In 1912, as thousands of suffragettes marched through the streets of New York City to demand equal rights for women, future cosmetics mogul Elizabeth Arden took to the streets to distribute tubes of her bright red lipstick to the women. Arden, who had opened her business two years prior, was a staunch supporter of women and of women’s rights. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Elizabeth Cody Stanton, both leaders of the suffrage movement, loved red lipstick, primarily because it shocked men. As a result, protesters donned the bold color en masse, adopting it as a symbol of liberation and rebellion.
Over the centuries, red lipstick has come to be associated with many things. Its earliest known use was by prostitutes in ancient Greece and Egypt. Much later it was embraced by Hollywood as the epitome of high glamour, according to realtimecampaign.com.
Red Lipstick Today
In the early 20th century, as lipstick grew in popularity, the perception of women who wore red lipstick as morally dubious and impolite began to change. Once again, the women’s rights movement took the lead, with flappers of the Roaring 20s following suit. This makes one wonder How CTZN Cosmetics Got Nude Lipstick So Right.
With the beginning of World War II, red lipstick again became a symbol of defiance as Adolph Hitler was known to hate red lipstick. As a result, wearing it became not only a symbol of high fashion but a statement against fascism. While women filled the workforce as men went off to war, lipstick gave women a sense of self-identity, as the famous illustrations of Rosy the Riveter are shown with her cherry-daubed lips. Kosas got the message, so visit their site.
Starting in 1941 and continuing throughout the war, women who joined the Army were required to wear red lipstick. Even beauty brands who were anxious to cash in on the trend began introducing their own brands, such as Helena Rubenstein’s “Regimental Red” and Elizabeth Arden’s “Victory Red.” But it was Arden who the US government turned to create a standardized red for use by matching and accentuating the red piping on women’s uniforms with her “Montezuma Red.”
Since the end of the war, red lipstick has become a beauty staple, with Hollywood leading the way. Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most notable actresses who added a layer of glamor to her look with red lipstick.
Continuing the Look
Today, although other colors have been added to the fashion palette. Red lips still pack a proverbial punch when it comes to feminist issues. Another notable image came from a 2015 Women’s March that took place in Macedonia when a woman kissed a police officer’s shield and left her red lipstick mark as an act of rebellion for all to see.
During the 2018 protests in Nicaragua, both women and men who were arrested during protests defiantly applied red lipstick while being interrogated.
It will be interesting to see how red lipstick, or any color lipstick, will be used to express a woman’s self. Undoubtedly, just as has been done throughout the centuries, lipstick will give women the opportunity to not only beautify themselves but to define themselves as well. Whether it’s done in bold tones or more subdued shades, there are few things that can express a woman’s identity better than her makeup, in particular, her lipstick. Red, of course.