Being a Red-Lipped Siren: Why I Love Red Lipstick

Festive Christmas selfie (lipstick: Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw”)

The red lipstick look is a classic one dating as far as back as ancient Egypt (Cleopatra would smash beetles to make the lip paint). In modern times, this look exudes an almost otherworldly energy. When many women rock a red lip, they transform into a totally different, more confident individual; red lipstick has that power for me.

Whether it is a bright crimson red or a dark burgundy red, the color is bold, and it brings people’s attention to you pretty much right away. Red lipstick conveys a sense of sexuality, strength, mystery, and confidence that only a person with those qualities (no matter how deep down) can pull off. The main word I associate with it is “fierce”.

I’ve dealt with self-esteem issues and social anxiety since middle school, but even though I still have my bad days where I hate myself or I can’t bring myself to be around people much, I feel like I’m in a better place when it comes to how I feel about myself as a person. There are, actually, some days where I feel fierce and want to show it. Boy, do I notice a difference on those days.

Due to my social anxiety, I have difficulties approaching other people to even say hello; I think everyone is judging me and will hate me the minute I open my mouth. Once I swipe on some red lipstick, though, that all goes away. I feel like I can take on the world. Hell, on those days, screw anyone who doesn’t like me. I like me, so they can shove it. (I can be so eloquent sometimes, can’t I?) Not to mention it’s sometimes flattering when I get hit on, since I get hit on more when I’m rocking red on my lips at a rock or heavy metal concert. They’re approaching me first, so it’s a lot less scary. (Thank you, lippies!)

I may sound timid and weak to people when I bring up things like my anxiety or my depression, but I have two things to say to dispel that:

  1. Making it through each day when you wake up feeling like you don’t want to be alive or deal with anything takes a ton of strength (more strength than other people realize).
  2. It also takes a lot of strength and bravery to admit that something is wrong with you, you know it, and you need to get help fixing/managing it.

Underneath all the garbage my thoughts make me think or feel sometimes, there is a bold, confident, “take-no-shit” young woman, and she comes out when I put on the “war paint”. I have one of the loudest voices out of everyone I know (with plenty of people telling me so). I can be rowdy and joke around with a beer in my hand. I went my first 22 years of life alone (no dating at all), and even though it would suck losing the guy I’ve been speaking to, I can manage to live alone again, if I have to. I’ve witnessed ugly fights full of verbal abuse and slammed doors. I’ve been bullied (even by my own family, at times). And now I’m still trying to kick depression and anxiety’s asses even when I felt like dying less than a week ago.

I may forget it some days, but I am a good person. I made it through some awful things before, and I can do it again and again. Sometimes my mental disorders don’t let me show that woman, so I’ll let my lipstick do it for me.


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