad would arrive for his huge homemade lunch she would scamper to the bathroom and refresh that lipstick. I love it and feel very much like an albino without it. I have worn it so long that when people tease me about my red lips I have to think about it a minute. I love Angelina Jolie's lipstick choices....and I wear the "stay on for 24 hour" kind, which is an amazing invention.

the southern hostess said...

Your writing never ceases to amaze me. I love the way you delve into everyday life and get me thinking. Lovely as always.

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

So true! We should do the things we do to feel pretty for ourselves! And long live the bright lipstick! I think it's one of the best things ever! :)

chambanachik said...

This makes me smile. :)

Amylou said...

This my dear was perfect! Hooray for lip rouge! I love the way it makes me feel! :)

Emma Frances said...

I love this! :] I don't wear lipstick as much as I'd like because I'm not always brave but whenever I do it does make me feel like a lady and I don't think anyone should try and take that away from me!

charla beth said...

you are fabulous, courtney.

i haven't been in the blog world for a couple weeks, but yours is the first one i came back to. and boy, have i missed it:)

kate said...

every girl, young or old, has their one thing that makes them feel beautiful. and when you feel beautiful you ARE beautiful. dont let a silly magazine fill your head with nonsense. you look gorgeous in your brights and plums :)

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