It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived…Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips….That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.
– Colonel Gonin (commenting on the liberation of the Bergen-Belson concentration camp)
There’s something about a tube of dangerously red lipstick that makes you feel equipped to tackle the world. Coco Chanel once said that if you are sad or heartbroken, do yourself up, put on some makeup, add more lipstick and attack. The world does not like women who weep. In my mind, the act of applying lipstick is about reclaiming yourself, being a whole person again. It’s also like putting on your game face before you take on humanity.