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12 Apr / Beautiful Rights – Women’s Health – 6 April 2017

Why Putting On Lipstick Makes You Feel So Awesome

It goes WAY beyond adding a pop of color to your face.

April 6, 2017 
Tom Schirmacher
  Lipstick may be small in size, but it packs major meaning—a significance beyond Muted berry lipstickwhat a punny shade name and pretty packaging suggest. Just take a look at any one of the many varied roles it’s played over its estimated 5,000-year history. There’s lipstick the protector: In Elizabethan times, women thought wearing it could help ward off death’s crawl. There’s lipstick the rebel: Iconic suffragettes Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton slicked their mouths in red—a look that, at the time, was considered the province of “loose women”—as a form of sartorial protest. But perhaps its most potent, and most overlooked, incarnation is that of lipstick the healer.

In the most literal sense, lipstick provides a reliable tonic in trying times. For cancer patients, it often serves as a symbol (however small) of health and vibrancy. “Lipstick helps restore a normal sense of self that a patient can lose during incredibly difficult cancer treatments and help them feel like themselves,” says Bobbie Rimel, M.D., a gynecologist and oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

 The same ameliorative effect can be seen in other women who have undergone massive changes to their bodies: In her recent study of the relationship between women and makeup, Madeleine Ogilvie, Ph.D., an associate professor of business at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, discovered that lipstick helped recent mothers reconnect with their femininity. “If they were feeling asexualized and unglamorous in their new mother role, by putting on their lipstick, it was almost like getting back to their old identity,” she explains.
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