From Candy Apple to Brick: Black Girls CAN Wear Red Lips!
"Are You Red-dy" by Maybelline. My favorite red lippie right now.
So, this whole “Red Lipstick For Black Girls” has been an issue for me for a little while. OK, for a long while. Mainly because wearing red lipstick is allegedly yet another thing that Black Girls aren’t supposed to do. A few weeks ago, I asked around the Internet to see what other people knew about the racial & gender-based sin of wearing red lipstick. Here’s what I was told by those who chose to respond to my question “Why is it that Black Girls aren’t supposed to wear red lipstick??”
It’s for “loose” and “fast” women
Black Girls’ lips are too big
Everything ain’t for everybody
Black Girls’ Black is too black
You see how MOST of that has to do with alleged sexual promiscuity and hypersexualization of Black women? Sprinkle in a bit of classism, colorism and self-hate and you get a bunch of B.S. notions on what’s good for Black Girls. A lot of these answers extended to the wearing of red clothing and even wearing red nail polish.
Now, my Wise & Beautiful Mother was the first to bring up the hurtful imagery of the Lil’ Black Sambo stereotype as a reason why some Black women probably shy away from wearing red lipstick.
This isn't even the worst picture that came up in the Google Image Search.
Just looking at how we’ve historically been presented to the world in such an ignorant manner is painful. Now this right here [coupled with the aforementioned bullet pointed bullshyt] I can see causing a Black Girl to believe that red lipstick isn’t for her. All of this is painful, ugly and most of all, UNTRUE.
I’ve learned in my lifetime of playing in makeup, that the key to wearing it well is that you have to find out what works for you. I don’t care what race you are, if you don’t know that then you’re pretty much screwed in the Face Painting game. That goes for foundation, eyeshadows, blushes and RED LIPSTICK. It is my sincere belief that ANYBODY can wear red lipstick, but especially a Black Girl. Most colors look good on us anyway, thanks to having so much melanin in our skin. All you have to do is find the shade of red that works for you. Some of us can rock a candy apple shade, others look best with brick red. Still others may need something even deeper…or not. Just be brave and try some on. I got my first red lipstick from Sephora years ago and I’ve been in love with that color on my lips ever since.
I asked for the Black ladies who read this blog and/or follow me on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr to submit pictures of themselves wearing their red lipsticks to show just how damn well we wear the red and I was overwhelmed by the response! This slideshow is the result of the 30-plus gorgeous pictures I received:
Don’t let what some other fearful and misinformed person has to say about how our lips look and what the color “red” means overall scare you away from embracing such a beautiful and rich color as red. Believe in your own beauty, no matter what color you rock! Nobody gets to tell Black Girls what colors ain’t for us…ALL the colors are in us! We look good in red and the proof is right here before your eyes.
Do you wear red lipstick? Why or Why Not?
What have you heard in regards to Black Girls and red lipstick?
If you do wear red lips, what’s your favorite red lippie?