One of the best things about makeup is that if you want it to, it allows you to transform into different versions of yourself, whether that’s a 1950s starlet or a child beauty pageant queen. But of course, that doesn’t mean that you suddenly become a version that other people want you to be. Unfortunately, when you pop on a beautiful shade of bright lipstick in hot pink, metallic purple, or rich scarlet (or even my new favorite, deep blue!), there is this odd effect that it has on certain idiots around you.
Rather than being a person wearing a cosmetic that changes the color of your lips, in their eyes, you’re now a totally different human being with very specific wants, needs, and personality traits. Let’s explore those silly stereotypes, shall we?
1. You’re wearing it for attention.
Shockingly, many women (and men) just like wearing lipstick! If everyone wearing lipstick could literally only think of lipstick as a way to get attention, they wouldn’t be all that creative. If you were really just looking for attention, there are so many better ways to get it. Get a haircut in public! Post a mysterious nipple on Instagram! Have a baby and put it on the cover of Vogue!
2. You’re just doing it for male attention.
This one is even more offensive because (A) it presumes all women are attracted to men, (B) all women are actively seeking male attention, and (C) no woman would make an aesthetic choice for herself without thinking of whether guys will be into it first. Pro-tip: The answer is (D) All of the above answers are incorrect.
3. You’re a harlot.
There’s nothing wrong with having lots of sex, but the idea that a woman is inherently doing so because of the makeup she wears is absurd, to say the least. You can’t judge a person’s sex life based on their makeup. You can judge whether or not they’re addicted to Sephora if you happen to notice like 16 lip shades in their purse, but that’s about it.
4. You’re a prostitute.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with being a sex worker, but bright lipstick is certainly not something that is relegated to prostitutes.
5. You’re a slut and are willing to sleep with whomever hits on you.
This goes along with #3, but is even more presumptuous. It assumes that a person wearing lipstick is suddenly consenting to anybody who might wish to sleep with them or have any contact with them whatsoever. This is incorrect (and it’s incredibly indicative of rape culture, so…).
6. You’re a vampire.
Okay, not a literal vampire, but people get peculiarly rude when you wear vampy lip colors, as though that means you’re inherently down with midnight marathon screenings of the Blade films and shop at Hot Topic.
7. You’re a clown.
It’s kind of amazing how many people have told myself and other women who wear lots of makeup that we “look like clowns.” Have you ever seen a traditional clown? They wear wig caps, wigs, full-face base makeup, fake noses, fake lips, occasional colored contacts–I am entirely too lazy for that crap! If I were willing to put that much effort into my appearance, well then high five to me, man.
8. You’re trying to be Marilyn Monroe (or any other celebrity).
As much as I’d love to pull off a brown wool suit like Ms. Monroe, I’m pretty sure lipstick does not suddenly make me into a blonde lady two inches shorter than myself and, oh yeah, born in 1926. Can’t we all just kinda…enjoy makeup and still be ourselves?
9. You’re bad at makeup.
While we’re all come to terms with the fact that many men will always be oblivious to the “no makeup” made-up look, it is still silly to assume all women wearing bright shades just happen to suck at beauty. Have you ever seen the way some professional makeup gurus apply lipstick? It’s incredible–nothing short of wearable art.
10. You’re vain.
Women who wear makeup get constantly stereotyped as being way too into themselves. But…but…I just really like eyeshadow and lipstick and blush and everything else. Does that mean I’m like, Mirror, mirror all of a sudden?`
11. You’re superficial.
Just like being considered vain, this is totally incorrect. Just because somebody digs cosmetics doesn’t make her (or him) a vapid, shallow jerk. It literally just means they like beauty products.
12. You’ve got something on your face.
Okay, this isn’t a stereotype so much as a PSA. Dear People Who Think They’re Funnier Than They Are: Please stop “notifying” myself and other lipstick wearers that we “have something on” our faces. We know. And it’s supposed to be there. And you know that, too, but you’re the equivalent to that seventh grader who can’t stop making dumb jokes about “sea men” in class, then looking around to see who’s laughing.
Now, if you’re interested in getting some new shades based on all of these stereotypes, feel free to check out our under $20 red lipstick guide. That way, you can blast away presumptuous idiots in style! And if you’ve got a favorite shade, share it with us so we can check it out!