Red Lipstick and Curls


I am not the most girly of girls. I struggle with the normal things most girls seem to be able to do. One of the most challenging aspects of girlhood has been hair styling. I am not even kidding. For years I did not even own a blow dryer. Forget about a curling iron. Seriously, I am the girl who shaved her head at 17.

For the past few years I have been a little more adventurous in this department. I have been growing my hair out and learning how to use more cosmetic products. (The eyeliner remains hit or miss.) I own a good hairdryer and have actually invested in a flat-iron. I am not saying I use them every day, there are still a lot of days that a ponytail is all you are going to get. Sorry, I am not sorry. 

Despite my forward progress, the curling iron and all other curling apparatus have remained completely shrouded in mystery and challenge for me. Imagine my delight when I found resources for creating curls while you sleep! AMAZING! All I need is a headband? I have those! In my suitcase! So, I had to try it out.

I think the curls turned out pretty well. I was a little nervous my hair was too big and fluffy, perhaps I would be drawing too much attention to myself. I did the only natural thing to do. I paired it with red lipstick. I mean nothing says understated quite like bright red, come kiss me lips. Somehow, I managed to ignore the intense anxiety welling up in my  as I walked out the door.

Femininity is a daunting skill for me. I struggle with it. Dammit! Where is my girly girl brain? The girl who understands what clothes go together and whether or not the electric blue eyeshadow is slutty or not? It is really unfair. How do you know where the line between daring fashionista and garish clown resides?

What are the rules? Don’t try thumbing through fashion magazines. It does not help.

I want to rock red lipstick. I think women who are willing to risk the red smear and mess of red on their teeth are ballsy. That is the kind of woman I want to be. It really has nothing to do with what other people think or like. I want to do it for me.

Some may say it is silly or trite to make wearing red lipstick a life goal. I think the bigger issue is whether or not I am willing to walk out of my house and wear exactly what I wanted to that day. Every moment I resist the urge to wipe it off is a little victory for me. This is similar to my old goal of wearing a dress. Now I buy and wear dresses. 

I am noticing small changes in my ideas about who I am. I am braver and I am proud of the person I am becoming. Personal growth is hard to measure. It is okay to use the little things to evaluate growth. Confidence waxes and wanes throughout the day. I require frequent self- checks to keep my inner dialogue and self- doubt in check. 

I wonder if other women have these issues. The confidence required to wear my hair a little bigger and my smile a little brighter is hard achieve. I used to stare at the ground and avoid interactions with random people. Now I try to be more approachable. It is almost as if I am inviting people to look at me, or offering my costume for their inspection.

Then I remember I am not seeking your approval. I chose this mask for me today. If you like it, thanks. If you don’t, oh well. To be completely honest, it is not even for you. I am expressing my confidence in my unique way. I am giving myself permission to be seen.

4 thoughts on “Red Lipstick and Curls

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