The “Lipstick Effect”

Psychology Today writes an interesting article about the power of lipstick.

The evidence is unchallengeable. When sh*t hits the fan, we buy lipstick. The article and research suggests that it’s our primal instinct to attract a suitable mate. In a time of recession/scarcity, we are hardwired to play up our assets whether we need a mate or not; whether we need supporting or not.

And… while I’m certain that there’s some truth in that, I challenge the notion.  I think it has a lot more to do with the way lipstick makes us feel as a woman. Sexy. Confident. Strong. Powerful. Brave.

Recently I polled hundreds of woman asking “When you wear your favorite lipstick how does it make you feel?” and the evidence was astounding. While “beautiful” was among the answers, it wasn’t as prominent. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s important to feel beautiful in our skin but just as important as beautiful, so are the others.

I challenge that the true reason why lipstick is a phenomenon is that when times get hard, we as women, put on our armor and get sh*t done!

As woman we’ve fought for our voice in this world. To be equal to the men we’ve supported since the dawning of ages. Among the fight; our right to be educated, vote, and equal wages.

Brave woman taking a stand impacted life as we know it today. Coming together and sharing ideas they saw it as their mission to unite and empower women for generations to come.

Goals, Grit & Lipstick

July 13, 1848 is stamped in history as the beginning of a revolution. A group of everyday housewives and mothers got together for the sake of change. Using the Declaration of Independence as inspiration, Elizabeth Cady Stanton started writing what she titled a “Declaration of Sentiments.”  In it, Stanton used familiar words as framework for their arguments: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The National Women’s’ History Project writes: “In this Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton carefully enumerated areas of life where women were treated unjustly.

There were eighteen grievances America’s revolutionary forefathers had listed in their Declaration of Independence from England. Stanton wrote, “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

She then listed:

  • Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
  • Women were not allowed to vote
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
  • Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
  • Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men

It’s hard to believe given where we stand now. This was just seventy years after the Revolutionary War. It’s surprising really and just think about it… It was even worse for enslaved Black women.

We’ve come a long way!

Today, young women proudly calling themselves “the fourth wave” continue the movement that started over 170 years ago. Now, I’m far from calling myself a “feminist,” as are many women. I do think, however, there’s a place for protecting what we’ve fought to gain. I keep coming back to something Alice Paul wrote that inspires me. “I always feel the movement is sort of a mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.

Everyday women, acting together, adding their small stones to the grand mosaic, have increased their rights against all odds, nonviolently I might add, from an initial position of powerlessness. We have so much to be proud of.”

But what does that have to do with lipstick?

Nada! Not in a traditional way.

It’s a metaphor. You see, as I studied the Lipstick Effect it drove me deeper into what it meant to be a woman. Feminine. Strong. Powerful. Brave. Generations before us paved the way for our equality and independence but slowly we began to blur the line between men and women.

Now don’t get your panites in a wad… hear me out. I believe we deserve to be equal in every way but that doesn’t mean we are the same.  Nor should we be.

We were created differently than men because we are, in fact, different.  We can be and are strong, independant, fierce, forces of nature but that doesn’t make us less of a caregiver, mother, nurturer… The world needs both and we should celebrate our differences.

We aren’t Man. We are Woman!

I propose the next wave of Woman. One where we are all of the above balancing everything life throws at us with the grace that comes with being a woman. Carrying the torch that was lit before us. Teaching our daughters that being a woman is the embodiment of empowerment and that with Goals, Grit & Lipstick nothing is impossible!

If you’ve read this far, and I hope you have, I would love to hear from you.  

Whether you agree or not. Let our similarities, and differences alike, make us stronger.

Join me on FB, @GoalsGritLipstick, and let’s celebrate our femininity, support our fellow woman and conquer doubt. Let’s build a strong community of women where all are heard and sh*t gets done even if it’s just the housework! 😉

Want to get started right away?  Start with slaying goals. Download your copy of the free Success Mindset goals setting worksheet and get moving today!!


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