The Red Lipstick Effect

Sometimes, I wake up and I want to be anyone but myself. Myself has to change out of my pajamas to go to work; myself has terrifying deadlines; myself has acne (which doesn’t make sense, since I think my voice changed over a decade ago).  Of course, it is embarrassing to not want to be myself. I don’t want to walk around in public, letting people know that I feel antsy in my own skin. They will probably call me names and throw their Panda Express trash at me!

So, I have found my own mini solution: I put on red lipstick! Sometimes I take my time with it, pretending I am Marylin about to sip champagne with the Rat Pack, or sometimes I drag it across my face right as I am galloping out the door. I can’t quite explain why it works. It could be a theatrical thing, or a repressed desire to go to clown college. It might even be a beauty thing, although I have my doubts, because 90% of the times I check my lipstick in the mirror, my lips are completely lopsided and smudged all over my chin (especially after I’ve been trying to fit a whole Chipotle burrito in my mouth). But I still feel better!

I am positive that The Red Lipstick Effect does not work only for girls. I don’t think it only works with red lipstick. I think that people have their own versions. Some people wear hats, some people go for long runs (ack), and some people grow really cool mustaches.  Hat-wearing, mustached runners — were you even aware that you are exhibiting signs of The Red Lipstick Effect? Well, that’s what I’m here for! To call attention to a phenomenon you knew existed, though you never dared to talk about it with another human bean.

And you know what, you still don’t have to. This will be our little secret. I will see you in your hat or your mustache and you will think for a second that I have been initiated into the Cullen family because I have red smeared all over my chin, and we will nod, maybe wink at each other, and continue about our day, feeling like slightly better versions of ourselves.

Just for the record, though, you’ve been great all along.



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