I haven’t felt like writing much in the last couple of days. I could blame it on the bronchitis that has kicked my ass since last week, or the excitement of moving out of Boston back to NJ on Tuesday, but I really have no excuse. I’ve even had a bunch of ideas for posts that I’m putting on Sticky Notes on my computer so they don’t fall out of my head. So yeah, not so much with the NaBlo-ing, but better to have real content than a bunch of blah-blah, right? So here’s something I came up with today…
Today I was putting on my makeup after a shower, and thinking about how much I love wearing red lipstick. Makeup in general is my thing, I always have at least powder and mascara on, and I suppose there are several reasons why. Vanity is certainly up there, I mean, I’d be lying if I said “I love wearing makeup, but it’s only for other people, I couldn’t care less, actually.” Vanity gets a bum rap, but let me tell you something. When I was sick, very sick in the head and rotting away in my apartment, the last thing I was was vain. I barely showered, never did my hair, and certainly never wore makeup. I was too busy getting drunk and melding into the couch in a cloud of misery and woe. It was a wretched time, but you know that already.
When I got to my first treatment center, I took the first selfie (I truly hate that word) in what seemed like forever. It was in a bathroom mirror (so typical) and I kinda looked lost and a little dazed. Here, I’ll show you.
The Sox cap is hiding what is probably the worst haircut I’ve ever gotten, by the way. Anyway, I had gone into the bathroom, put on some mascara and lip gloss, and snapped the picture on my little piece of crap phone. I hadn’t really looked at myself in a hell of a long time, and the person looking back at me was full of trepidation and fear of the future. I love this picture, not because I look good in it, because I don’t think I do, but because I was able to take it. It had been a hell of a long time since that had happened.
Since then, I’ve been getting better, buying new clothes, losing weight, and wearing makeup practically every day. I do this because it makes me feel good. Plain and simple. Not because I’m looking in the mirror saying “DAMN, girl, you look GOOD” but because wearing makeup represents me taking care of myself for the first time in almost a year. I care about how I look. For other people, sure. But mostly for me. I can look in the mirror now and like what I see.
Which brings me to the red lipstick. The red lipstick represents power. It’s not “wearing makeup that doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup” or just slapping on some Chapstick and running out the door (not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with that, it’s just not the point of the story.) It says to me “You got up this morning. You got up, and you showered, and you got dressed, and you took that little tube of red lipstick and put it on, because it makes you feel fabulous. It’s not a color to be trifled with. I wear red lipstick to get noticed by ME. I wear red lipstick as a statement, and that statement is “damn right I’m here. I’m HERE.”
Some people say red lipstick is slutty, or trampy, or tacky. Those people are wrong. Red lipstick is awesome. It’s empowering. It makes a statement without saying a word, and that’s why I wear it. Your red lipstick might be fierce high heels (I can’t walk in those) or a shirt to show off your curves, or a new haircut or wild color, or hell, your red lipstick might be a thrown together sweatshirt-yoga pants combo as you chase your kids around. Anything that says triumphantly “I am here, I am me, do not fuck with me, because I got out of bed this morning and I am DOING this thing” is your red lipstick. Wear it proud.
I know I do.