Outlandish, exaggerated and rhetorical statement: Red lipstick is in fact war paint in disguise.
Over the hectic Christmas shopping rush I realised two things; the principles of war (selection and maintenance of the aim) can be effectively applied to shopping, and that women who wear red lipstick are in fact wearing a sort of modern-single-woman war paint.
My father has a lovely tradition with his Christmas shopping; leave it till the last second and then blitz it all in one day with my assistance. This year I demanded a McFlurry as payment (for those of you who live in a cave they cost ninety nine pee) and the stingey bastard still wouldn’t pay up. We were almost finished, down to the last thing on the list. I was wearing appropriate shopping battle gear- flat shoes, comfy bra, hair tied off my face. Before the search for the small and strange last thing I felt the need to apply copious quantities of “pleasure me red”, my favourite red lipstick which I was most certainly not born with (maybelline, get it? HA). A bald, middle aged military man, my father didn’t understand why I felt the need to do so. I tried to explain that it makes you feel prepared, invincible, brave. This was when I realised that it shouldn’t be so hard to explain to a military man after all.
My best friend hates that I am so capable of giving the impression that I am both confident and not lost (which I am most of the time- I really have no sense of direction). Well one weekend I accidentally left my pleasure me red in her flat, and she too felt the draw of the war paint. She, like me, was able to feign a confidence which she didn’t feel once she had tried it out. She now bought her own tube a few months ago.
The Picts used to paint themselves blue before going into battle. This was for two main reasons; to be able to identify who was on their team in the heat of the battle and to scare the enemy. I am not suggesting that red lipstick plays a central role in the single-vs-couple battle that has and always will rage, but putting it on is like a tiny miniature version of the ancient painting ceremonies. It prepares you for a world where every day is an interview and every road a catwalk. And I love it.