Monday, July 11, 2016

Lipstick Hyperbole

Someone on FB posted the question: lipstick or not?
I had to reply to this one.
Red lips are amazing. They catch the eye, center focus on the lips, brighten one's face, yadda yadda yadda. But, alas, red lips are not for everyone.

When I was in 8th grade, back in 1962-3, all the girls started wearing stockings (with those awkward garter belts) and lipstick. They already had their bras, because--I lived in a well-developed town. So, it was off to the nearest 5 and 10 for lipstick.

I can't remember the name or the brand, but after the Tangee phase passed by, it was on to Cotton Candy Pink or something along those lines with a pink plastic tip coming out of the top of the tube. It was the only one light enough that mothers would allow. We all applied it liberally and pouted into toilet paper to blot it as we had seen our mothers do.
We had arrived.
We were women now.

As the real reason for coloring one's lips is to bring attention to the fact that our lips were now kissable and luscious, I seem to remember that none of the 8th grade boys gave a damn. Oh, there were some who knew what was happening, but most of them didn't understand. Some actually laughed when a particularly backward female donned lip paint.  But it had to be either the Tangee or the lightest pink of pinks.

I did want to wear lipstick. I even found a light light caramel color that had taste and scent that was light enough since the pink fad was gradually on the fade. I put it on right. Blotted it, wiggled my lips in the mirror, saw that it was good. 
Nobody noticed it was so close to natural.

Then I tried red. 

Disaster! Yes. Lipstick made my lips kissable!
I couldn't go anywhere without people wanting to kiss me!
The guys queued up.
Aunties, uncles, grandparents, not brothers (good thing, that) but people on the street, babies! Everybody wanted to kiss those lips of mine.
I couldn't walk down the street without being accosted.
It was as if I were wearing a sign that said KISS ME.

It was so wrong. Red lips spelled trouble. On me.
Other women could wear red, just not me.
It was magnetic to every male anywhere.

There is a line from the song "Love Potion Number Nine" where the guy takes a sip of the potion and goes crazy wanting to make love to someone.
It goes, paraphrased, "I didn't know if it was day or night! I started kissing every thing in sight, but when I kissed a cop down on 34th and Vine, he broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine".

Well, it wasn't me who did the kissing, it was everybody else.
What did Mr. Tangee or Mr. Cutex put in that lipstick?

That's when I learned how to run and hide. Picture me running around corners, hiding behind brick walls until the horde passed by...actually, picturing me running is difficult enough. Attention can be good, but it can be really really bad if it isn't wanted!

Took me awhile to realize that I wasn't popular, I had these inviting red lips.

Red cape in front of a bull and red lips on me...danger danger danger.

So, I stopped wearing the red. I tossed out the caramel colored/scented tube, too. Got rid of the pink with the little colored plastic tip sticking out of the top of the cylinder.
My love affair with lipstick ended.

It has continued to this day.

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