#RedMyLips is this year’s thing! Every year we try to find a new, exciting way to raise much needed funds.
Events are more and more difficult to plan and now in the middle of the second wave even more so. We looked back at what worked the last time we had to buckle down.
This pandemic has been equated to war and that seemed like a good place to start. What can we do to feel better in this time? Our campaign also had to resonate with our goals and ambitions to empower and educate.
During the WW2, when everything was rationed and women were starting to enter the job market one item sold more than any other – red lipstick!
The history of red lipstick goes back much further than the 1940s and has been a symbol of revolution and protect throughout the ages and it’s about time that we use it to break the taboos around Menstrual Health and Hygiene.
Dignity Dreams has adopted #RedMyLips as the battle cry for 2021 and beyond.
We invite you to purchase one or more of our red lipstick shades, available online or from one of our Ambassadors or Board Members. Every cent raised goes to Dignity Dreams to manufacture and distribute washable, eco-friendly pads to at risk women and girls.
Your purchase will not only contribute to pads but will help us educate and enable a young girl to remain in school.
Lipsticks are available in 3 shades (we have given them numbers to match our menstrual theme) – Menstrual Health Day is celebrated annually on 28/05 – Why? the menstrual cycle is 28 days and lasts approximately 5 days every cycle – so our shades are
In our next blog we will help you choose the shade perfect for you.
Each lipstick costs R100 each excluding delivery. The lipstick is branded with the slogan #RedMyLips.
Red Lipstick has had a long and varied history. In 1912 Suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman (leaders in the Suffrage Movement) loved red lipstick for its ability to shock and protesters donned the bold colour adopting it as a sign of rebellion and liberation.
Throughout the centuries red lipstick has signaled many things, from its early use by the elite in ancient Egypt and by prostitutes in ancient Greece, to its status in early Hollywood as a symbol of glamor.
In its many hues, this colour on lips has been a mighty cultural weapon, charged with thousands of centuries of meaning. “Red lipstick is truly a way to trace cultural history and societal zeitgeist,” Felder said.
Until lipstick was popularized in the early 20th century, red lips were often associated with morally dubious women: impolite, sexually amoral, even heretical. In the Dark Ages, red lips were seen as a sign of commingling with the devil. The makeup “was associated with this mysterious, frightening femininity,” Felder said.
Then, Felder’s book ‘Red Lipstick: An Ode to a Beauty Icon’ explains, as the American suffrage movement adopted red lips, their international counterparts did, too.
As women’s rights movements spread across Europe, New Zealand and Australia, with British and American organizers often sharing tactics, from organizing marches, to hunger strikes, to more aggressive militant strategies. And this solidarity extended to their makeup. Inspired by her American counterparts, British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst favoured a red lip, which helped spread the symbolic gesture among her fellow activists.
Though suffragettes popularized the red-lip look in their day, Felder notes that there was already momentum to normalize lipstick among women more generally, as they dropped restrictive corsets for brassieres, and started to adopt more streamlined silhouettes, designed by the likes of Coco Chanel.
After the suffragettes wore red lipstick, the exuberant flappers of the Roaring Twenties followed suit. And while suffragettes may not have been solely responsible for popularizing a painted lip, they embodied the idea of the “modern woman” in Europe and America.
During World War II, red lips had their bold second act of defiance. Adolf Hitler “famously hated red lipstick,” Felder said. In Allied countries, wearing it became a sign of patriotism and a statement against fascism.
When taxes made lipstick prohibitively expensive in the UK, women stained their lips with beet juice instead.
As men went off to war and women filled their professional roles back home, they donned red lips to enter the workforce. It showed their resilience in the face of conflict and offered a sense of normalcy in difficult times.
In 1941 and for the duration of the war, red lipstick became mandatory for women who joined the US Army. Beauty brands had capitalized on the wartime trend, with Elizabeth Arden releasing “Victory Red” and Helena Rubenstein introducing “Regimental Red,” among others. But it was Arden who the American government asked to create a regulation lip and nail colour for serving women. Her “Montezuma Red” matched and accentuated their uniforms’ red piping.
“Wearing red lipstick for a woman in that era was so linked to… a sense of feminine self-esteem,” particularly, “resilient and strong female self-esteem,” said Felder, who has herself worn the beauty staple nearly every day since high school. After the war, classic Hollywood actresses like Elizabeth Taylor added a layer of glamour to the confident look.
Today, other protest symbols for women’s empowerment have become widespread, notably the pink pussy hat that dominated the 2017 Women’s March; and the habit from “The Handmaid’s Tale” which has been worn internationally for women’s causes, including pro-choice demonstrations.
Red lips still pack a punch. In a viral image from 2015, a Macedonian woman kissed an officer’s riot shield during an anti-government protest, leaving a red kiss mark in a poignant moment of rebellion.
In 2018 in Nicaragua, women and men wore red lipstick and uploaded photos of themselves to social media to show their support for the release of anti-government protesters. They were reacting to activist Marlén Chow, who defied her interrogators by applying red lipstick.
In December 2019, nearly 10,000 women in Chile took to the streets wearing black blindfolds, red scarves, and red lips to denounce sexual violence in the country.
By wearing red lips, protesters all over the world have tapped into the same power the suffrage movement once plumbed a century earlier. In this bold, defiant beauty statement, their legacy lives on.
Support our revolution by purchasing your favourite red and know that your purchase will empower a young girl by allowing her not to worry about menstrual product for at least 48 months after receiving a Dignity Dreams Sanitary Pad pack and education.
Learn more about our goals and how you can help by clicking on www.dignitydreams.com
Note: Large parts of this article are copied from ‘Empowering, alluring, degenerate? The evolution of red lipstick’ published on CNN Style.
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